Christmas Spectacular Radio City Music Hall
1260 Sixth Avenue
Through January 4
To get the most holiday cheer for your New York minute, head to Radio City; in 90 minutes you'll hit all the hot spots from Rockefeller Center to the North Pole. Don 3-D glasses for a virtual sleigh ride, then sit tight for an onstage snowstorm, a growing Christmas tree, spunky ice-skaters, and industrious elves who take you on a tour of their gadget-filled toy factory. A rump-shaking teddy bear headlines as the Sugar Plum Fairy, but the real dancing stars are the lean, leggy, tap-happy Rockettes, precise as toy soldiers and dazzling as frisky reindeer. Mrs. Claus fields cell phone calls from the rock 'n' rolling Santa (played by the perfectly jolly Charles Edward Hall), now accepting Christmas lists from good little girls and boys via e-mail! Duck out at the 60-minute mark if the "reason for the season" makes you squirm; "The Living Nativity" scene is a serious, enchanting dramatization of the biblical Christmas story, complete with shepherds, wise men, and a small herd of live animals. That said, the Christmas Spectacular doesn't claim to be about religious or cultural inclusion any more than it claims to be high art.