What I saw: the mother-fucking Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes™ at the god-damned legendary Radio City Music Hall, at 6th Avenue and West 50th Street, near Rockefeller Center in New York City.
What I did beforehand: riding lesson, baked bread, looked at Twitter, did some cussing, showered, put on a lot of clothes, spent too much time getting my shit together, drove to town, parked, walked to the train station cursing the cold-as-shit afternoon, bought a fucking round trip off-peak ticket, got on train, wandered up and down the cars looking for a seat that faced the right fucking way, got sat on by a guy much bigger than me at White Plains.
|Mostly they looked at their phones
What I wore: gray wool tights (because it was that cold), tan Boden plaid skirt, black Ibex fancy-ass wool top, gray cardigan, gray cable knit hat made for me by my friend R., pearl earrings, brown cashmere scarf with fringe that makes it look just like kelp, long parka, two pairs of mittens.
|Get used to the riot gear, America
Fascism is here!
Who went with me: the venue appeared full from our vantage point, and has a capacity of about 6,000. Which is a fuck-ton of people. And they do up to six shows a day. That is a shit-load of high kicks.
Everyone on Earth is more photogenic than me, including the creeper behind us. pic.twitter.com/NlYy2zNFfM— Hamsteria d'Relish (@hamsterRelish) December 17, 2016
How I got tickets: I attended as the guest of a very old friend and her girlfriend, who was aware that I can be a smartass but invited me to partake of this treacly, over-produced Christmastravaganza anyway. Oh, Gee, Gosh, I hope she doesn’t read this!
|Get ready to empty your pockets and
show them the inside of your purse
Why I saw this show: in the spirit of every drunken bull’s pizzle who ever said, “Here, hold my beer,” I thought I’d give it a try.
Where I sat: Orchestra Row J, seat 413.
|It is a Spectacular
Things that were sad: after the show, we were shooed out of the theater by the beleaguered broom-wielding schmucks responsible for the impossible task of sweeping up the single layer of popped popcorn distributed in an even layer of crunchy goodness from row AA to W and across all seven sections before such time as the arrival of the next audience, a mere hour hence.
Things that were funny: the show opened with dueling organists, singing ushers, and a velvety brown Spandex and tiny-suitcoated slutty Reindeer kick line. My Rudolf-the-Red-Nosed-Reindeer-worshipping inner child was agog. Next came Santa Claus, starring in a 3D infomercial featuring the post-apocalyptic wasteland of a de-populated, traffic-free computer-generated New York City. Dancing bears provided a welcome break from the onslaught of bimbombatons, the embodiment of robotic precision of three dozen perfectly trim, strong, young identical women known as the Rockettes™. But then again, the next number was the Toy Soldiers which might be the only reason some people drag their ass to the city once a year to see this show. After that, the marketing circus resumes on a sightseeing bus where we were able to get accurate counts of the bimbomatons. There are 36. No mountains of garbage on the streets of this NYC! Just shoppers and sightseers! Next, there are skaters in a cartoon-version Central Park, utterly alone and looking like a surreal pair of Twilight Zone characters, living dolls dropped into an empty diorama with a sheet of genuine plastic ice which moments ago was crowded with stiff-legged, screaming zombie skaters who were swept away with the sweep of a petulant giant child's hand, along with the trash mountains and street people dressed in gowns made of plastic shopping bags.
The show whisks us next to the terrifying Hellscape of an army of an infinity of jolly dancing Santas. Then there is a rag doll production number that I mostly remember for the irregularly striped red and white tights on the Rockettes™, their menacing orange plastic hair-helmets, and the alphabet blocks which magically spelled “MERRY XMAS” or “MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN” or some fucking thing when they turned them around. I think. After that, terrifying flying transparent beachball snowflake drones were unleashed from the orchestra pit, menacing the audience and reminding me that we are all Prisoners now. Lastly, the Birth of Jesus™ Merry Fucking Christmas Extremely Religious Nativity Tableau, complete with a floating angel, a Vegas-style neon Star of Rocking Bethlehem and fake people of “The Orient,” but most of all, three real-as-life fucking camels and a donkey that were unnerving and sad and also the realest damned things in the whole show. I wonder how often they shit on the stage.
|The orchestra platform can rise up
to stage height
Things that were not funny: there was a woman behind me who sang along tunelessly to everything she knew. It didn’t matter. The show was still fun, despite my elitist desire to despise it all with every atom of my being.
Something I ate: arctic char and tostones at an excellent Cuban/Chinese place called Calle Dao we found afterwards on W 39th.
Found a fucking great Cuban/Chinese restaurant in mid-town and got distracted with having to dance to the music in the bathroom #NYC— Hamsteria d'Relish (@hamsterRelish) December 16, 2016
What it is: an institution, since 1933.
Who should see it: people who know that the true meaning of Christmas is maximizing corporate profits with banal fairytales starring enslaved dwarves and magical white people, stoners, fans of the materialistic clay-brained Christian patriarchal white supremacy, sentimentalists, fat-kidneyed Republican rascals in matching American flag Christmas sweaters, my five-year-old-self, nostalgic bacon-fed knaves, knotty-pated shopped-out fools, and the last three families left in America for whom Santa is not yet corny bunkum.
What I saw on the way home: I had to run and made the train with only a couple of minutes to spare, and realized when I stood up to get off an hour later that I had tweaked my knee.