Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team

Chrysler Stars on Ice Review - Toronto & Hamilton, ON - Apr. 21-22, 2000

written by Denise

Just one thing.....I don't mean to offend anyone, but I'm not a Tara fan and I really didn't pay all that much attention to her programs this year. That includes the duet w/Kurt. So, as I said....No offense, but there won't be much mention of Tara here.

Okay....Here we go...... :o)

Kurt as Raggy started things off. What a ham!! As most of you know, he either rearranges the on ice seating or chooses a child to banter w/or both!! How he can go out on the ice w/his skate guards on and not kill himself is something I'd love to know. All his little yipes and various bits of Raggy-nese were a wonderful addition to the character. Kurt/Raggy did eventually get out to his bag, opened it and the show began.

I loved the Opening number!!! Great energy and music. Stand out moments for me was Brian Orser's footwork in several parts and when Victor came out w/that flying footwork to join Shae at that one part. Much better Opening than last year's.

Josee's My Drag was okay. She had a few bobbles on a couple of jumps and she seemed a like bit off. Then again, I don't think anything will compare to that wonderful version of this program at the Cdn Open. Still enjoyed the number though.

Brian's Summer Wind.....Sigh!!! :o) I loved this thing and wished I could have been able to watch it all over again as soon as it ended. I swear he wasn't skating out there, he was floating. This program is so smooth and lyrical....Vintage Brian Orser. Can't wait to see it again.

Lloyd and Isabelle's I'll Be Okay was heart tugging. It sounded very much like Goodbye and I had tears in my eyes at the end of it. Very tender and soft. Nicest surprise was the death spiral. They really do have a nice one and it was a joy to see again. Just a lovely, lovely program.

(I could be wrong here, because I don't remember if Kurt came out before Tara or vice versa...Regardless...)

Tara.....Genie In A Bottle....She did her lutz and other jumps. Other than that....Moving on.....

Kurt and Crash Into Me.....WOW!!! This program is w/out a doubt ooozing now. I loved this thing. It builds really well from a very soft subtle mood to the cresnendos at the end. Combine that w/the feeling Kurt puts into this program and you're sucked in from moment one. Those wonderful changes of edge in the footwork was stunning. I also thought like several others Kurt had fallen before going into a triple toe loop, but no.....It was all part of the program. How he can do that after having just hit the ice......The man is a master!! I also noticed Kurt's spins have picked up some speed since I saw him at the Cdn Open. There they were sllllllooooowww, here they had quite a bit more snap to them. That's the one thing I was wishing Kurt would really work on the last couple of years (along w/the triple axel, but we'll get to that in a bit.....) and it was great to see that speed back again. All in all, I loved Crash Into Me. I also loved the costume. Very simple, tasteful and as far as I was concerned.....far more sexy than watching a certain male skater take his shirt off at every chance when on the ice... ;o)

Then came Scotty and the start of Old Friends. Scott was very, *very* on in Toronto. When he landed his triple salchow in You Can Call Me Al, I let out the biggest yell of, "Yeah!!!". I know Scott's been having problems w/his jumps during the Cdn tour this year, so it was wonderful to see him so on in Toronto. Oh, and I've read a couple of reviews saying the crowd was dead at the ACC, well I'd really like to know what section they were in because it wasn't mine!! We sang along w/all of the Old Friends songs (W/the exception of Emily. Not that well known I guess.) and Play That Funky Music. Very fun section to be in!! :o)

Me & Julio was a little cluttered I thought. I know they were trying to get Brian in there somewhere, but it was a bit too many people. Even though I loved that one part where Brian and Scott did the footwork pass together. That was awesome to see, but I still thought there were too many people out there.

Cecilia was cute. I like Josee as Cecilia a bit more than Katia. Josee can pull off sweet, cute and adorable a bit more than Katia can. I loved watching Scott fall all over himself trying to get Josee's attention. This was a very adorable number.

The Sounds of Silence was okay. Some great pairs stuff from B&E and M&S. I just found it a bit hard to figure out who I should be watching. The Pairs or Scott.

Emily was lovely!! What a gorgeous number for Shae and Victor. Soft and beautiful. I also noticed that their speed has picked up. I *really* liked this number and watching those incredable, flowing edges.

Old Friends was very bittersweet. W/the very real possiblity of Isabelle and Lloyd and Scott not coming back next year......It was very bittersweet.

On to Act Two......

Luv Me, Luv Me....Was....Well.....There were parts I liked and parts I didn't......

Kurt sleeping on the couch was hysterical. I'm amazed he didn't hurt himself getting into some of those positions. Especially when he plopped over on the other side of the couch!! Steven and Lulu eventually came out and sat down w/Kurt behind them spying on them. At one point, Kurt did a "Tsk, tsk.." thing w/his fingers. LOL!!

Tara being chased by the guys...Moving on......

