Stars on Ice
Kurt List

Scott Hamilton and Friends

First Union Center, Philadelphia, PA, Oct. 23, 2002

written by Hoo

Once again I'm a few days late, but better late then never I suppose. As usual I was taking photographs so this is al from memory, no notes. Any mistakes in description or order of events are entirely by accident. Others may feel free to post this review to other lists so long as my name and email remain with it and you just let me know where you sent it.

Overall I went into this show not expecting too much but was wonderfully surprised. I really think this was one of the best shows I've seen in a while. Scott mentioned taking this on the road, and if this is what he's going to take on the road in Feb then it's definitely something I encourage people to see (of course the cast would be different, but it was a nice concept for the group numbers). It was also the night for leather with all the group numbers featuring leather pants or skirts. As I'm a fan of mens skating this was definitely a fine thing by me . All the music was live which was a nice touch (though I could have done without the singing/playing and no skating. The show also looked pretty put together for a one-off event. Steven later said they'd been having 12 hour rehearsal days since Monday and has even been at the rink at 9am on Wed!

Opening: Costumes were the red shiny leather and suede pants from last years SOI. Shirts were tight black t-shirts with silver threading and either horizontal or red swizzly stripes. The number featured quite a bit of dancing.

Steven Cousins - "I Love Women & Women Love Me"
Now if there was ever a song that was fitted for a skater, this was it . Steven stayed in the costume from the opening number. It was "classic Steven" with lots of audience flirting in the program. But he backed it up with the tricks including 2lutz, 3toe, 3salchow, spins and some really spiffy Russian splits. It was a very fun program :) Music by Jack Mac & The Heart Attack.

Next Scott introduced Susan Anton who sang "How Sweet It Is" while walking around the front row seats.

Yuka Sato - "Color of Roses"
Yuka skated to Susan's singing and this was a lovely performance of a program that's become something of a signature program for her. It was beautiful with lots of nice edgework and some double axels.

Roca & Sur - "Heatbreaker"
To live music by Jack Mac, Rene & Gorsha pulled out their SOI number from a few years ago. It was a fun high energy number and I'm really impressed by them considering they aren't really performing much anymore. Lots of nice lifts and carries.

Rory Burghardt - Not much to say about this rather unimpressive program. The only thing was she seemed a little better than she was in L.A. last month.

Hamilton - "With One More Look At You"
With Gary Morris looking rather ridiculous in a full length fur coat Scott performed this trademark number. It was a nice enough performance of it. It's honestly hard for me to review it because I'm not much of a Scotty fan so his programs tend to disappear from my mind not too long after I've seen them. He did manage a nice 3toe and 3salchow. It was followed by a solo number by Morris.

Meno & Sand - "You Can Leave Your Hat On"
This was a very cute playful sexy number from them and it was performed really well. They had a slight problem on one overhead where Todd's hand slipped on her skirt but thankfully he got her down ok. Nice stag carry lift though. It was a program with some nice personality which is an area they've definitely improved in since going pro.

Todd Eldredge - "Whiter Shade of Pale"
Skating to live music from Jack Mac, this was a stunning performance by Todd. It was very different from his usual program setup with much more footwork and interesting moves that flowed across the ice. It was a more complicated program than I think I've ever seen from him and the moves just flowed from one to the other. He opened with a textbook 3loop and followed with both a 2axel and 3toe plus the usual compliment of spins. On an amusing note, while waiting for the show to start a friend and I were commenting about how Todd does such great edgework and that wouldn't it be great to see him start a program with a figure? And imagine our surprise when Todd comes out and starts his program with a nice figure (I was at the other end of the rink but it looked similar to a back paragraph loop that I've seen before, but I could be very wrong on that!). It's too bad figures have become something of a lost art as just watching Todd control those really deep edges was just stunning. Costume was his dark brown leather pants and a long sleeve shimmery copper shirt (actually Kurt's from the SOI Strobes Nanfusi opening 3 years ago). I can only hope that Todd picks this for one of his SOI programs - it's definitely one of his best ever programs!

Kurt Browning ' Sex Machine"
I unfortunately missed much of the beginning of this program as I was arguing with one of the security people about my camera, but the second half looked good. Definitely a high energy fun number from Kurt.


