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Radio City Rockettes' annual 'Christmas Spectacular' canceled

The Radio City Rockettes' show is another New York City holiday favorite that's been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

WASHINGTON — The Radio City Rockettes' annual "Christmas Spectacular" has been called off due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

MSG Entertainment announced Tuesday saying that the 2020 show, which takes more than 250 people to stage, has been canceled and they plan to welcome audiences back in 2021.

"We are disappointed for everyone involved with the show, as well as for the many fans who make the Christmas Spectacular a cherished part of their holiday tradition," the statement said.

The show is a holiday favorite for tourists in New York City, featuring the "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and the “Living Nativity."

Everyone who has already purchased a ticket for a 2020 show will automatically be refunded.

Nearly 80 million people have seen the show, according to The Radio Show Rockettes. The original 30-minute live show, which first debuted on Dec. 21, 1933, has evolved into a 90-minute long celebration of the holiday season.

There are a total of 80 Rockettes that perform in a typical season, a morning cast of 40 women, who are between 5’6″ and 5’10½”, and an afternoon cast. All must be proficient in tap, jazz, and ballet.

Tickets for the 2021 shows are already on sale, according to MSG Entertainment.

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Credit: AP
Rockette Sydney Mesher, far left, takes the stage as a Wooden Solider during a performance of the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The news comes several weeks after it was announced that New York City's Broadway theaters would also remain dark for the rest of the year. The Broadway League extended Broadway's shutdown through Jan. 3, 2021.  

Broadway performances were initially suspended on March 12, in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, there were 31 shows running, including eight new productions in previews. There were also eight more shows in rehearsals preparing to open before the shutdown hit.  

The Broadway League said its working with officials and industry leaders to work on the best plan to safely restart performances in the future.

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For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The United States has more than 4.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.

Just after 10:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday, the U.S. more than 155,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 18.3 million confirmed cases with nearly 700,000 deaths.