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A Christmas entertainment institution
earns a festive facelift

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Akoo Theatre at Rosemont
Rosemont, IL
December 14, 2012
Radio City Radio City

Story by Andy Argyrakis
Publicity Photos

With 85 years to its name, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular isn't just the longest running holiday show of its kind, but it's also an all around entertainment institution spanning multiple generations. But just because the program's been running since 1933 doesn't mean it's grown stale by any means, as seen in the festive facelift of the 2012 edition that's hands down the most dazzling and delightful in recent memory.

Running concurrently with the New York production is the show's December Akoo Theatre at Rosemont residency, which marks its highly heralded return to the suburban Chicagoland venue after a four year absence. And the anticipation is certainly matched if not surpassed thanks to several new scenes, glitzy costumes, jaw-dropping choreography and some of the most impressive projections to ever be seen on any 50-foot LED screen.

Of course, The Rockettes are the stars of the show and this year's cast is top notch, never missing any of their complicated steps while rivaling some of the greatest athletes in terms of sheer strength and precision. A case in point comes during the first act's "Parade of Wooden Soldiers" scene, which finds the ladies interlocking arms with one another and sliding backwards one by one to create an elaborate domino effect of real life toy soldiers.

Another spectacle comes with the interspersing of live action and big screen footage during "New York At Christmas," which features The Rockettes riding a double-decker bus all around Manhattan as the city's streets are broadcast from floor to ceiling. The results are nothing short of a marvel, mirroring the same motion simulator effects of popular theme park rides like "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" or "The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man."

After intermission, Santa Claus takes a disbelieving teenager and his little brother on a ride to the North Pole (via the actors flying high above the stage), while the season's core meaning leaps to life with "The Living Nativity" procession set to scripture. However an evening with The Rockettes couldn't be complete without a finale featuring a slew of signature marches and kick lines, capping off the annual tradition in all its long-legged, high-heeled glory.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular continues at the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont through December 30 spanning a total of 34 performances. For additional details, visit or call 800-745-3000.

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