Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team

Canadian Stars On Ice Review - Hamilton, ON - April 24, 2004

written by Jeanine

So here are my impressions of Hamilton CSOI. My VERY FIRST experience with ice-seats !!! total sensory overload !! SO much to watch at once!! Overall, everyone skated well, hence few retakes ... boo, hiss .... I LOVE retakes!!

Kurt performed "Ding Dong Daddy" and "Time in a Bottle". He REALLY turned it on for Ding Dong Daddy!! Master showmanship. I just can't get enough of that program!! He struggled a bit with jump landings with "Time in a Bottle", but watching that divine edge work is mesmerizing. A lot of this program was placed down at one end, but Blade1 ... she would have had a great view of it from her seat!!

He also rocked the house in TGIF .... my favourite group number!! Just fun, joyful, lots of cute tricks, intricate choreography. At once point, Kurt cornered and stopped in front of us with his back to us. We got sprayed but good, and he looked back over his shoulder at our section sporting this devilish little grin. Imp!! This edition of CSOI was Kurt-lite ... I would have LOVED to see him more involved with some of the transition numbers, (and another solo would have been oh so sweet), but I recognize the practice time in Halifax is pretty limited. Face it, we just can never get enough Kurt!!

Kyoko & John's solo "Look at Little Sister" ... tons of fun, very high energy, complex tricks ... this style suits them extremely well. Flying around our corner, John winked at Sunnyskate (lucky girl!!).

Todd Eldredge skated to "Flamenco" and "When You Come Back to Me Again". He is so wonderfully consistent, and demonstrated some impressive dramatic flair with "Flamenco". In his solos, he seems very much "inside himself", but in the group numbers .. total opposite. I was so struck by how much he interacted with the audience. He was having a blast!!! At one point, Todd gave Sunnyskate a little nod (lucky girl again!!).

Isabelle & Lloyd's "Skater Boi" and "Remember Me this Way" were vintage B&E ... Isabelle just glowed ..... impeccably performed .... spontaneous standing O's for both. Given that it was their final tour, I would like to have seen a little tribute. They received special emphasis in the final bows, but given what they've contributed to the sport in Canada, something a little more special was in order, I think.

Alexei skated to "Memorial" and" Ain't That a Shame". What struck me most about Alexei? Some people aren't terribly photogenic on screen or in print, and I think he's one of them because, up close, he is VERY attractive. I hadn't really noticed before. He was very playful with some audience members (which would have been us, if we had been seated just 10 or so seats over)!!

Elena and Anton skated to "Let Me Fall" and "Kalinka". As usual, their performance was flawless, divine really, but seeing them up close helped clarify for me why I prefer Jamie & David. To me, B&S skate beautifully but don't really "connect" with the audience. They seem to skate "inwards". Jamie and David skate "outwards", very much for the audience, but still maintain that unique "connection" between each other. "Come Away With Me" was seamless in the transitions, and they performed that stupendous handstand lift directly in front of us. WOW!! Jamie and David demonstrated their versatility with fantastic comedic timing in "Ballroom". Jamie is so fabulous when she gets to show a little attitude!!

A stunning finale to exquisite music, then time for retakes. Steven warmed up the audience for the retakes, and, as always, he was very charming and funny. Note to SOI brass: Steven's presence adds SO MUCH to this show. Hire him for U.S. SOI !!! As I recall, there were retakes for Kurt's "Time in a Bottle", Jamie & David's "Ballroom", and the group number "Sunscreen", but I don't remember what else. Kurt, God bless him, always wears his heart on his sleeve and he was visibly frustrated during his retake. Such a perfectionist!! The set-ups for retakes took long enough for the ladies in the audience to indulge in very, loud cheers of appreciation for the various physical attributes of the male skaters!! What a hoot!! Very cute!!

Now about the tiny transition numbers ... interesting concept, stunning costumes, amusing, extremely well done ... but I found myself thinking that there must have been a lot of frantic costume changing backstage for very little payoff ... a tepid response from the audience, I thought. I think a "theme" show is better served when the majority of the solos reflect the theme ... best example ever: Gotta Skate's "Chez Shae's", with several skaters interpreting Michael Bublé's music .. as a "thematic" undertaking, it was BRILLIANT!! I didn't feel little tidbits of the "Time" theme content interspersed between the solos was as effective. Translation: without the transitions, we could have had more Kurt!!!

As much as I adore Kurt (like DUH, that's a newsflash), I must admit that Shae Lynn's performance was the highlight of the night for me!! She skated "Caruso" with such freedom, abandon and passion, using her body like a paintbrush on a blank canvas. Amazing edges, those incredible soft knees. She was just stunningly beautiful. She performed a sitspin (Sunnyskate could describe this move better) directly in front of us. The audience rewarded her with a spontaneous standing O, and she appeared almost taken aback by it. Continue to skate like that? Get used to it, honey.

No doubt I've forgot lots of programs, details, but this CSOI was a BLAST for me, and the best part was sharing it with another true skating fan, Sunnyskate!! Man, can that girl "woo"!! And without her, I would have never mustered the nerve to head down to the buses where I had a brief, but memorable, encounter with Kurt (next time I'll actually TALK to him), and got my autograph from Steven!! Yay ... we tracked down Blade1 and got to meet her finally. Andrea, I enjoyed talking with you SO much ... if everyone I met were as easygoing and friendly as you, I'd lose my shyness in no time!! The first of many meetings I hope!!

So please bear with me ... I plan to milk this "Kurt kissing me and telling me I'm beautiful" thing for a bit ... like c'mon, I've waited 16 years to meet him!!! Be forewarned, I'm going to be obnoxious for a few days ... it's not like people of the male persuasion pay me such compliments every day!! And definitely no one as fine as Kurt has in many moons ... I'm going to enjoy it for as long as I can!!