Up in the Air with the Rockettes

13 Aug

Dave Brooks hangs with the Rockettes at Irvine's (Calif.) Great Park Balloon Ride

By Dave Brooks

It’s during the summer months when I most miss the publicity stunt. During my newspaper days, it was almost a weekly affair, drinking a beer during wiener dog races to promote Oktoberfest at Old World Village, or flying high in a bi-plane to hype Red Barron Frozen Pizza.

Sure, it’s all a bit canned, but it’s fun and makes a great excuse to get out of the office. Nowadays working at a national (technically international) magazine, I spend much less time on local press junkets, and more time in front of a computer.

That’s why today’s balloon ride with the Radio City Rockettes took me, back a bit. Intern Jessica Boudevin tagged along to interview the dance troupe in Orange County, promoting their upcoming arena tour with stops at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Dec. 6-7 and then the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live on Dec 9-12. In fact the tour is hitting most of the Mid-West and West Coast — you can see all the dates of the tour by clicking here.

It’s all part of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular,  scaled to fit inside curtained arenas. It’s been almost ten years since the Rockettes came to Southern California, and the famous dance troupe has been performing at the iconic Radio City Music Hall near Time Square in Manhattan since 1933. This is the third year the group has toured outside of NYC.

Today’s event brought out about a dozen reporters and a handful of busy publicists, some who took to the air in Irvine’s Great Park Balloon, while a few others stayed on the ground. It’s a bit difficult to do an interview when you’re dangling 400 feet high, confined to cage, elbowing around cameraman and paparazzi.

I interviewed dancers Katie Russell (she’s the blonde on the left) and Laura Danelski (far right) and we spoke about life as a Rockette and the challenges of being on the road. The interview will be featured on a future episode of the Venues Today Podcast.

But more importantly, the afternoon was a chance to get out of the office on a beautiful day, hang with our intern and enjoy the hazy view of South Orange County from 400-feet in the sky. I know, not the most exciting read for you, but maybe today it’s just about me today. Just a little bit at least, right?

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