This just in: The 2018 production of the Christmas Spectacular will be technologically transformed with the addition of an all-new finale scene and redesigned elements.
Directed by Tony, Drama Desk and Olivier Award-nominated director Sam Buntrock (Broadway and West End productions of Sunday in the Park with George), the new finale will include 100 Intel® Shooting Star™ Mini drones* that take flight to create a groundbreaking magical holiday light show, and new digital projections from Obscura Digital.
“As a director, I combine technology and storytelling in an effort to blur the line between magic and reality,” said Mr. Buntrock. “I am honored to work on a beloved show like the Christmas Spectacular and to bring the evolution of live theater to Radio City with the first ever large-scale drone performance that is fully integrated into the scene.”
The new finale scene, “Christmas Lights,” will be a stunning example of innovation blended with tradition. The finale begins at the conclusion of the “Living Nativity” scene with the original light of Christmas – the North Star. Fragments of light will suddenly appear as aerialists fly across the Great Stage. 100 drones, representing Christmas lights, will magically surround Santa Claus on stage, forming various shapes and patterns. The Radio City Rockettes will then be revealed, as they perform new choreography in glamorous new costumes designed by Tony and Drama Desk Award-nominated costume designer, Emilio Sosa.
“As the number one family show in America, the Christmas Spectacular has been a beloved holiday tradition for generations–and we want to ensure we’re doing everything we can, including pushing artistic boundaries, creating new experiences and embracing innovation–to capture the enthusiasm and allegiance of generations to come,” said Victoria Parker, Executive Vice President, Productions at The Madison Square Garden Company. “We are thrilled to have assembled a creative team of some of the most acclaimed leaders in theater and technology to elevate this year’s show–by integrating next-generation technology and compelling new elements that have never before been presented at this scale in a live theatrical setting.”
The finale joins several of the production’s beloved numbers, which will showcase new, state-of-the-art digital projections from Obscura Digital to combine next-level technology with awe-inspiring artistry that extend the show beyond the stage.
In 2017, the Christmas Spectacular installed one of the largest 8K LED walls in the world and introduced digital projections, created by Obscura Digital and batwin + robin, that cover all eight of the venue’s iconic proscenium arches. The digital projections transport audiences from their seats right to the center of the action – from the North Pole to Central Park, to a manger in Bethlehem. This year, Obscura Digital has created all-new projections for fan favorite numbers, such as “The 12 Days of Christmas,” “Nutcracker” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” as well as the new finale “Christmas Lights,” and expanded the projections for “New York at Christmas.”
Obscura Digital is a globally recognized design studio known for architectural projections on such iconic buildings as the Empire State Building, the Vatican, the Guggenheim, Sydney Opera House and theMART building in Chicago. In addition to their work on the Christmas Spectacular, they’ve also created large-scale immersive experiences for NASA and Coachella, and dynamic live stage shows for some of the world’s most exciting performers, from Ariana Grande to Jay-Z.
“We are excited and honored to use our expertise to reinvent the physical space in a venue of the vast size and scale of Radio City, and are proud to have redesigned the projections to transport audiences to the magical worlds that Sam and the rest of Radio City’s creative team have conceived,” said Travis Threlkel, co-founder and chief creative officer, Obscura Digital. “We think audiences will embrace the show’s commitment to combining tradition and technological innovation.”
*Intel and Intel Shooting Star are trademarks of Intel Corporation. For more information, see www.intel.com/lightshows
Join us at Radio City Music Hall for the 2018 production of the Christmas Spectacular—the show runs November 9 through January 6th.