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New York Spring Spectacular

Radio City Music Hall , Midtown West Friday March 27 2015 19:30
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

New York Spring Spectacular: Theater review by David Cote

The Rockettes and the creative army behind Radio City Music Hall’s New York Spring Spectacular want to turn you into a tourist in your own town—not such a feat, really. With the spread of chain stores and rampant gentrification, sometimes it seems all of us are just passing through this brand-saturated theme park, snapping selfies like any hick. The tussle between digital present and the analog past takes center stage in this wall-to-wall pop-culture fun ride, which neatly combines visual dazzlement with old-fashioned hometown pride.

Framing the dance-driven revue is the impending purchase by tech diva Jenna (Laura Benanti) of a NYC tour service run by kindly old Bernie (Lenny Wolpe). Jack (Derek Hough) is a hunky angel sent down by God (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg) to save Bernie’s business (apparently, the Supreme Being likes brick-and-mortar).

Dancers and actors alike are inevitably dwarfed in the cavernous Radio City space, but it doesn’t matter; director-choreogapher Warren Carlyle keeps the Rockettes doing what they do so well, while the production inventively blends 3-D animation, jumbo video monitors and humongous animatronic puppets. Even for those of us who have been here for years, aren’t some tourist traps worth falling into? Paradoxically, it’s a nice way to get out of town.—David Cote

Radio City Music Hall (see Off Broadway). Book by Joshua Harmon. Songs by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy. Directed by Warren Carlyle. With Laura Benanti, Derek Hough. Running time: 1hr 30mins. No intermission.

Follow David Cote on Twitter: @davidcote

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Details

Venue name: Radio City Music Hall
Address: 1260 Sixth Ave
New York

Cross street: at 50th St
Transport: Subway: B, D, F, M to 47–50th Sts–Rockefeller Ctr; 1 to 50th St
Price: $46–$130