It really is Christmas in July.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2022 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. announced Wednesday.
And that couldn't be more welcome news for longtime Rockette Katelyn Gaffney, who is starting her 13th season as a member of the troupe.
"I wish it was Christmas every single day," the Clark native said. "It's something that we love so, so dearly. It's not just Christmas for us. It's the legacy. It's this legendary line. It's the sisterhood, and it's also the joy of bringing families, friends, even strangers together. When you come to the Christmas Spectacular, you may not know who you're sitting next to, but you have created this incredible memory that is lasting a lifetime."
The 2022 Christmas Spectacular will run from Nov. 18 to Jan. 2, 2023, at Radio City Music Hall. Tickets are on sale at rockettes.com.
Still, with temperatures reaching the high 90s right now, Gaffney has a suggestion for anyone dreaming of a winter wonderland - head over to the Rockettes Instagram page, where you can learn choreography from the Christmas Spectacular. During the COVID-19 shutdown, the Rockettes hosted Instagram Lives and other online events to keep the community connected.
More than 69 million people have seen the Christmas Spectacular since its debuted in 1933, making it one of America's most treasured holiday traditions.
"There's so much power in linking up in our kickline together and knowing that this has been going on since 1933," Gaffney said. "I feel so lucky to be a part of this legendary line."
More Rockettes:Radio City Rockettes rehearse for Christmas Spectacular
The 2022 season follows one cut short by COVID-19 last December.
Gaffney can't wait to get back on stage.
"For so many people, the Christmas Spectacular is the holiday season. It is their holiday tradition and to know that power that we have is amazing. I cannot wait to hear that audience again. I cannot wait to have my jingle bells on my shoulders for 'Reindeer,' our opening number in the show, and to hear the orchestra start to build up. It is one of the most beautiful moments and there is nothing like Radio City Music Hall at the holiday season. It's just so incredibly wonderful to be a part of the tradition."
Gaffney particularly enjoys the full circle moments she finds in rehearsal. She played Clara in the Christmas Spectacular when she was little, and now loves to welcome new young performers into the fold.
"When the Claras come, they join us in rehearsal. We've already been at rehearsal for a few weeks, then the Claras come and they start their rehearsals and I love to see their faces because I remember mine," she said. "I still walk into the rehearsal space like 'wow, we're here,' but I remember my face, my heart is beating fast, and to see that from a different perspective is one of my favorite, favorite moments of the rehearsal process."
The Rockettes now perform in nine numbers throughout the 90-minute production, including the lyrical favorite "Snow," which returned last year.
The Rockettes are "committed to ensuring that the Rockettes line showcases greater diversity and that dancers from all backgrounds see themselves represented," MSG said.
The dance company last year created Rockettes Conservatory, a one-week training program that offers "intensive study in the Rockettes precision style while eliminating financial barriers to entry." This year it also expanded the height range of the Rockettes by an inch, from 5’6”-5’10½” to 5’5”-5’10½”, to broaden the number of eligible dancers and says it is establishing partnerships with diverse dance organizations including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Harlem School of the Arts, The Ailey School, International Association of Blacks in Dance and The Chloé and Maud Foundation.
Christmas Spectacular 2022 tickets
For tickets, starting at $49, to the 2022 Christmas Spectacular or more information, visit rockettes.com or the Ticketmaster Box Office at Radio City Music Hall (1260 6th Ave. between 50th and 51st St.). For group sales, call 212-465-6080, and for accessible and companion seating, call the Disabled Services Department at 888-609-7599.
Ilana Keller is an award-winning journalist and lifelong New Jersey resident who loves Broadway and really bad puns. She highlights arts advocacy and education, theater fundraisers and more through her column, "Sightlines." Reach out on Twitter: @ilanakeller; firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular 2022: Tickets on sale now