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December 21, 2018

The Christmas Spectacular By The Numbers: A Monumental Endeavor

In a bit of theater magic, the Rockettes are in one costume when they first appear on the double-decker bus during "New York at Christmas." When they step off the bus, they're in another. (Photo: Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos)

With demand for tickets soaring, the 2018 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes has extended its run past New Year’s Day, through Jan. 6 with 10 additional shows.

The production — a blend of futuristic technology and timeless traditions — is a feat of imagination, as never before. Dancing drones. Tumbling aerialists. Dazzling digital projections sweeping over the entire theater. They mesh in perfect sync with the Rockettes to create a fully immersive experience that culminates with a mesmerizing new “Christmas Lights” finale.

How does it all happen? Take a look at these numbers that help tell the story. 

80  The total number of Rockettes in the company, with 36 dancers alternating from one performance to the next (along with four swing dancers for each group).

100   Intel® Shooting Star TM  mini drones appear during the finale to create a glittering blanket of dancing stars. They are the first drones designed specifically for an indoor theatrical light show.

34,000  Square feet of Radio City’s walls and iconic arches are covered by the most advanced 14K digital mapping technology available. 

The projections on the 8K-resolution LED screen and throughout Radio City move at  60 frames per second. By comparison, a typical movie uses 24 frames per second.

More than 60,000 pounds of counterweight to support the elaborate hanging scenery as well as the lighting equipment.


For the entire Christmas Spectacular ensemble — the Rockettes, singers and actors — the costume changes keep coming. (Photo: Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos)

40  The approximate number of miles the authentic double-decker tour bus used in the “New York at Christmas” scene will travel during the show’s nine-week run.

30,000  The number of red dots used this season to brighten the cheeks of the Rockettes during “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “Rag Dolls.”

1,100  Costumes are used for each performance, with each Rockette changing costumes eight times. In one changeover, the Rockettes have 78 seconds to change their costumes.

1933  The year the Christmas Spectacular debuted. Two cherished scenes — “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “Living Nativity” were performed in that first show.


For your tickets to the 2018 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, click here.  

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About Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp.

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment) is a leader in live entertainment experiences. The Company presents or hosts a broad array of events in its diverse collection of venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; and The Chicago Theatre. MSG Entertainment is also building a new state-of-the-art venue in Las Vegas, MSG Sphere at The Venetian, and has announced plans to build a second MSG Sphere in London, pending necessary approvals. In addition, the Company features the original production – the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes – and through Boston Calling Events, produces the Boston Calling Music Festival. Also under the MSG Entertainment umbrella is Tao Group Hospitality, with entertainment dining and nightlife brands including Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Avenue, Beauty & Essex and Cathédrale. More information is available at