For the first time in 87 years, the show at Radio City Music Hall won’t go on, the owner of the venue said Tuesday.
“We regret that the 2020 production of the ‘Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes’” has been canceled, MSG Entertainment said in a statement, citing “uncertainty associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.”
According to the Rockettes’ website, more than 75 million people have seen the dancers perform since the Christmas show began in 1933. During a typical busy season, each of the 80 Rockettes may perform up to four shows a day, with each one kicking up to 650 times. As the news broke, several of the dancers posted their own statements on Instagram.
“Christmas has officially been cancelled,” wrote Samantha Berger, who has been performing with the Rockettes for 15 seasons. “Until Next year,” she added with two broken-heart emojis. “Please Wear a Mask.”
A spokeswoman for Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which also manages the show, confirmed that the Madison Square Garden Company plans to lay off 350 people — about one-third of the company’s corporate work force, The New York Post reported.
“While we believe this is a necessary step to protect the long-term future of our businesses, we continue to actively pursue solutions that will allow us to safely reopen our doors,” MSG Entertainment and MSG Sports said in a statement, “so we’re able to bring as many employees back as quickly as we can, once a return date for live events is established.”
The Rockettes are now selling tickets for November 2021, and many of the performers are holding out hope.
“We were all preparing for this, but the confirmation of a cancelled season confirms the heartbreak,” Danni Heverin wrote on Instagram. “Please, I beg of you, think of others and do the right thing. Wear a mask. Socially distance.”
“We are in this together,” she wrote. “Looking forward to the next time we can celebrate Christmas time again in NYC.”