By Sharon Clott Kanter
Mar 27, 2015 @ 2:44 pm

It's Rockettes season! Wait, so soon? Indeed, the world-famous Rockettes are back at Radio City Music Hall after the Christmas/holiday season for the first new show in its 81-year history. This time, they're on stage with the New York Spring Spectacular, which gives the 6,000 guests in the theater each night a tour through the history and highlights of N.Y.C., from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Central Park to Broadway to the sports teams to Ellis Island to even New York Fashion Week.

Last night was opening night for the show, and spectacular it was. Nashville's Laura Benanti stars as Jenna, the #girlboss billionaire tech company exec who's trying to digitize the New York experience, and Dancing with the Stars's Derek Hough is the angel sent down from heaven, via the voice command of Whoopi Goldberg, to convince her to get out from behind her screen and live in the moment. (Side note: The Easter bunny shows up a lot, too—it's a kid-friendly show, after all!)

The New York Fashion Week scene was one of our favorite numbers—no surprise there. "New York City is the fashion capital of the world," the giant voice inside the theater declares, and all of the sudden, a runway appears, cameramen surround it, and the Rockettes model iconic looks from three designers: vibrant printed wrap dresses by Diane von Furstenberg, floral day dresses by Isaac Mizrahi, and dramatic red-carpet looks by Zac Posen. Watch an exclusive video of that scene above.

We also enjoyed the numerous cameos, including Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Donald Trump, and Bella Thorne, who voices the Alice in Wonderland statue in the Central Park scene. "I haven't heard my voice yet on stage," she told us before going to pose with the Rockettes pre-show. "I don't know what it sounds like or looks like, but I hear it's freaking cool. I usually have a really deep voice, but I made sure Alice was more light and cutesy." (It was.)

With the rockettes #NYSS #radiocitymusichall opening night!!!!

A photo posted by BELLA (@bellathorne) on

As for Benanti, she hopes theatergoers leave with a message. "I really appreciate how this show is teaching people, especially young people, that while technology is important, it can not be the only thing," Benanti told us before the show began. "We have to, at some point, put our devices down and be with each other because there is no substitute for the real thing. I think that's an important message to send to young people and their families."

The New York Spring Spectacular runs through May 3. Find your tickets at