Monday, November 10, 2008

Why The Rockettes Rock

Here in Minneapolis we are so far "out of town" that we get to see the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular on November 9. Then they move on to some other smallish city, all building up to their NYC opening., which will be at actual Christmas time. But we provincial folks in Minnesota? Cutting edge, baby.

DIH had not see the Rockettes since she was a Girl Scout. Except once,when she dragged the spouse to see a demo team do the Toy Soldiers number at a shopping mall. As DIH predicted the spouse was instantly smitten.

The Rockettes are always the greatest. All that long-legged precision, all those big smiles, all those fabulous costumes ranging from giant teddy bear suits to skimpy rhinestone tights. I mean, come on, this is America at its best. Show me one Western European country that has cuter reindeer? Lotsa luck, Finland, you'd never come close.

The Christmas Spectacular doesn't change all that much from year to year. That would be tough. You have to use Christmas carols and Santa Claus and elves and toy shops, and there's always the "obnoxious kid who doesn't believe in Santa becomes convinced" skit. The Rockettes do make some variations, but it's basically the same show they've been doing for 75 years now.

There are two things about the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, though, that have always been in the show and hopefully always will be: the famous Toy Soldier number, and the "Living Nativity."

Toy soldier number, self-explanatory. See YouTube for details.

But the "Living Nativity." Watching this long. lavish telling of the Christmas story- all the lines were from the Gospel, thank you very much- DIH was struck by , well, what a world we live in. All I could think was, How are they getting away with this? How are these people not being shut down? I mean,they're talking about Mary and Joseph and the Three Wise Men? They're telling all these people in the Target Center that Jesus' birth was the most important, amazing, generous, universe-changing thing that ever happened! What do they think this is, 1952? Where are the lawyers, where's the ACLU?

But there it was. big, beautiful and unabashed. Cesar Augustus put forth a decree that all the world should be taxed. Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem. The Savior was born, the shepherds gathered, the angels sang. The reason for the season.

Get stuffed, secular humanists.