Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team

Stars on Ice Review - Dallas, TX - Jan. 21, 2006

written by Scott

OK...time to post my review of the Dallas SOI show. After working last night (plus getting my 10 -- yes, 10 -- rolls of film turned in at a different development place...not getting them developed at Wal-Mart's One Hour as in past year's), here's my thoughts about this year's show which, like I said, WAS THE BEST I HAVE EVER SEEN!

I had read the reviews of the other posters here (including one about the "boring music" used this year -- WHADDA MEAN BORING????) I also saw the SOI special on NBC and laughd over the fun moments...and cried over the serious moments including Sergei's sudden death. So WHAT DO YOU MEAN BORING SONGS????? HUH????? OK...back to my review IN PROGRESS...

So I get into Dallas from Mineola around 12:30 p.m. Saturday after a 2-hour drive and went to the Galleria Mall just to hang out and do some window-shopping. Around 1:30 p.m., I was on Level 2 walking from the Westin Galleria entrance...WAIT! Who is that well-known skater walking towards me?

KURT BROWNING!!!! In the flesh!

After the initial shock wore off, I found out he was at a book-signing event at the Galleria Skating Rink in promoting his book, "A is for Axel: Skating Through the Alphabet". He noticed my t-shirt I was wearing supporting Jamie Sale' and David Pelletier I bought at last year's show. I told him I was planning to see the show at the American Airlines Center that night. Kurt replied, "You're going to love the show!"

And was I soooo glad to have my backup camera with me!!! He flagged down a shopper and had her take two photos of the two of us. What a neat moment! Told him that I met him after the SOI show at Reunion Arena in 2000 and he seemed to remember that...also told him I enjoyed his appearance on the local FOX-TV morning show "Good Day".

I wished that I had something for him to sign, but getting a photo of the two of us made up for that. I also showed him the photo of me with Rosalynn Sumners. He added, "She is a sweetheart. I wished she was still with us on the tour." Imagine that!

The meeting lasted 3-4 minutes, but it was worth the time he took out of his schedule...and ANY SKATER WHO TAKES TIME OUT FOR THEIR FANS ARE A-1 IN MY BOOK!

Let's just say I was on cloud nine from that moment on until showtime. Now the review:

* Opening Number (Lovely Spring): Fun start to the show, a parody of Ice Capades...I loved Scott Hamilton breaking in to interrupt the skating and say, "I never intended this to happen this way!" He wanted NO SMURFS, just pure skating at its best!

* Meatloaf: Cool opening to introduce the skaters with a snippet of what they love to do best...skate at a higher standard.

* Winter: Yags did a great job interpreting this music...complete with tossing up ice shavings in the air and making it snow.

* Cell Phone: That was A PRICELESS MOMENT...who else but Scott Hamilton interruping Kyoko and John's "Swan Lake" to tell them you're NOT skating till Act Two. John, why have a cell phone when you skate??? Huh???

* Beanfields: I love this routine by Yuka Sato. Very expressive with her personality shining thru this number.

* Joe Cocker: Elena and Anton know how to get the audience's attention. This music was indeed saved for romantic moments like that routine.

* Scott Hamilton as a puppet: Ingenious transition number with Todd having a puppet of Scott and his big ego...er, uh, head. Just wished Scott could have spilled the beans on Todd!

* And The Beat Goes On: This is the first time I had seen Jennifer Robinson skate live. She does a wonderful job on this Sonny and Cher remake sung by Liz Callaway. Nearly fell on a triple Lutz in the Lutz corner and had to put her hand on the ice just to keep from blowing up the landing. Other than that, nice number!

* Belfast Child: Hip song for Steven Cousins to use. Cool outfit and cool skating...he amazes me every time he skates.

* Mr. Bojangles: This was suppose to be in Act Two, but I guess Kurt wanted to skate to this in Act One. He skated very flawlessly and showed his personality thru this routine.

* Scott's Mask: OK, who came up with the masks? That is what Scott wanted to know. So did I. Turned out it was Jamie and David's idea...they were the only ones left on the ice for...

* Elite Syncopations: This Scott Joplin number. Jamie and David acted so cute and funny with this routine. I know it had to have been used before in SOI...like say the 1996-1997 tour for "The Red Hat". Fun acting job by Jamie and David and great choreography work.

* Alexander's Ragtime Band: Todd Eldredge's interpretation of Michael Feinstein's song was a nice transition from Scott Joplin's music. Jumps and spins were smooth and clean. Seems that the shoulder problems Todd had two weeks ago weren't that evident tonight in Dallas.

* Dance Medley: Loved how Scott explained with great detail how the cast tried to work a new dance routine into the show. Music ranged from Gershwin to Keith Urban. Now that difersity at its finest. I love the quick costume changes and the different dance sequences. Fun way to wrap up Act One.

* Overall Thoughts at Intermission: Now who said BORING SONGS??? I loved the up tempo and the "boring songs", folks!!!!! This is what was sorely needed to show how it was and is in saluting the 20th anniversary tour.

During intermission, the video screen ran clips from past Stars On Ice shows and highlighted the leading ladies, the men, the awesome couples and the opening/closing numbers. I did like Scott telling everyone 5 minutes before Act Two! That was also genius! (But not in the same league as Wylie E. Coyote!)

