Fans of New York City's annual festive variety show at Radio City Music Hall have been left devastated by a musicians' strike prompting show bosses to play pre-recorded music.

The song-and-dance Christmas Spectacular, which features dancers The Rockettes, has been a holiday season hit in the Big Apple for years but now devotees are upset because the show isn't live.

The musicians staged a one-day strike yesterday (02NOV05) over a contract dispute - forcing the cancellation of a dress rehearsal - and when they turned up for the first show today (03NOV05), Radio City Music Hall bosses told them not to bother and locked them out.

The musicians claim they have now agreed to the terms of the contract, but venue bosses insist they'll only let the members of the orchestra back in when there's a signed contract.