How It Works: Christmas Spectacular’s ‘New York at Christmas’

Just outside iconic Radio City Music Hall, we Rockettes board a red double-decker bus for a whirlwind tour of Manhattan. Bundled up in dashing winter coats and sparkly red and green costumes, we sail down 5th Avenue to see some of New York City’s most memorable sights.

“The bus is controlled by automation,” says Stage Manager Joseph A. O. “The bus is connected to what we call ‘time code’ and the bus will turn when it hits very specific points, not only in the music but in the visual content on the back wall. That is why automation controls that so that it will turn exactly at the right time.”

But that’s not the only prop in this merry number that takes center stage. “When we enter Central Park an ice skating rink pops up,” says Stage Manager Caskey H. “It’s not actually really ice. It’s a thick plastic that has a spray lubricant on it that essentially allows it to behave like ice for our ice skaters.”

At the end of the number, real fireworks and pyrotechnics go off as us Rockettes hit our iconic kickline. “There’s video content on the walls, sound effects and fireworks going off,” says Caskey. “We actually bring in a pipe and have 21 bursts of real pyrotechnics that are going during the final kickline by the Rockettes!”