Act Two Review

* Overture/Comedy Tonight: I loved this concept of this dance number that somehow fell apart in spots...and that included David's split in his pants...Jamie losing her hats at various times...miscues galore! And at the end of the routine, Jamie finally caught her hat!!!! Scott Hamilton was NOT impressed, other than Jamie getting her hat finally. (I know she's married, but next to Roz...Jamie Sale just won my heart! Hey, what can I say?)

* Chaplin Medley: Anton as legendary silent film start Charlie Chaplin...nice idea. It works for me...and Elena as his sidekick was just as fun. Where did they learn to do that breakdancing ON THE ICE???

* Telegram for John and Kyoko: No, it's not for Mr. Mongrel. It was a telegram from Scott to the duo. Not time to skate yet....stop. So funny...and they left the lady messenger (Yuka) without giving her a tip...which was paid by Steven Cousins as he came out to skate to...

* Superstition: Another blast from the past. Hip outfit complete with silk pants and 1970s shirt. Only thing missing was the jacket for disco dancing!

* Phtograph of Steven by Anton: Someone was lucky enough in the on-ice seats to get a photo op done with Cousins...and Anton took the picture. Hoped it turned out ok!

* If It Wasn't For Your Love: I can't believe Jennifer Robinson is that tall for a skater. How tall is she?????? Stepped out of a triple toe loopand that was clearly obvious. What lovely spins and great costume -- I love her white dress, set the mood of the song. I did read where Jen, like Rosalynn Sumners, is also a born-again Christian...and was touched by this performance.

* Get Here: If I didn't suffer from dry-eye, I would have shed tears over this number. Yuka and Jason, like Elena and Anton, brought the romance back into this number, sung wonderfully by Oleta Adams. Man, I must be too much of a romantic slob...then again, I also love to hear Jim Brickman!

* On The Road/Too-Me Tango: Fun skit with Jen playing Lola and John, Todd, David and Steven as her bagmen with the suitcases coming off the bus. Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets...and vise versa. The guys got even with her, making her carry those suitcases by placing them on her arms and leaving the ice. Jen does a pratfall at the right moment...and I only hope she didn't get injured from this physical comedy routine cause she took a nasty fall backwards on her back!

* Peace Frog: Shades of Brickhouse by Kurt. Just how many silk pants does this man own???? Nice move and flow with this selection from The Doors.

* Sway: Alexei started this routine in the stands...midway up and not too far from where my friend, pawgal02, was sitting. This music fit with his sexy moves and flexing muscles! Yes, girls, Alexei is very muscular! He must work out in the gym when not skating!

* The Suite: Most serious moment of the show. Scott gave praise to those SOI have lost in the 20 years of the tour. They included Mark McCormick, founder of International Management Group; ice dancer Rob McCall; men's skater Brian Pockar; Scott's amateur sponsor Helen McLorraine; and pair's skater Sergei Grincov (who drew the most applause from the audience). Yuka was dead solid perfect in this tribute to these people and a celebration of family...the basic theme of this tour from the get-go. (Not to be disrespectful to sunnyskate, but I thought the video usage was OK).

* Cell Phone #2: Scott tries to call John and let him know he and Kyoko are on the ice NOW! Remembers that he told John to ditch the cell phone in Act One.

* Vertigo: This was pure fun seeing Kyoko and John finally skate in a solo number...after missing out the previous year due to her injury they made up for lost time!

* Bolero: Torvill and Dean did their interpretation in the 1984 Winter Olympics, Todd does his version this year on tour. Great interpretation and presentation, but Jayne and Chris did it better. Then again, a real good number to skate to.

* I Want To Know What Love Is: This spot was reserved for Scott for 15 years...the final solo number of the night. This year, Jamie and David has it. At Lake Placid, they skated to Blower's Daughter from the movie CLOSER. Here in Dallas, they used Wynonna's remake of the 1980s Foreigner hit. With all honesty, I did see this routine on one of the skating specials they were involved with...and I can blame my camera for balking at me at the WRONG TIME while trying to reload the film in it. Midway thru the routine, I got the camera reloaded and fired off a few shots before the end of the routine. NOW THAT'S FRUSTRATING! But, overall, a lovely presentation by Jamie and David.

* Roll Call for Closing Number: Scott reintros the cast to "start" the 2006 tour with...

* Sing, Sing, Sing: This Boston Pops Orchestra version of the Benny Goodman big-band classic. Nice way to say that this was the "opening" of the show and the "closing" of "the show within the show". Nice costumes and great dance moves! I did note that, to me, the postshow hand-shaking with the on-ice audience was much shorter than in past years...*sigh*...oh, well.

Final Thoughts: As I close my Dallas review, I have to commend the Hamilton/Dean/Billings team for coming up with this concept of "the show within the show within the show...yada, yada, yada." I did enjoy the 2 1/2 hour presentation from start to finish and wished the night never ended. Sadly, it did...and found myself driving back home with wonderful memories of the show AND HOPEFULLY BETTER PHOTOS THAN LAST YEAR! I did find myself crying a bit while en route home...maybe from listening to Jordan Hill's debut CD that had on it "Remember Me This Way". I had a great time in Dallas...and plan on getting on-ice seats for next year AS SOON AS I HAVE ROOM TO CHARGE THEM ON MY CREDIT CARD!