The true story of how Radio City Music Hall, Art Deco masterpiece and one of New York City’s iconic tourist attractions and cultural landmarks, was saved from demolition is told at last. Nearly forty years later, Rosemary Novellino-Mearns, Dance Captain of the legendary Radio City Music Hall Ballet Company during the 1970s, tells the amazing story of how she motivated a small group of dedicated colleagues, friends, media and political allies to join forces, challenge the Rockefeller establishment and, against all odds, save “the Showplace of the Nation.”
Rosemary Novellino began her theatrical career as a ballet dancer in Radio City Music Hall’s Ballet Company where she worked for twelve years, eventually becoming Dance Captain. At the Music Hall, she worked with choreographers Marc Platt, Ron Lewis, Miriam Nelson, and became assistant to Peter Gennaro. As President of “The Showpeople’s Committee to Save Radio City Music Hall” she was instrumental in saving the Music Hall from demolition and having it declared a National Historic Landmark.
Since retiring as a dancer she has become a lyricist with her composer husband William Mearns who she met at Radio City Music Hall and performed with on The Great Stage. Urged on by husband Bill, her family, and former Music Hall colleagues, Rosie took several years to write Saving Radio City Music Hall, an emotionally draining and research-intensive experience. She is very proud to have her book as one of the first to be published by TurningPointPress.
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I read this beautiful book from cover to cover in one sitting and couldn't put it down. It is a true story and I remember very well when it all happened. Not only does this book evoke everyone's own personal memories of Radio City Music Hall, it reveals for the very first time the actual behind-the-scenes story of Rosemary Novellino-Mearns, who led the valiant fight by the Showpeople's Committee To Save Radio City Music Hall from almost certain demolition in 1978. There were many roadblocks along the way, but ultimately, the Music Hall was declared first a New York City landmark, then a New York State Landmark and finally a National Landmark which guaranteed this iconic theatre's survival. This would not have happened without Rosemary's efforts. The book also includes some informative history of the Music Hall and its resident Ballet Company; descriptions of the Great Stage's unique effects; pictures of onstage performances and backstage activity; as well as a detailed listing of every motion picture and stage show that played in the theatre up until 1979, when the movie and stage show format ended; and of course, a history of the Rockettes. Today, Radio City Music Hall continues to present outstanding shows featuring the Rockettes and Guest Artists, and it is also the prime New York City venue for concerts and other events. Every theatre has an angel, but Rosemary Novellino-Mearns is Radio City Music Hall's Archangel!