Photos thanks to © Adam & Devon Stein
I've been taking my daughter to Stars on Ice shows since she was four and she just turned twenty. We haven't gone for a couple of years but this was an Olympic year so we thought we'd go. Unfortunately, a lot of the Olympians we wanted to see were not at this show - Evan Lysacek was not there - off dancing at Dancing with the stars...I wanted to see Gold Pairs Shen & Zhao but they were not there. In fact, the only pairs in the show was a guest appearance by National silver medalists, Mark Ladwig & Amanda Evora
Also gone are the days of the amazing ensemble numbers that really made Stars on Ice stand out from the other skating shows. This show resembled more the old Champions on Ice tour, where you never were sure which skater would be at your venue and they would pretty much just do a scaled back version of their competition program and exhibition program.
So here's a rundown of the numbers - Opening number with the entire cast to "The Best of Times by Dream Theater. Great costumes. Stars on Ice has always had the best costumes. Jef Billings has been doing that forever and he's great. He used to design all of Scott Hamilton's wonderful costumes.
Then a special guest appearance by 2010 US bronze ice dancers Emily Samuelson & Evan Bates. They did their original dance to a Dixie Chick's medley. I didn't care for their OD so much when I saw it on TV - partly because I was SO tired of all the cowboy music but to see it live - it's a very good dance - and it was entertaining.
Jeremy Abbott skated to his freestyle program "Symphony #3" (Camille Saint-Saens) - He's a beautiful skater but he really struggled with his jumps--like at the Olympics and the Worlds. I suppose he needs to go for the jumps on the tour but really if I come to a skating show and you can't land a triple axel I would prefer that you not even try. As my daughter said, he really doesn't need to jump to perform a beautiful program.
Alissa Cizney "You'll Never Walk Alone" Barbra Streisand. We used to call these kinds of numbers GFBs - Generic Female Ballads. She could be a lovely skater but she really needs to hold her positions longer. There was kind of a juniorish skating quality to this number.
Todd Eldridge "I Want you to Want Me" Cheap trick --very high energy --good program, solid skating. He's come a long way in being an entertaining skater and moving past skating to opera.
Sasha skated her Carmen number which she used this year to try to make the Olympic team. I suppose if anybody is going to skate to Carmen Sasha can pull it off - but I got Carmened out this season.
Meryl Davis & Charlie White did their WONDERFUL and enchanting Original Dance to Indian Folk Music. This is a wonderful dance, very creative, takes authentic Indian dance moves to the ice. I was very happy to be able to see this live.
Micheal Weiss - I never cared much for Micheal Weiss as a skater. I thought his skating was too minimalist and he mugged too much as a pro. HOWEVER...he has grown on me. I really liked him in this show. He skated with a lot of energy and was very much a crowd pleaser. I think he realized that as the least decorated man in the cast he needed to protect his spot by being entertaining and he has succeeded. He skated a number he created at Ice Improv and liked it so well he kept it.
"It Don't Mean a Thing" - Cute jazzy number by Yuka Sato. She won the world championships in 1994 and is still skating well.
Flower Duet with Sasha and Alissna...both lovely skaters but this just wasn't a very creative use of them. I blame the choreography. And between the Y spirals and Charlottes - just WAY too much crotch...
There was a cast ensemble number to a variety of hip-hop music that was pretty good...but a little long. Could be I'm just getting too old for that music.
Act II - Jeremy, Todd, Yuka and Micheal did a little bit of "add on" - which delighted my daughter since she's done this in Moves and Power classes --one person does a move, the next person does that move and then adds something - then the next person does the two moves and adds on and so forth...
"If it Kills Me' Jason Miraz - cute number by Belbin & Agosto that involved a lot of creative costume changes on ice.
Beautiful Number to "Claire de Lune" which was a tribute to just pure skating by Yuka Sato. She is called the "Skater's skater" because she does things only someone who skates can appreciate.
Jeremy Abbott skated to "At this Moment" by Michael Buble - great number for him ...I don't know if he has nerve problems or needs a jump coach..but he has got to get his jumps more consistent.
Alissa then breaks out of her pretty mold with "I like the Way" by bodyrockers.
Another high energy program by Micheal Weiss to "Keep your hands to yourself"
At some point, I can't remember-- there was this adorable short yodeling number by the girl skaters with these elaborate costumes that seemed to just introduce another skater. I liked it. Would have liked to have seen more.
"Brave" - an ensemble with the four dancers - Tanith, Meryl, Ben, and Charlie. Again I was disappointed with the choreography. I think they could have done so much more creatively with these wonderful dancers.
Todd Eldridge "Don't Let the Sun go Down on Me" by Elton John. Sorry. I still think of Kurt Browning's number to this.
Sasha closed the how with Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" that was just gorgeous. Really beautiful.
And a closing number to "I've Got the Music in Me"
All in all, not the Stars on Ice I remember but I must accept those days are over. I wish they would get some more creative choreographers. Maybe persuade Christopher Dean to come back. Gone are the days when I would make the annual trek to see Stars on Ice, but I'll be back.