Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Group: Radio City Rockettes and touring company
Venue: The Fox Theatre, 527 N. Grand Blvd.
Dates: Through Dec. 28
Tickets: From $29.50 to $69.50; 534-1111 or metrotix.com
Story: Back after a successful engagement here last year, a cast and crew of nearly 100 bring their holiday extravaganza to the spacious Fox Theatre in a production presented by Dance St. Louis. Geared strictly to family audiences, the show is broken down into a dozen separate numbers, including a Twelve Days of Christmas dance routine featuring 18 Rockettes, a Nutcracker segment with a young girl from the audience, a Parade of the Wooden Soldiers vignette and a visit to Santa’s Workshop. The mainly secular evening is then capped off with The Living Nativity, complete with starry backdrop, a pair of camels, sheep and the three Magi visiting the infant Jesus.
Highlights: While it’s all very manufactured and precisely packaged, the show does offer a bevy of beauties cavorting, G-rated style, with smiles tightly etched on every number. The dancing on the Wooden Soldiers piece is a work of wonder, particularly the finale, and there are plenty of life-sized toys to fill the tykes with glee. Throughout the presentation, the precision and expertise of the legendary Rockettes is demonstrated on numbers designed to showcase their high-stepping abilities.
Other Info: Patrick Fahey contributes a colorful and fanciful set design that puts everyone in a holiday mood, and costume designers Gregg Barnes and Pete Menefee fill the stage with myriad and brightly bedecked teddy bears, toy soldiers, colorfully garbed elves and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. David Agress’ lighting design is most delightful, showcasing the bright lights of Christmas in New York and the starry evening of the Nativity birth. Mark Hummel provides the musical direction and canned arrangement. The smoothly performed presentation is capably directed and staged by Eileen Grace, with musical numbers tightly choreographed by Linda Haberman.
All in all, it’s an evening of pleasant if predictable family fare.
Rating: A 3 on a scale of 1-to-5. S