) plus some tables and chairs.
Club regulars and basic background scenery were some folks from the
ballet. What was interesting was during the show there were always
skaters sitting at those tables watching the performance. They were in
character to some extent as club regulars and would applaud or cheer on
their fellow skaters and sometimes even interact with them on that end.
It was an interesting set up and allowed for some nice flow for the
The show actually started with Kurt on the microphone and bringing
out the skaters in their warm-up gear to do their pre-shwo warmup in front
of the audience. He intro'd each skater and made comments about their
career or skating. I remember that for B&K he asked "how many Canadian
titles does it take to make a World Champion?" The skaters were doing
just basic warmup work - stroking and the ocassional jump or footwork.
It also allowed Kurt to explain his theme for the show where once the
warmup was over the skaters would now only be appearing as their
'characters' for the rest of the show. He spoke of how Chez Shae's was
the coolest and hippest club in town that just everyone wanted to get
Opening - "Got That Swing" at Chez Shae's
The program opens with Todd as 'Big Daddy' the guy on the doors
checking each person's name off the list as they enter the club. The
voice-over told a bit about each character as they entered. Shaw & Vic
were the club owners, Kurt was the party guy, Jen was the single girl,
etc. Costumes were variations of gray for the men with shirts and
suspenders or shirts and sweater-vests and the like. Todd had on a 3/4
leather jacket and Boitano might have had on his suit at this point -
dont' quite remember. The girls were in a variety of pale blue and purple
dresses with white polka-dots. All were Jef Billings outfits and they
looked great. It was a fun swing opening with each team/soloist having
highlight tricks and the like.
Robinson - "Tangosain"
As the single girl Jen gets pushed out onto the 'dance floor' to
strut her stuff to this tango themed program. She did a good job with it
and I think it might have been a bit faster than the version skated at
Dreams - at least the footwork seemed a bit crisper.
Bourne & Kraatz - "Sway" (with Buble live)
For some reason I am drawing a complete blank on this program
other than remembering that I really enjoyed it. Seemed to be a good
program for them - wish the details weren't escaping me!
Eldredge - "Transition"
This was a program that was your basic short program routine
(turns out it was music from a previous season that got switched out for
another choice) so it had the usual 3axel, 3lutz and 2axel. There was
something about this program that was just not workable - I think it was
that the music didn't seem to build or go anywhere. But that being said
it did feature some nice skating along with the solid jumps and of course
Todd's fantastic spinning! Costume was the black and red one from "Carmina
Meno & Sand - "I'm Your Man"
I loved this program from the first moment I saw it and it's only
gotten better with time. They both really play the quirky couple so well
and it's nice to see a program that shows off this side of their
personalities. The program stars similar to SOI with Jeni trying to give
the rose to Todd and then to audience members. Unfortunately Jeni took a
tumble on the throw but nailed it one time out in the re-takes.
Brasseur & Eisler - "Friend To Me"
A good version of this program from them, nothing too different
from previous performances.
Boitano - "Summer Wind" (with Buble live)
For this number Buble was out on a small platform near center ice
so that Brian could skate around him. This is a nice program for Brian
and thankfully Buble's version is different enough that it doesn't make me
instantly think of Orser's version 2 years ago :) Boitano was wearing
burgundy pants and burgundy striped shirt. Brian's jumps looked really
solid and he had some excellent flow over the ice.
Browning - "Moondance" (with Buble live)
For Kurt's number Buble moved back to the end of the ice.
Unfortunately this is another program that I'm drawing blanks on the
specifics of (every time I try and run the music through my head to job my
memory, Brian Orser's version keeps popping in). I do remember enjoying
Liu - "El Duentde"
I've never seen David live and this was quite a treat. The
program was in no-way your typical skating program and was more about the
dance movement. Lots of interesting positions that were carried from the
skate blade all the way out to the tip of his fingers. Really
Robinson - "Teach Me Tiger5 / One Mint Julip"
This was a much better performance than at Dreams two weeks ago -
Jen seemed really relaxed and into the program. She botched her lutz but
it didn't really effect the program. This is a cute number for her.
Meno & Sand - "Makin' Whooppee"
This isn't one of my favorite numbers from this team, but it could
be because I just really can't stand this particular song. It was however
much better performed than when I saw it at Improv so long ago.
Bourne & Kraatz - "Mac the Knife"
I can still remember the first few times I saw this program that I
thought it had sero personality which I thought odd considering the
performers. But the past 2 times I've really enjoyed this program and
this one was another great performance. It's almost like they're really
finding the characters in this dance. Shae and Vic complement each other
and go for an amusing type of sexuality which just hits the note perfectly
for this music. Some wonderful lifts and turns in it.
