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Seattle by David-Edward Hughes

A Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Starring the Rockettes
at the Paramount

A big, bright, gaily colored Christmas package arrived early in Seattle last week, as A Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes was unwrapped to an appreciative multi-generational audience at the Paramount.

This is the first Seattle mounting of the venerable Radio City extravaganza and, having not seen it before myself, I can say without hesitation that it, as directed and choreographed by Linda Haberman, is a treat for the eyes and ears, even tugging a bit at the old heartstrings. The Rockettes are the centerpiece of it all and are shown off in all their precise, high-kicking glory in numbers like "The Parade of Wooden Soldiers," "Christmas in New York," and "Santa's Workshop." The energetic ensemble of singer/dancers keep from descending into theme park entertainment blandness, and William Thompson Evans and Bethe B. Austin make a jovial Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The Living Nativity finale of the show, complete with donkeys, camels and sheep, is opulent yet dignified. Gregg Barnes (Flower Drum Song) and Pete Menefee have designed stunning costumes for this sequence and throughout, and Patrick Fahey's scenic design and David Agress' lighting design offer up new delights in each segment of the show.

A Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes, at just about 2 hours including intermission, is a "fun for the whole family" type of event. No deep thinking required, just go and wallow in merry holiday excess!

A Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes runs at the Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine Street in downtown Seattle through December 7, 2003. For further information, visit the Paramount's website at www.theparamount.com.




- David-Edward Hughes



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