Concept: 2 out of 5
Execution: 4 out of 5
Yeah, but: I may just be really lucky.
The Long Version: I'll admit that a tour of the Radio City Music Hall wasn't high on my list of things to do while on my honeymoon in New York City. I recognized the hall as a landmark when I walked by, and have some idea who the Rockettes are, but otherwise wouldn't have gone out of my way to see the interior. What a mistake that would have been - and her wanting to do the Stage Door tour is yet another example of how my wife is smarter than I am. I have no problem admitting that.
I know that I'm lucky, and in this case we were able to take the tour with a very small group. Our guide, Shannon, was exceptional: bright, interested, and involved in the life of the theatre. There was never that horrible reading-from-a-cue-card feeling, and she cheerfully answered any questions that our small-but-enthusiastic group had. I felt like I saw a lot of the building, and came away with an interest in its history that I never would have considered before. When Penny and I go back to New York, we'll probably make it just a little later in the year than our last trip just so that we can go back and see the Rockettes perform. After meeting one of the dancers in person, and getting a glimpse of their rehearsal, how could we not?
Photography is permitted through most of the tour, but I really don't have anything that captured the magnitude of some of the interior spaces. The tour itself lasted over an hour, but I can't say exactly how long because I was never inclined to look at my watch. Instead I just enjoyed myself and wandered along in amazement. After a crushingly bad experience elsewhere in the Rockefeller Center, the Radio City Stage Door tour restored much of my faith in the whole guided-tour tourist experience. Seeing a show at the Music Hall will be mandatory for the next time we're in New York, and we'll probably take the tour again as well.
last updated 28 dec 2010