2002-11-16 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

By Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey,

Democratic District Leader

Trinity Senior Services 5th Annual Trip
To The Radio City Music Hall Christmas
Spectacular

As the Director of Trinity Senior Services I arranged for 116 seniors from the Rockaways, Broad Channel and Howard Beach to go to New York City to see the Christmas Spectacular.

Spectacular is defined by Webster's New World Dictionary as "unusual to a striking degree; characterized by a great display and as an elaborate show or display." The Radio City Christmas Show lived up to that definition and exceeded it.

The 2002 show is the 70th anniversary of this performance in New York. It has a universal appeal for people of all ages. Millions of people from across the United States and around the world make this an annual family tradition.

The Christmas Show began in 1932. It featured Ray Bolger and Martha Graham. The Rockets also were part of the original cast. The edifice, which houses the show was the first building in what is currently considered Rockefeller Center.

James Dolan, the chairman of the Madison Square Garden Radio Entertainment and the President and CEO of Cablevision Systems Corp., describes the magnificent renovation that Cablevision completed in 1999. It took seven months and cost $70 million. 

They re-did the entire theatre "from the seats, carpets and decorative gold leafing to its tremendous arch and stage. The ambitious undertaking included refurbishing the Ezra Winters' three story mural in the grand foyer; fine tuning the world's largest Wurlitzer organ; restoring the original neon colors of the music halls spotlight marquee; and painting the theater's immense proscenium arch." In addition, they have video technology, sound equipment and stage lighting that beautifully blend the old theatre and the new technology.

Part of the appeal of the Christmas Show for me is remembering all the years that we went to see it with my grandparents. It brings back wonderful memories. I am equally sure that this is true for many other people.

The beginning of the show makes use of high tech magic by allowing the audience to view a 3-D film featuring a virtual sleigh ride around the winter wonderland of New York City through spectacular specs. The audience is immediately captivated by this presentation.

The Nativity presentation is breath taking. One cannot help being inspired by the true magnificence. It brings us back to the true message of Christmas - Peace on Earth and good will to man.

Everyone had a wonderful time.  We can't wait to go again next year. Please join on Thursday, November 21, 2002 at 8:00 PM at the Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways located at 104-02 Rockaway Beach Blvd. for our club meeting.  District Attorney Richard Brown and John McLoughlin president of the 100 Precinct Council will be our featured speakers. Everyone is invited to attend.


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