Chatting with Chapey
by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader
Trinity Services Radio City Christmas
On Friday, November 7, 2003 Trinity Services sponsored its 7th annual trip to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Rockefeller Center. It was an intergenerational trip with two hundred twenty-one people from the Rockaways, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park and Richmond Hill attending the performance. Our group went on five coach buses.
The Christmas Show is one of the most cherished traditions of the holiday season. Trinity Services always chooses one of the earliest performances in the season so that we can begin the holidays by attending this fantastic and delightful show. Our seats are excellent and provide a great view for everyone.
The show begins with a thrilling 3D film, which features Santa and his reindeer as they take the audience on a breath-taking sleigh ride through New York City. You can hear the delight of the audience as they view what syndicated columnist Liz Smith has entitled "the best short movie of the year."
The performance always evokes pleasant memories for the participants. Many people remember going to the show as children with their family. In our family it was a Christmas tradition to go to the Radio City Show with my grand parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I can remember bundling up for the cold weather and smelling chestnuts roasting on the corner. As I talked with our group, many families were remembering the same wonderful tradition.
The Rockettes continue to be a major attraction in the Christmas Show. It is estimated that more than 2.1 million people annually go to see their precision performance. The New York Times gives them rave notices. It reviewed the Christmas Show and stated: "But best of all, as always, are the miraculous Rockettes in their crisp costumes, smiling and tapping their way flawlessly everywhere…" The Rockettes have an extraordinary appeal to people of all ages. They continue the same precision, enthusiasm and vigor that has made them popular. This year they celebrated their 76th year of producing one of the best and most spectacular entertainment events.
The Christmas Spectacular began in 1933. The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, which is a perennial favorite began in 1934 and was choreographed by Russell Markart who founded the Rockettes.
One memorable part of the performance is the mighty Wurlitzer Organ. It is housed in eleven rooms surrounding the theater. Everyone looks forward to this being played in each performance. It has 4,328 pipes which produce the beautiful tones and over one million other moving parts. (These facts are provided by Radio City Music Hall).
Rockefeller Center itself consists of 19 buildings housing elegant shops and restaurants. It is well known for its ice skating rink and its spectacular Christmas Tree. Although we went to the show on November 7th and the tree isn’t up until December, we will be having frequent group trips during December to see the tree and the other sights and sounds of New York City on the Trinity Van.
Radio City Music Hall did suffer through rough times and at one point was almost scheduled for destruction. However, in the Fall 99, it underwent a $70 million renovation. Luckily, for New Yorkers, it did survive and we can enjoy these fantastic shows.
This year the Christmas Spectacular Show will also be performed in the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; the Paramount theater in Seattle, Washington; the Milwaukee theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Tampa Bay Florida. This will be the 10th annual and last performance of the show in the Grand Palace Theater in Branson, Missouri.The Living Nativity was initially produced in 1934. It remains one of the most revered parts of the Christmas Spectacular. This part of the performance is now called "One Solitary Life". This is a very powerful and moving presentation. After this wonderful day in Manhattan, Trinity Services went to the Il Palazzo Villa Russo for dinner. We enjoyed delicious dining in their magnificent room. We enjoyed having Mr. Turbidy as our DJ. He really did a magnificent job. It was a wonderful day.