Bourne, Robinson, Meno, Eldredge - "Fever" (with Buble live)
Kudos go to Buble for this, who not only sang, but sang while he
skated along in hockey skates! The number heavily features Shae in her
red sequined dress who basically skates around and in front of Buble for
the entire number. She was the epitome of sexuality in this number! And
combined with Buble's rolling vocals it was really effective. For the
first part Jen and Jenni were almost just skating props as they skated
behind Buble and Shae but they were later joined by Todd to do some
skating with him for the end of the number. But Shae really stole the
whole number - she was electric.
Brasseur & Eisler - "In The Middle"
A great high energy number from this team and they were really on
tonight. Nothing too different from my previous reviews.
Boitano - "Hernando's Hideaway"
This was a fantastic program from Brian and even though it did
have both hat and cigar props, they were used so well that they didn't
jump out at you as "stop for prop moment." I believe it was this number
that had Brian do what looked like a 3toe-3toe-2loop combo in the corner
(it was a little blocked for me so I can't be positive). It's rare that
Brian does a piece that's very character driven and you can tell he put a
lot of effort into making this one work well. Excellent performance!
Browning - "Swingin'"
Vintage Kurt here with all kinds of interesting footwork and
styles of movement. This was another Roberto Camponelli number and it was
excellent! The turns within the footwork looked really tricky and I
cannot wait to see this again where I can rewind the tape and really take
in some of the movement.
Eldredge - "When You Come Back To Me"
Wow! When I first heard that Todd was skating to Garth Brooks I
kind of wondered just how good it would be since I don't think of Todd for
the choice of country. But it was more of a ballad than a what I would
think of as 'typical' Garth rockin' country with lyrics about being the
lighthouse and waiting. It was very lyrical and moving. Todd also has a
new costume that are black pants with a shaded blue/teal shirt with some
sort of black overlay and shine to it. The program was something of a
throwback nature with partial figures or figure like elements to it.
While it didn't break any stunning new ground for Todd, I think it's one
of his better programs in recent years and I do hope we see it again.
Jumps were spot on including a huge triple axel
Browning & Boitano - "Pachuko" into "Topsey"
When I first heard of a Kurt and Brian duet I really wondered how
the heck it would come out as here are two skaters with completely
different styles and range of motion. But It came out fantastic and
really was the highlight of the show. It starts with Kurt doing about a
minute of "Pachuko" complete with high energy footwork, lunges and these
twisting on-ice roll/lunge things - very cool! As that music switches to
"Topsey" Boitano slowly getting up from his chair (still in full suit with
hat) and approaching Browning. The idea is sort of as Boitano is the ultra
cool guy who's slow and smooth compared to Kurt's high energy 'trying to
be the cool guy' performance. It's sort of a duel of skating with each
doing the same sort of move with their own spin on it. One section has
them each doing squat spread eagles from opposite diagonal corners and
then doing a 180 leap/turn as they pass at center ice (think chicken on
skates). They also had syncronized double axels and death drops. The
program really just was fabulous! And since Boitano sort of stumbled on
his double axel (well, more of landing it at a dead stop) they had to
retake it and opted to retake it from the very top so the audience got two
full versions of it which was a real treat!
Finale - "Bill's Bounce"
The rest of the cast then joins the ice for the finale. It
featured the various skaters dancing around the outside with each skater
going to center ice for a trick plus some great unison footwork sequences
up and down the ice. It was a great high energy end to the show.
During retakes while Roz was getting those all important
'crowd-shots' she took a moment to point out Steven and Christine and say
that they got married recently and have them take a bow. No idea if they
did as they were on the other side of the camera from my spot but it was a
nice touch. Steven was also present at the reception afterward and was
signing autographs for quite a few people who knew who he was. Very cute
:) Oh, and he says one of the pieces he'll skate at Kristi's show in
November is by Bruce Springstein.
Kurt hosted much of the retakes and there were quite a few but
just about every one was a one-take deal so it went pretty quickly. There
were some amusing moments though that included Kurt singing part of "Piano
Man" to kill some time. He also goofed around on the ice and did a
somersualt that got his shirt really wet so when it came time for his and
Boitano's retake he had to go be blown dry to match the first version.
Kurt as always did a good job of thanking the folks at Smuckers and all
their other sponsors for making the show possible and getting a round of
applause for Leanne Miller's choreography.