Company News

New Finale Scene Includes 100 Drones That Will Take Flight In A Show-Stopping Christmas Light Performance



New York, Oct. 02, 2018 — The Madison Square Garden Company (NYSE: MSG) announced today that the 2018 production of the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, presented by Chase, will be technologically transformed with the addition of an all-new finale scene and redesigned elements. Directed by Tony, Drama Desk and Olivier Award-nominated director Sam Buntrock (Broadway and West End productions of Sunday in the Park with George), the new finale will include 100 drones that take flight to create a groundbreaking magical holiday light show, and new digital projections from Obscura Digital. The finale joins several of the production’s beloved numbers, which will showcase new, state-of-the-art digital projections from Obscura to combine next-level technology with awe-inspiring artistry that extend the show beyond the stage.

“As the number one holiday show in America, the Christmas Spectacular has been a beloved holiday tradition for generations and we want to ensure we’re doing everything we can, including pushing artistic boundaries, creating new experiences and embracing innovation, to capture the enthusiasm and allegiance of generations to come,” said Victoria Parker, executive vice president, productions, The Madison Square Garden Company. “We are thrilled to have assembled a creative team of some of the most acclaimed leaders in theater and technology to elevate this year’s show – by integrating next-generation technology and compelling new elements that have never before been presented at this scale in a live theatrical setting.”

The new finale scene, “Christmas Lights,” will be a stunning example of innovation blended with tradition. The finale begins at the conclusion of the “Living Nativity” scene with the original light of Christmas – the North Star. Fragments of light will suddenly appear as aerialists fly across the Great Stage. One hundred drones, representing Christmas lights, will magically surround Santa Claus on stage, forming various shapes and patterns. The Radio City Rockettes will then be revealed, as they perform new choreography in glamorous new costumes designed by Tony and Drama Desk Award-nominated costume designer, Emilio Sosa.

“As a director, I love to combine technology and storytelling in an effort to blur the line between magic and reality,” said Mr. Buntrock, director, finale and creative director, new digital show content, Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes. “I am honored to work on a beloved show like the Christmas Spectacular and to bring the evolution of live theater to Radio City with the first ever large-scale drone performance that is fully integrated into the scene.”

Buntrock made his West End and Broadway debuts with Sunday in the Park With George in 2008. In addition to his work on the Christmas Spectacular, he is currently the director of the European tour of The Rocky Horror Show, which is now in its 10th year. He also served as director of Turn of the Screw at BAM in addition to a variety of other regional productions. Buntrock has worked as an animation director on numerous projects, including the feature film Stuart, A Life Backwards starring Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch for Neal Street Productions, HBO and the BBC. Buntrock trained at Bristol University and as Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse in London.

In 2017, the Christmas Spectacular installed one of the largest 8K LED walls in the world and introduced digital projections, created by Obscura Digital and batwin + robin, that cover all eight of the venue’s iconic proscenium arches. The digital projections transport audiences from their seats right to the center of the action – from the North Pole to Central Park, to a manger in Bethlehem. This year, Obscura Digital has created all-new projections for fan favorite numbers, such as “The 12 Days of Christmas,” “Nutcracker” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” as well as the new finale “Christmas Lights,” and expanded the projections for “New York at Christmas.”

Obscura Digital, which was recently acquired by The Madison Square Garden Company, is a globally recognized design studio known for architectural projections on such iconic buildings as the Empire State Building, the Vatican, the Guggenheim, Sydney Opera House and theMART building in Chicago. In addition to their work on the Christmas Spectacular, they’ve also created large-scale immersive experiences for NASA and Coachella, and dynamic live stage shows for some of the world’s most exciting performers, from Ariana Grande to Jay-Z.

“We first designed digital projections for the Christmas Spectacular last year,” said Travis Threlkel, co-founder and chief creative officer, Obscura Digital. “We are excited and honored to use our expertise to reinvent the physical space in a venue of the vast size and scale of Radio City, and are proud to have designed the projections that will transport audiences to the magical worlds that Sam and the rest of Radio City’s creative team have conceived. We think audiences will embrace the show’s commitment to combining tradition and technological innovation.”

The 2018 production of the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, presented by Chase, will run from November 9 through January 1, 2019. The Christmas Spectacular is proud to be presented by Chase. Chase’s commitment to the Christmas Spectacular supports this unparalleled production, which continues to entertain more than a million people year after year. Throughout the run of the show, Chase customers will have access to Chase Preferred Seating, which includes some of the best seats in the house.

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Ticket Information
Performances of the 2018 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes® begin November 9, 2018 and run through January 1, 2019 at Radio City Music Hall®. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased online at, Ticketmaster at 1-866-858-0007 or Radio City’s Box Office (1260 6th Avenue between 50th and 51st streets). Box Office hours are Monday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Service charges apply to telephone, internet and box office pick-up orders. For group sales, please call 212-465-6080. Accessible and companion seats are available via the Disabled Services Department at 888-609-7599. Visit for more information. Guided tours of Radio City Music Hall are available daily. For more information, visit or call 212-465-6000; ext. 0.

About The Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) is a world leader in live sports and entertainment experiences.  The company presents or hosts a broad array of premier events in its diverse collection of iconic venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston.  Other MSG properties include legendary sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL) and the New York Liberty (WNBA); two development league teams –  the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL); and esports teams through Counter Logic Gaming, a leading North American esports organization, and Knicks Gaming, MSG’s NBA 2K League franchise.  In addition, the Company features the popular original production – the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes – and through Boston Calling Events, produces New England’s preeminent Boston Calling Music Festival.   Also under the MSG umbrella is TAO Group, a world-class hospitality group with globally-recognized entertainment dining and nightlife brands: Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Avenue, The Stanton Social, Beauty & Essex and Vandal.  More information is available at