My very first visit to NYC was at Christmastime when I was in high school, oh, circa 1997. My mom brought me and my siblings into the city to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. For a dancer/theater lover like myself, it was truly the most magical experience, and it was then and there that I decided that someday, I too, was going to be a New Yorker.
Fast forward many, many years to my grad school graduation. Guess what? It was held at Radio City! I practically skipped across the stage, making sure to pause right in the middle to blow mom a kiss (she was somewhere in that huge audience of 6,000 seats!) So needless to say, this classic venue holds quite a bit of sentiment to me.
When I heard about the Radio City Stage Door Tour, I was pretty stoked. The tours leave every half hour, so we jumped on an afternoon tour (that coincided with the Christmas Spectacular, so extra festive excitement!) The tour lasts an hour, and takes you into the private Rockefeller viewing suite, through the back corridors of the theater, past the Rockettes’ warm-up and audition rooms, and get this…even a meet and greet with a Rockette!
And of course all along the way we were fed tidbits of info about the history of Radio City (opened on December 27, 1932!), the Rockettes (in peak season they perform 6 shows a day…the girls are split into morning and afternoon shows to take some of the pressure off!) and the theater’s memorable moments (Bette Midler shattered a record at Radio City in 1993 by selling out 30 shows!)
Whether you’re a theater lover, have littles that love dance, or just want a fun and festive and WARM tour of a piece of NYC history, this tour is definitely one to keep in mind! Reservations aren’t needed, but you can score a bit of a discount for booking tickets online (unless you have a Student ID, in which case the cost is $17 and it’s cheaper to buy onsite;-)
By: Jessica Tiare Bowen