The Rowan Travelers Weekender Group meets the iconic Rockettes

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Rowan Travelers had barely touched down from their Caravan National Parks Tour — but were still yearning for travel.

The group speedily decided on a weekend trip to New York City to see a Broadway play and the opening day of Radio City Music Halls’ Rockettes Show. It had been years since most had been, and it seemed like excellent way to initiate the Christmas holidays.

My own first memory of the Rockettes was from when our family would gather on Sunday evenings during the holidays to watch the skilled dancers perform on the Ed Sullivan Show.

The Travelers had the opportunity to see the opening night of this iconic event. The performance was everything you could imagine and more.

Did you know there are a total of 80 Rockettes, subdivided by different casts of 36 dancers on stage at one time. The tapping is quite evident when they begin because their shoes are laced with individual microphones.

The show begins with Santa and 90 minutes of continuous dancing, augmented with an extremely wonderful orchestra. The performance, divided into differing acts, is not just dancing, though. Each Rockette shed what seemed like 20 different outfits with one change in only 78 seconds!

Travelers Bill and Anne Shive had the opportunity to speak with a Rockette a few minutes before the show. A New Jersey girl, she commented that she absolutely loves performing in the show. The Rockettes begin their rehearsals in September, Monday through Friday at a church, to prepare for the show.

The dancing is just one aspect of the show. The iconic show has exuberantly embraced the 21st century with multimedia projections that appear on the ceilings during the performances. Spectators wore 3-D glasses during an amazing show featuring special effects employing more than 200 tiny lighted, silent, hovering drones. The onstage performances ended with a traditional Christmas manger scene featuring live sheep, donkeys and camels.

The Radio City Music Hall Rockettes show was just one part of our whirlwind weekend. The Travelers had the opportunity to see the Broadway plays Wicked, The Lion King, Waitress and Pretty Lady.

We also enjoyed the bright lights of Broadway and the famous cheesecake at Juniors.
The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center arrived with pomp and circumstance, providing the group an opportunity to watch the installation of the huge 80-foot Norway spruce as it was erected.

Some of the Travelers spent time exploring China Town, the Garment District and the 9-11 Memorial while others tried to brave an open-air bus tour of Manhattan. The weather turned cold and windy and the tour was cut a little short.

I gave the trip an 8.9 out of 10. If the weather had been a little warmer, it would have scored a 10. As I told the group, 38 degrees in Salisbury and 38 degrees in New York City feels very different indeed!