Stars on Ice Review - Anaheim and San Diego, CA -
Jan. 20-21, 2001
written by Anne
First of all, I have to say that I was really impressed with the
show. I enjoyed this so much! More, I think than last year! It was
really neat to go to Anaheim, be on a high from that and then see it
again the next night in SD. Since the performances were so close, I'm
going to talk mostly about Anaheim and refer to San Diego is there was
Here I go: Act I
Let's get it on: Wow! definitely different than what I was expecting
but great energy. Everyone looked great, I really loved the costumes
this year. I usually miss the opening as a whole because I am too busy
I feel good: Since this is a Kurt list I won't applogise too
profusely about this review being Kurt-centric...but I would have loved
to see Kurt do this routine. I think Scott did a great job but I think
Kurt, or Scott in a younger day would have realized the energy better.
It was fun though.
2000-reach for the stars: Gorgeous! The choreography was simple and
elegant, a lot of edges. Remindes me of all the things I love about
figure skating. In SD Kurt had a wonky landing to, I think, triple
salchow and he shrugged his shoulders saying "oops!" It was cute.
Higher/Desert Rose/Driven: As much as I love Steven's personality, I
really don't care for his skating. He doubled almost every jump, and
after seeing Kurt, I want to see clean lines. I think the song suits
him though, his skating just needs to come up to the level of the song.
I also did not care for this program for Kristi. After the fist pumping
of last year, Desert Rose seems to be the middle eastern equivalent.
Awesome costume and great jumps though. Her triple lutz and flip were
my favorite parts of the program! I think she is better suited for
stronger movements cause I loved Let 'er Rip! Drive/driven was ok.
Double Bogey Blues/ Everything must change- Great Scott number! He
landed the triple lutz in Anaheim and it was huge! Loved the backflip
at the end. Ok so its really cheesy and crowdpleasing, but its Scott!
Some nice double axels too. Roca and Sur- I have gotten to appreciate
ice dance more and more and it is because of these two. They are just
so smooth and elegant. Beautiful lifts.
Nyah - Kurt!!!!! Ok, I may be the only one out there, but I wasn't
too thrilled with this program. Yes, Kurt looks absolutely awesome and
performs with incredible intensity but I really feel that this is a case
where dance movement does not complement skating. Kurt's movements are
wonderful to watch, but he was dancing so much that I wished he could
have taken off his skates and just danced full out or that he would
skate! If anyone has seen a coda to a ballet where the male dancer goes
all out, that is what I wanted to see, but translated into skating. I
really wanted Kurt to move more because one thing skaters have that
dancers don't is speed. I don't think his choreographer may have
understood skating well enough to put that into Kurt's feet. I loved
the opening, very dramatic. The audience in both places didn't know
exactly what to think of Nyah . I think its because with such a
dramatic start, the program never quite builds enough energy
choreographically for the audience to realize the absolutely amazing
straightline footwork is the end. I think this program, while it didn't
do much for me live, I think it will translate very well to tv. An
awesome idea for Kurt, but I don't think it was fully realized. Wished
he would have worked also with Chris Dean on this one. Watching Kurt's
feet makes me wonder if Kurt could ever do ice dancing. He has the most
amazing edge control!
Dance with me/tunnel vision- I am not a fan of Tara's but I enjoyed
it. Her dress was gorgeous! I think Sandra choreographed a great
number that suits Tara really well this year. Tara impressed me this
year too with how well she performed this. She danced as she skated
instead of the stand and pose thing from last year. She looked like she
was having fun. Tunnel vision was really cute. Big surprise in Todd
"the Sandman". I was laughing so hard my stomach hurt! Same when Denis
and Scott came out! Wished Kurt would have said more! In SD Jenni's
hair got so big it kept falling in front of her face. Great number. I
hope they have more group numbers like this next year!
I have to mention a bit of the off-ice adventure that occured in SD!
Getting to Anaheim and seeing the show was fine. Had 13th row seats and
had a great time. San Diego was another story. Drove to my parents
house in SD, met my friend there at 3. Get lost trying to get her
stepsister to her house (nearly an hour lost). Get lost again 15 min
away from stepsisters house. Grab Chinese food to eat in the car, head
for the sports arena and we hit traffic at a standstill. Decide to take
side streets not having a map but praying we won't get lost, we end
up...on the other side of the arena!!!!!!another line, but not as long
until we notice we could part on the street so we try it. End up
spilling soymilk all over the car in the attempt to parallel park, we
get back into line, spy another space, park in there and then tear down
the street (we are a block away from the parking lot) towards the arena.
Did I tell you it was only 10 til when we first hit the standstill
SO, by the time we get inside, we are nearly 30 minutes late but it
turns out we only missed the opening. By the time we are settled, I
notice there are 3 on ice seats that are empty. We scream our heads off
the whole first half. Then...at intermission we nonchalantly stroll
over to those seats and sit down. I was shaking I was so excited!
Yayyyyy! This makes up for the 4 hours of craziness that preceded the
show! It is amazing to be up that close.
Both sides now- I really loved this one as well. It was strange to
see Jenni with out Todd but it was wonderful to see Denis partnering
them both. I have to say I think Jef Billings outdid himself this year.
