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The Magic of Radio City

The Magic of Radio City

One of my favorite childhood memories is watching the movie Annie when I was a little girl and delighting with wonder and fascination at the scene where Daddy Warbucks takes Annie to Radio City to watch the Rockettes perform. I stared at the beautiful dancers in the same way Annie did, with such wonder and fascination, as the Christmas carols played in the background. Although I am far from being a red-haired orphan living in the 1930s, the wonder of the Rockettes is a universal feeling, one that many have shared for decades.

 

There is nothing quite like the holiday magic of Radio City Music Hall, which opened in 1932. Over 300 million people have flocked to the theatre to escape to the world created between the velvet curtains. Despite being 80 years old, the theatre still creates that pure sense of joy and wonder for people of all ages, while staying true to its history and roots. This season, millions will take a step back in time and enjoy the Christmas Spectacular which has wowed audiences from around the world with sparkling costumes, twinkling lights, and of course, the high-kicking Rockettes.

 

The first Christmas Spectacular, which debuted in December of 1933, was only thirty minutes long, but today the show has bloomed into a 90-minute celebration of the holiday season straight off the pages of a storybook. However, to the delight of audiences everywhere, two iconic numbers done by the Rockettes have remained completely unchanged for decades. “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity” give the same holiday joy to millions over, and over again while transporting them back to a similar, classic era.

 

Every April, hundreds of New York’s best dancers strap on their tap shoes to audition for a chance to dazzle audiences on one of the world’s most famous dance teams, the Rockettes, and continue this iconic piece of history. Over 3,000 women have performed as Rockettes, and even more hope of someday joining the kick line that so many dancers dream of being a part of. Those dances have become a part of history, and many want to continue that tradition.

 

This season, you can be part of history and experience the timeless beauty of the Christmas Spectacular. Take a relaxing motorcoach trip and gawk at New York City, glistening and shiny with the Christmas season. Then, take a step back in time to Radio City Music Hall to see the Christmas Spectacular like no one has seen it before. Watching from Orchestra Seats, you’ll be immersed in the sounds and sights of show. Finally enjoy some free time, and look at the cheery holiday energy in the City, maybe watch the skaters at Rockefeller Center, or just enjoy a bite to eat under that massive Christmas tree. This is an experience that is essential for the holiday season. Dazzle your eyes, maybe bring a little dancer with you, and book your trip now. Starr tours has 28 departures this year – but tickets are selling fast. Spend a day in the city with us and experience this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Broadway by Bus or Bust

It’s only August, but now is the time when we start planning our assortment of Broadway Show Bus trips for 2018. I bet you want to know how we decide which shows to book on which dates! A crystal ball of course! Doesn’t everyone have one of these?

Okay, so we don’t really have a crystal ball, but since we’ve been doing this for so long, we do have an idea of the type of shows our tour guests like. There’s the steady eddies like: The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, and Wicked. Then there’s the shows that are still bringing people in after a couple years like Beautiful, and School of Rock. There’s the newer shows like Come From Away and Anastasia. And, of course, there are the untouchables like Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen – we get laughed at when we request those shows! Perhaps the most exciting, but most unknown, are the newcomers. Late 2017 and 2018 have their share of newcomers and it looks like there will be lots of new shows to deliver to our tour guests.

Check out the newest musicals coming to Broadway:

The Band’s Visit
The critically acclaimed new musical that celebrates the deeply human ways music and laughter connect us all.  After a mix-up at the border, an Egyptian Police Band is sent to a remote village in the middle of the Israeli desert. With no bus until morning and no hotel in sight, these unlikely travelers are taken in by the locals. Under the spell of the desert sky, their lives become intertwined in the most unexpected ways. The Band’s Visit celebrates the deeply human ways music, longing and laughter can connect us all.

 

Escape to Margaritaville
A new musical featuring both original songs and your most-loved Jimmy Buffett classics. Follow Tully, a part-time singer, part-time bartender, and full-time charmer who thinks he has life all figured out until a beautiful career-minded tourist steals his heart and makes him question everything.

 

Once On This Island
Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story of Ti Moune comes to vibrant life in a striking production. Ti Moune is a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie , Asaka , Papa Ge , and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart. Come and gather around for Once On This Island, a triumph of the timeless power of theatre to bring us together, move our hearts, and help us conquer life’s storms.

 

Frozen
Elsa and Anna take the stage in the Broadway adaptation of Disney’s hit film! This is the timeless tale of two sisters, pulled apart by a mysterious secret. Both are searching for love. They just don’t know where to find it.