Steven's solo was great. I enjoyed It's About That Walk much more here than at the Cdn Open. Why!?! Because here I was able to see how this program fit in w/the entire number. Plus, that man can move. There's that smile of course....Oh that smile!!! :o)

Lulu was......Painful to watch I'm afraid. I *hate* seeing her do numbers like this. Give me the old Lulu anyday. She had a pretty bad fall on her salchow too. Sigh...... :o( Then the fighting over Steven started. That was so-so and I actually found myself watching Shae the most during all this. Now there is a girl who can *move*!!! She looked very natural doing the dance moves and steps. Lulu did not.

Josee and She. Beautiful!! As I was watching her through the viewfinder of my camera at the far end of the arena, all I could think was, "Now *there's* a spread eagle!!". I wish some coaches would show Josee doing spread eagles to some of the up and comers. Maybe then we wouldn't be treated to so many of the "butt" eagles that we seem to see now. As for the number....Sigh!! Very light and smooth. Gorgeous number and my kind of skating!!

Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing. I loved this thing when I saw it for the first time in December at the Cdn Open, but boy has it grown leaps and bounds since then!! Jenni and Todd look so into this number and very comfortable. Amazing throw double axel. They were the ones to get the crowd warmed up and noisy.

Kurt and Tara's duet.....I didn't have the "Ick" factor I had while watching the broadcast. On the other hand, I didn't feel anything at all while watching it. I really don't care for this thing. That has more to do w/the Tara factor than anything else. I ended up watching Kurt rather than Tara. He was excellent in this and very believable as a little boy w/a crush.

Shae and Victor's Mack The Knife.......I was amazed the ice was still frozen after it, because it was one steamy number. Suited them extremely well. Very sultry and sexy. I knew they had it in them!! Also loved the end when it looked like Shae was going to snap Victor's suspenders back on him and he got him arms through them first. Too cute!!

Brian's Ebbtide...What can I say that hasn't been said!?! I loved this thing in December and it was just as wonderful here. That backflip into triple toe is an amazing thing. He was the first skater to bring us to our feet. Well deserved too because he was truly breathtaking.

Isabelle and Lloyd's We Like To Party is their usual trick filled number and I was holding my breath during the entire thing thanks to Isabelle's condition. Thankfully, nothing happened...Although I could barely watch the headbanger they do. Once again, another standing O.

Tara's American Woman....Once again, moving on.......

Scott's Don Quioite was hysterical!!! He had us laughing and cheering the entire time. Amazing number live. He landed another triple salchow in it. Oh, and No, he did not do the Tarzan thing over my end of the ice. Not sure if this is a bad thing or a good thing. Going to miss him when he hangs up the blades.

Kurt...Kurt...Kurt....What can I say!?! Play That Funky Music...Well, if Brian, Isabelle and Lloyd and Scott cracked the supports of the roof of the ACC, Kurt blew it off. We were dancin and singin in our seats. ;o) He went for the triple axel, but turned into a sky high single instead. As soon as I saw that, I said to the person next to me, "He'll be back for the retakes.". More on that in a minute. It was wonderful to see PTFM again. This time though, Kurt looked much more comfortable w/the number and like he was having a blast......I know I was!! :o)

The Finale was great. I know some people have said they didn't care for it, but I did. Very high energy and everyone got their own chance to show their stuff. Then before we knew it, the show was over...or was it!?!

Scott took the mike and thanked us for coming. Then he asked us if we liked the number and then wanted to know if we would like to see it again? Turns out Scott missed a couple of steps, "and Shae laughed at me!!". LOL!! So, we got to see the Finale all over again. The footwork Scott, Brian and Kurt do in this thing is amazing.

After the redo of the Finale, Scott once again took the mike to give Kurt and Josee time to change costumes for the retakes. Just after he'd told us to stay in our seats because of the retakes, he asked the lighting director to bring up the house lights because, "It's been a couple of years since I've been here in Toronto, a lot has happened since then and I wanted a clear view of all of you. Let me tell you, the view out here is amazing.". The view of Scott from where I was sitting was pretty amazing too!! Then Scott said, "And all of you up there (Second Level seating) have a perfect view of my bright shiny little bald head.". LOL!!!

Then Scott asked if there were any Leafs fans in the audience. The response was deafening. Then Scott asked if we'd noticed the lines on the ice were gone? "The Senators are going to be so confused when they come in here tomorrow night. We've given the Leafs the advantage!!!". Needless to say, that got Scott a *very* loud response. :o)

By this time Kurt had changed back into his PTFM costume and was ready to go for that axel. He came so close that first time. Then for the next four or five tries, he either two footed it or flat out fell. Kurt came over and got the mike, then told us, "I'm going to try this thing one more time and if not, then I'll do a double. I know all of you want to go home, but Thank You *so* much for staying!!". He went for it and fell. Then tried the double and nearly wiped out on that. Kurt walked onto the boards on the ice, pulled a lady out of her seat and sat down. Like, "You go out there and do it.". Kurt gave her a hug before he stepped back out on the ice.

