Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A performance that stinks

It's getting close to that time of year when we normally have big Christmas shows here at The Center. This year, of course, it's "Annie," along with "Lord of the Dance" and two "Nutcrackers" and our annual "Christmas Cabaret."

In 2002, it was Disney's "The Lion King."

Last year, it was "Phantom of the Opera."

And 2003's extended run of the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes" provided many memorable sights, sounds and smells – on and offstage.

Since they execute as many as 1,500 kicks during a five-show performance day, the Rockettes always seek out trainers, ice packs and heat treatment for their aching muscles and joints.

I did several curtain speeches last year, so I was backstage with the Rockettes before some of the shows.

"What were they like?" people always asked me.

"Tall. Beautiful. Nice. They smelled like Ben-Gay."

Backstage, you see the studied nonchalance of the stage directors, the artistic repetition of the performers and some funny moments.

Before a performance, one of Santa's elves heard the call of nature too close to curtain.

"If we don't start this show soon, I'm going to wet my pants." (He didn't say "wet.")

Ah, the glamour of show business.

Happy holidays.

– Michael K

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