Kristi and Jenni were in soft pastels and Denis was in charcoal grey. A
really soft and lovely program. I also really enjoyed seeing Kristi do
pairs. This was a creative way to use Denis and highlight Jenni and
Chairmen - And it gets better! Oh THIS was COOL. Chris Dean is a
genius! I could see why in practice this wouldn't have looked like much
but with the lights, costumes and music the whole effect was really
striking. I also could not believe it when they spun on their chairs in
unison rates of speed in Anaheim. It wasn't that way in SD which makes
me think that Anaheim was a fluke? Anyway, great program!
Moanin' - ok the show really dropped for me at this point. Another
program that I wished Kurt would've done - especially because I love
this piece of music. I think Tara and Ilia did well but he didn't seem
very interested in skating with Tara. It was a cute segueway from the
chairpiece to this one with Tara taking off Ilia's jacket. (Anyone
think Gary Beacom when they saw this? or for that matter, Kurt in
Bedlam Ballroom?) There wasn't much connection between the two so the
choreography fell kind of flat. I also didn't think sophisticated jazz
suited either of them.
Take my Hand - YUKA!!! I really really hope she gets invited back to
the tour. She is such a quality skater and she has such a joyful
presence on the ice. I saw Jason in the corner videotaping her program.
Her edges really are that soft and she looked like she was floating. I
am so glad I got a chance to see her live. Fell on triple toe loop in
SD. I think SD was a hard show for most of the cast, Kurt included.
Steven mentioned that Anaheim was a huge high and that people were tired
the next night in his diary entry. That accounted for some of the
popped jumps and falls at SD. But he said we were LOUD =)
Don't Fence me in - I couldn't belive I was sitting so close to Kurt
skating!!!!!!!!! I really didn't like this program when I saw it on
tv. but in Anaheim I enjoyed it because of his energy. In Anaheim, he
nailed everything: half salchows into 3sal, toe loop combo, and a HUGE,
HUGE 3AXEL!!! I never knew how high his jumps were until I saw them up
close. He really gets air! His 2axels at the end of the program were
great also. Makes me proud he is my favorite skater! He can be
amazingly artistic and can still really jump! In SD, he missed the
axel, and the energy was a little different. What surprised me is how
angry he looked after the jump. He started to tilt in the air so he
kind of fell out of the jump and had to catch himself on two feet. He
must of been really pissed to have it show on his face so much. A fun
Let 'er Rip/Sin wagon - Loved this for Kristi! Costume was perfect
for her, white cowboy outfit complete with fringe gloves! I didn't get
to watch that much in SD because Kurt moseyed down the edge of the ice
while she skated and ended up right in front of me and my friend!!!!
Picture the "deer in headlights" look and that is what my face probably
looked like. My heart was pounding so hard! Now I know if I ever met
him that someone is going to have to talk to him for me because I won't
be able to. Eeek! Sin Wagon was cute. When I first saw the outfits I
couldn't help thinking they looked like cowboy M&M's. Hope Kurt tries
more choreography. This was a cute start!
Rockit - Have to give it up to Ilia for being inventive. Looks like
someone has been taking hip hop classes while he has been in L.A.! He
also landed all his jumps - which I was glad since when he performed
this program on tv, he couldn't land anything. Funny note, I don't
think Jason filmed this one! (Maybe he did but I didn't see him
Tiny dancer/ Can't make you love me - Tara being tara. She performed
well, but not being a Tara fan it takes a lot to impress me (though I
loved her second element program from last season.) I didn't care for
this one- I was much more interested in watching steven cousins in the
tunnel area. Jenni and Todd were beautiful. My only comment is that
Todd looks terrible in pink. I couldn't get that preppy nerdy image out
of my head while they were skating.
My way - Scott being Scott! Great balance by having some elegant
skating then switching to all the funny stuff. A really great farewell
number. Though he will be missed, I think it was a really wise decision
for him to retire. Last year's Don Q was funny, but his skating skills
were not up to the other skaters. Scott is a legend, but I still pay to
see great skating. This was a great program for him to say goodbye.
Always - for some reason, this finale almost made me cry. I guess
because it is such a transition for SOI. Gorgeous costumes. I think
this year the numbers had so much more flow and grace to them in
comparison to the high energy techno from last year. Kristi was
beautiful in her solo skated to Scott and that set the tone for the rest
of the finale. It made it also very personal and I felt included as an
audience member as Scott said goodbye to all the skaters. The choice of
music was excellent and the pacing of the end was wonderful. We were
really ready to give the standing O that this show deserved. I also
think they need to keep this lighting designer. The look was a little
different than last year and I think for the better. The lighting
really well designed and supported the mood of all the skating.
That was such a great experience! I think because of Scott leaving,
this was one of the most focused shows I have seen themewise. The arc
and pacing of the whole performance was so well done. Kudos to Sandra
and Michael for directing such a great show! If I seemed a little
critical, I apologise. I am a dance major who is planning to get an MFA
in Choreograhy AND I just did my light crew so I paid more attention to
the technical aspects (like lights!)