Radio City Music Hall attorneys send Wanzie cease and desist over “Christmas Spectacular”

Radio City Music Hall attorneys send Wanzie cease and desist over “Christmas Spectacular”

When one sits in Parliament House’s Footlight Theatre and watches The Orange Blossom Trail Living Nativity Christmas Spectacular, featuring Blue Star’s naughty angel, a drag Joan Collins and three wise men pulled from the audience, usually still clutching their cocktails on stage… well. It is almost exactly being in New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, watching their annual Christmas Spectacular.

Except not at all. Too bad Radio City’s attorneys don’t agree, as they’ve sent Watermark columnist and Orange Blossom Trail Living Nativity Christmas Spectacular creator Michael Wanzie a cease and desist letter. 

At odds is the phrase “Christmas Spectacular,” which Radio City Music Hall has trademarked.

Wanzie says it best:

OMG – I just opened a letter from a New York law office and I am stunned and tickled. Apparently our annual Christmas Show at the Footlight Theatre at The Parliament House may adversely affect Radio City Music Hall! Ha ha ha. So here’s what the it says –
“Dear. Mr. Wanzie, we are writing on behalf of our client Radio City Music Hall…to amicably resolve Radio City’s concerns regarding your use of “CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR” in promotion of “ORANGE BLOSSOM TRAIL “LIVING NATIVITY” CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR… It just came to Radio City’s attention that you are using “CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR” as part of a show name to promote a holiday-themed show, as shown in advertisements on your website http;//

As you probably know the title of Radio City’s signature show is CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR…The CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR mark is protected by U.S. Trademark Registrations… that protection is incontestable.

We are concerned that any further use of CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR by you may adversely affect Radio City’s rights in its valuable mark by causing confusion with or diluting the Radio City mark. Consumers who see advertisements for other CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR shows may no longer associate CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR exclusively with Radio City…please confirm at your earliest convenience that you will use another name for your show”

I can’t stop laughing.

For comparison, Wanzie posted the following two photos:



Ah, yes. They look so similar to each other, we can see why the New York lawyers are concerned.

Wanzie responded:

I am concerned that the enforcement of this issue is suspiciously selective. How is it that my world renowned neighbor down the street – Walt Disney World – had been permitted to present its “Sparkling Christmas Spectacular” – their highly publicized, annual “Holiday-Themed” show containing the words “Christmas Spectacular” in the actual show title – a show promoted in collateral around the world and performed on their Castle Forecourt Stage for hundreds of thousands of visitors each and every year for over 30 years – without your client raising a concern? Why is it Disney can obviously use the term CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR in the title and promotion of its holiday-themed show for all those years without reprisal but my little show, performed for a few hundred people annually at a place most of the world has never even heard of is somehow at issue?

I would assert that my show is a Parody of elements of both Disney and Rado City Music Hall shows, which I believe should afford my some legal latitude no differently than if SNL were doing a spoof on Saturday Night.

I can assure you there is no confusion in the local marketplace between my little skit and any Radio City Music Hall production.

And he added that he, “would really rather not have to change the title of my PARODY production.”

In the discussion about the letter, Wanzie mentioned that this is his third cease and desist letter from a NY law firm about a Footlight show.

Well, we’ve always said Orlando theater is a force to be reckoned with, and now I guess we have the legally-binding proof. We’ll keep you updated if Wanzie receives a response!

More in Overheard

See More