Ensemble- ??
The second half opened with Jack Mac and Co. playing some high energy tune and they were later joined by the rest of the cast. Men were in black leather pants and solid colored t-shirts (red for Steven, lime for Todd, hot pink for Gorsha, orange for Kurt) and the women in leather pants and tank top shirts. Quite honestly I don't remember much about the choreography but *imho* those costumes were definitely a hit in my book - the men looked great! It looked like the skaters were having a lot of fun. The one really impressive move I remember was with Steven, Kurt and Roca doing a series of back spirals together - very cool!

Sato & Dungen - "Since I Fell For You"
While it was weird hearing a different arrangement of this tune (it's a long-time standard for Micky Dolenz so I've heard it more times than I can count), I think that this was one of the best programs yet for this team. They really seemed to connect as a pair with their moves. And Yuka had gorgeous extension on the overhead press lift.

Scott Hamilton - "??"
Sort of your typical 'goofy guy' skating program from Scott. remind me of "You Can Call Me Al" from SOI a few years ago. Lots of mugging to the audience and cute little footwork bits.

Next up was Gary Morris's son Matt who played the piano and sang.

Steven Cousins - "??"
*wow* and I do mean *WOW* This was a phenomenal program from Steven! It started with Matt playing and singing and after one verse Steven joined him on the ice. Think slow sultry sex appeal and you've got this program down. I love seeing the quieter side of Steven's skating as he does it so well (now if only SOI would let him do it on tour!). He had a nice series of russians followed by triple toes plus a 2flip and 2axel. Costume was stone-washed gray leather pants, black t-shirt and patterned red shirt worn open.

I also have to give real credit to Steven for the sheer number of programs he's got this year. he debuted one at Mariposa, two new ones at Ray Charles, two new ones at this show, one new one at Kurt's upcoming show and there's still the new one for SOI (I forget the title but it's a tune by David Byrne and Escape II). That's 7 new programs just this season! And the 4 I've seen so far have been really great and full of details.

Ruh - "Without You"
Ruh came out in a skin tight lyrca irredescent purple body suit which of course made her spins really effective. I have to agree with others though that her spins definitely seemed slower. Still miles faster than other skaters but on the slow side for Lucinda though. She did manage a double toe plus a nice spiral in the program too.

Roca & Sur / Meno & Sand - "Proud Mary"
This was a fantastic duo number with some real high energy music. There were several instances of each team doing the same lift which were both pairs and dance lifts so it was nice to see dancers doing pair moves and vice versa. There was also some partner swapping going on and I have to say that Gorsha and Meno made an excellent combination. Very fun number though at times it was hard to decide which pairing to watch.

Browning - "Bring Him Home"
You knew with Gary Morris being here that Kurt would end up doing this number and since it's a beautiful one there were no complaints by me. Kurt joined Gary partway into the song so it wasn't the full version but it was still excellent. Kurt does slow and steady so well it was a joy to watch. ANd the long forward spiral is just breathtaking.

Todd Eldredge - "Drums"
This program was definitely another departure from Todd's usual style. Accompanied only by the drummer from Jack Mac, Todd treated us to a program of footwork, footwork, footwork. The drum beat was more in the line of some improv playing and it looked like Todd was having a blast out there. There was an amusing moment in one of the sit spins where the drums just kept getting slower and slower (along with Todd's spin) til they finally stopped and todd fell over onto the ice - very funny! The varying percussions speeds gave some nice bits of fast vs. slow footwork but even the slow footwork was quite snappy. Todd was most definitely gasping for air at the end of the number - there weren't any breaks in it! Costume was black leather pants and the brown velour shirt.

Todd then stayed on the ice where he was joined by Steven Cousins for something of a mini Scott Hamilton love fest to introduce Scott's final performance. As you can guess I'm not one for the overdone 'we love scott' stuff that seems to happen at his shows.

Scott Hamilton - "??"
Scott came out for a short solo number that basically previewed the finale.. Some high energy footwork plus three backflips.

Finale - "Land of 1000 Dances""
A nice high energy finale finished off the show. Costumes were black leather pants and gold and black sparkly shirts. It had lots of skaters doing various tricks around the ice. Todd landed a gorgeous 3axel and Steven had some nice Russians. The skatrers also had the fans up and dancing along for the last bit of the finale and all the skaters seemed to be having a lot of fun out there.

It was definitely a great show, and I can only hope that the broadcast does it justice. :)