Hamilton Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr., Rise and Moana star Auli’i Cravalho, Harry Connick Jr., and Jennifer Nettles (Broadway's Chicago, Mamma Mia! at the Hollywood Bowl) are featured in NBC's annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center, which airs November 29 at 8 PM ET.
Today anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker as well as NBC Nightly News' Lester Holt host the holiday special. (Prior to the primetime telecast, an additional live hour will be broadcast on select NBC stations beginning at 7 PM ET.)
Also set to perform on the hour-long program are Seal and Train, Brett Eldridge, Pentatonix, Gwen Stefani, and The Tenors.
The 85th annual holiday special celebrates the lighting of a 75-foot tall, 50-foot wide Norway Spruce from State College, Pennsylvania. It will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored LEDs and will be topped with a Swarovski star made up of 25,000 crystals and one million facets.
The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to the Great Depression. First erected in 1933, the inaugural tree was decked with 700 lights and placed in front of the then eight-month-old RCA Building (the current GE Building). The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating pond.
NBC televised the tree lighting for the first time in 1951 on The Kate Smith Show and as part of the nationwide Howdy Doody television show from 1953-55.