 

 

Half Time
An original musical about a group of ordinary seniors with extraordinary dreams. Take the uplifting  journey with these dreamers—and the young coaches who inspire them along the way—as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game—it’s HALF TIME.

 

My Fair Lady
Lerner and Loewe’s classic musical returns to Broadway. Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture Pygmalion, My Fair Lady premiered on Broadway on March 15, 1956. Boasting a score that contains such now-classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “On the Street Where You Live,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” My Fair Lady was hailed by The New York Times as “one of the best musicals of the century,” and by the NY Herald Tribune as “a miraculous musical.”

 

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child (Part 1 & 2)
The eighth story in the Harry Potter series arrives on Broadway! It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable trust: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

We already have great seats reserved for many of these shows, and as always, if a show isn’t listed on our Broadway shows lineup you can still count on us for great seats to any show when you book with our NYC Express Option – you choose the show and we take care of the rest! We’ll drop you off at 11am and pick you up at 6pm – we make it super easy for you to enjoy New York City and Broadway!

When Starr takes you to Broadway, we drop you off right in the heart of the Theatre District where you’ll have access to great restaurants, shopping and people watching! Starr makes it easy to see a Broadway show so check out our assortment, sit back and let us take you there!

Come From Away

Come From Away

“That was the best play I’ve ever seen,” my mom proclaimed as we exit Broadway’s Schoenfeld Theatre. Me, I’m still processing.

We had just experienced a preview of Broadway’s musical “Come From Away” and I was still wiping away tears from the moving performance. “It was incredible,” I reply, knowing that any words I spoke would fall short of being able to describe the emotions running through me after witnessing such an amazing story and production. Audience members were on their feet even as the last note was sung. With scores of Broadway shows under my belt, I have never seen a standing ovation happen so quickly — and so well-deserved. The diverse cast of 12 actors – 6 female, and 6 male – had the difficult task of conveying multiple characters on a simple set through humor, heartache, and the blending of numerous personal experiences of the people whose stories they were trying to tell and they nailed it – I truly don’t know how they could have done it better.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, people all over the world were witnessing the crushing news reports that planes had struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the air, however, aircraft passengers were held aloft, suspended in time, unaware of what awaited them.

Shortly after the planes struck the World Trade Center, the FAA ordered a closure of the North American airspace and commanded all planes to land immediately. As a result of this closure, over 200 flights bound for the United States were redirected to Canada. Thousands of people were stranded, away from home, for five days in the midst of the most devastating terrorist attack in United States history.

Gander International Airport served as a refueling stop in the early days of transatlantic flights. As planes evolved and were able to travel longer distances, the air traffic to the crucial airport slowly dwindled and the town settled into a quieter life. The airport takes in only about 10-15 flights these days, but on September 11th, nearly 40 flights carrying over 6,500 passengers were suddenly redirected to the small town, raising their population by 66% in a matter of hours. There weren’t enough hotel rooms, restaurants, or other resources to handle that many people, but instead of resorting to stressed hostility, the people of Gander responded immediately with remarkable kindness.

As Gander prepared for the sudden influx of people on the ground, passengers in the air were told very little. When the planes landed in Gander, the passengers were kept on board the aircraft for over a day while clearances were arranged. Few had phones and little was told to them by the flight crew. While the anxious travelers were trapped on the planes, the people of Gander prepared. They gathered blankets, pillows, medical supplies, toiletries, and everything else they could think of that the passengers might need. The supplies came from stores who freely donated them and households who had anything to spare. They cooked. They filled every community center and school with cots and bedding to house the “plane people,” and when those spaces ran out, they opened their homes. When the scared and weary passengers were finally able to disembark from the cramped quarters of the planes, they were met with bagged lunches and the smiling and friendly faces of the people from Gander who were ready to welcome thousands of strangers with open arms. For five days, Gander and surrounding small towns hosted the plane people, the “Come From Aways.” The local telephone company set up phone stations so that the people could call home. The television station set up TVs in the schools and community centers so that people could remain informed on what was happening in the United States. The Gander residents threw cookouts, and gatherings, and worked day and night to take good care of their 6,500 guests. For five days worlds and people collided in a small town in Canada and the immense generosity of the human spirit shone through the darkness.

“Come From Away” is the story of these five days.

“On September 11, 2001 the world stopped. On September 12th their stories moved us all.”

“Come From Away” opens this weekend on March 12th (2017). You can get your tickets and bus transportation through Starr on our website or by calling Starr at 800-782-7703.

Photo Credits: Matthew Murphy and Chris Bennion