He came back for the mike and said, "My body's thinking triple, my mind's thinking double and the skates....wheehoo.... I'm going to try this one more time.". This time Kurt did the double and people went nuts thinking he'd done the triple instead. Kurt took the mike again and, "You people are so sweet. I've never gotten a standing ovation for a double axel before.". Kurt thanked us once again for sticking around and telling us, "You are the reason why Scott Hamilton loves to come to Canada, because you're such an amazing audience.". Kurt then introduced Josee so she could do her retakes and left the ice.

Josee came out and did her retakes for the bobbled jumps in My Drag in one try. She took the mike, told us that was it and Good Night. That wasn't the end of the show though....

Kurt came back and told us, "I'm in a bit of trouble back there, so I'm going to come back out and see if I can't get some magic going here.". Three more tries and Kurt kissed the ice w/all three. Back to the mike, "I can't believe this!! This has never happened to me during Stars On Ice before. Welcome to my nightmare. Thank you so much once again for staying". When Kurt said that I really wanted to yell out it was our pleasure. This little one off to my right side and down a couple of rows beat me to it..........In a way.

He/She yelled out, "You can do it Kurt!!". He turned around and replied, "Thanks Little One. Is that lamb for Good Luck?". I'm guessing he/she nodded his/her head because Kurt then pleaded, "Then for Gosh sakes, toss it down here.". The parents did and Kurt took it over to the spot where he kept missing the axel and proceeded to wipe the lamb's feet all over the spot. Kurt gave the stuffed animal to someone on the other side and the music for PTFM started up again. Wouldn't you know it......Triple axel. It was shaky, but it was there!! Back one last time for the mike, "For Kurt's safety, we're going to take that one.". Thanked us once again for staying and said, "See you next year.".

On to the Hamilton show where I had an incredable on ice seat, but I'm not going to do a number by number thing this time. Instead I'm only going to touch on a couple of things.

When Kurt did his Scooter thing, it was down my side of the ice. When Kurt did the first hop/it got stuck on something thing, it was right in front of me. When he looked down to see what the wheel got caught on, Kurt looked at me and winked!! Made my night!! I also could have sworn just before the start of the music for the Opening number while the lights were gradually coming up and the skaters were lining up, Kurt was looking straight at me and smiling. I only noticed Kurt looking at me after my eyes were finally able to adjust to the lighting and that was only for a minute or so, but I'm fairly certain. We have met a couple of times, so you never know........

Scott and Brian were a little bit off in Hamilton. Both had falls, but bounced back strongly in the Second Act. Jenni and Todd had a really weird fall in Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing. They were doing their side by side footwork and suddenly down went Jenni. Really took the wind out of her and she had to turn the throw double axel into a single.

During Crash Into Me, Kurt did his triple salchow right in front of me and he delayed that thing. It was a very shaky landing but he hung on to it. When he turned to go into the next part of footwork, Kurt had this wicked grin on his face, like he was thinking, "Boy, that was close.". Kurt also did one of the slides into "Crash" just two seats away from me. The look on his face was so mischevious. He really was having a blast during the Hamilton show.

Kurt didn't do the triple axel in Hamilton, but that didn't affect Play That Funky Music. In fact, I think it was even better in Hamilton than Toronto. At least the audience was because you could clearly hear everybody and I mean *everybody* singing along. In fact, at one point when Kurt was right in front of me, he held up a hand to his ear to try and get us to sing louder. It really was a party atmosphere and everyone was having a blast...Especially Kurt!!

During We Like To Party, Isabelle and Lloyd did their Chainsaw move right in front of me. All I could think was Isabelle is one fearless lady. Once again, I held my breath during this number due to Isabelle's pregnancy. Their first number is the only time during the show I wished I'd had my camera w/me. As Lloyd and Isabelle are heading to the bench, Lloyd kisses Isabelle's hand...You guessed it, right in front of me. It would have made for such a lovely and sweet picture. Oh well.....

At the end of the Finale, I knew I'd get to shake someone's hand, but little did I know it would be more than just some *one*. Todd came over and I thanked him for a great night. Then came along Josee, then Tara, then Lloyd. When Lloyd shook my hand and I thanked him, I could have sworn he did a I-know-this person-from-somewhere look. He looked puzzled and was looking at me very intensely. We've also met a couple of times and as I said before up above, you never know......

I also could have sworn a few times that Kurt, Scott, Lloyd and Isabelle and Brian kind of played to me when they were facing me. I had the biggest smile/grin on my face during the show and was so thrilled to be there. Especially after everything that had happened medical wise to me over the winter. Maybe I'm kidding myself, but there were a couple of times when it looked like both Kurt and Scott made an effort to look me straight in the eye and smile.

After the Finale Kurt had the mike and told us the show wasn't quite over yet and that, "Toronto doesn't get all the good stuff.". They all went on to give Doug Ladret a belated retirement and Steven and Lloyd skated over, put Doug on their shoulders to bring out on the ice. Everyone gave him a hug, then got Doug in there to do the leg kick and bow. Kurt then wished us Good Night and See you next year. Here's to next year!!!