Growing up, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was rather the big deal around my house. There were different reasons for this. I, the adolescent boy, was more interested in the balloons of the superheroic persuasion, and, of course, the “seasonal inaugural appearance” of the big man himself. This was the mid ’80s, so the Christmas season hadn’t quite been dialed back to November 1st yet. Between balloons, my sheltie and I amused ourselves or checked on the early stages of Thanksgiving dinner preparation.
If we were both good, we got pieces of ham.
Now, those bits I skipped included the floats trucking that season’s selection of pop stars and impending fall TV failures through the streets of NYC, as well as showcases of Broadway performers. Each year a few of the shows on Broadway get to do one number. Usually these are picked from the shows that debuted that year. This year you’ll get to see:
- Bring It On
- Elf – The Musical
- Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
- Nice Work If You Can Get It
Now, of paramount importance to certain family members was always the final Broadway performance of the Parade: The Rockettes.
My mom, aunt, and one of her kids were really into dance, so the Rockettes were always a big deal. Being way before the Rockettes really did any touring, there wasn’t any other opportunity to see them without going to Radio City Music Hall, so the Parade was “must-see-TV”. So, when they arrived on screen, the call would go out, and the family would gather in front of the TV to watch the ladies line up and kick.
Fortunately, the Rockettes and their Christmas Spectacular get around a little more these days. For many recent seasons a touring company of Rockettes have put the show on around the country, while the NYC team keeps the seats filled at Radio City. The amount of cities they visit varies year to year, but it certainly makes it easier to catch the Christmas Spectacular without having to solely rely on a single number in the Macy’s Parade.