Stars on Ice Review - Detroit, MI - Feb. 8, 2003
written by Judy
Saturday night SOI played the Palace of Auburn Hills in
metropolitan Detroit. The crowd was slightly larger than last year.
The lower bowl was about 80% full and the upper level about 10% full.
The show was better than last year and one of the best in recent
years. The crowd wasn't all that loud, except for our section.
The Opening Number - The Great & Powerful Oz
I'm not really an Ozzy fan and I thought the music was too loud for
the arena. The music was not your typical skating music but did set a
mood for the audience to 'get ready to rock'.
The cast came out and skated well. They seem to really feel
comfortable with both the music and choreography. The highlight was
towards the end when Kut and Scott did double axels in near perfect
Born To Be Wild
Alexei skated this on Saturday. The footwork was the predominant
memory of this number. I loved his dydroplaning near the end. Alexei
looked very cautious and it was obvious he was holding back on his
technical moves. But still very enjoyable.
Bed of Roses - Kyoko and John
Nice choreography (by Sasha Zhulin). I loved the Spread Eagles.
Several different lifts and pairs moves. This is one pair where you
notice the man more than the women.
John looked great in his light blue t-shirt and lt blue cotton
jeans. I don't remember anything else about Kyoko.
Come Fly with Me - Jamie and David
David wore white shirt with narrow black tie and black pants. Jamie
wore a halter style white flowing dress with yellow at the edges.
This number just flowed magically. Lots of great moves that went
perfectly with the music and their personalities. I can't remember
any specific moves because I was really into listening and watching
them. Jamie and David were smooth and fluid; the audience flew them
through the number.
Channel 1 Suite - Todd
This jazzy number sounded like a competitive number. Several good
jumps and footwork was OK. The music has some slow spots and some
fast spots. Todd's footwork seemed to be too slow for the music at
some points. This was choreographed by Richard Callaghan so I can
understand the 'competitive feeling'.
Richard was in the audience and so were many of Todd's local fans.
(Todd's home is only about 10 minutes away from the arena).
Hotter Than Blue - Katarina / Gorsha / John
Katarina came out in a lime green dress. She didn't do anything
technical. I watched the men. This is a 'filler number' where the
audience just watches the sexy people in the number. No real skating,
but lots of sex appeal.
Over Come - Alexei
Again Alexei was tentative. His jumps were just triple toes. His
only combo was triple toe, triple toe, double loop. The audience
loved him again, but I could tell Alexei wasn't 100% technically.
But, Alexei was perfect with his sense of the audience. He wanted to
entertain the audience and he was able to do that with simpler jumps
and slower footwork. The audience appreciated his effort.
I'm Your Man - Jenni and Todd
I always associate this song with Gary Beacom, but Todd Sand comes
close. Todd's and Jenni's facial expressions were perfect for the
number. We had on-ice seats and could really appreciate the number.
This is not a 'family show number'. If you listen to the lyrics
and watch the choreography it is adult humor. It could be toned down
if it is ever aired on TV. The lyrics about 'examing every inch of
your body' aren't bad, but the position of the lift is questionable.
The audience enjoyed it. If any kids were there they probably weren't
listening to the lyrics (I hope).
The only fall of the evening occurred on the throw axel. They went
into it too slow and Jenni stumbled but got back up.
How Do You Keep the Music Playing - Kurt
So Kurt, How do you keep the skating going ? The number was
technically perfect. The double axel had great height. I loved the
three turns into the triple toe. He did a triple salchow and a few
other triple toes.
Footwork was true Kurt. He was on that night. Kurt was really
enjoying the number. It shows that he feels comfortable with the
number and his performance comes from his heart. This was
choreographed by Sandra Bezic and her years of experience with Kurt
shows. Kurt feels so comfortable with the choreography that I feel
that he did a lot of it himself. This is a great number for Kurt this
Power Play -- Elena & Anton / Jamie & David / Todd
Cut Todd's vocals. The audience is here to see skating, not here to
here someone lecturing.
This number closes the first act. But it is a 'downer'. Closing
numbers should grab the audience and make them crave for the second
half to begin. At the end of the number when the lights went on I
looked at the program to see if they were skipping a number. This
number capitalizes on the Salt Lake City competition; let the past
rest. Interesting thing is that no choreographer is listed on the
program. I guess nobody wants to admit to this mistake.
Studz - THE MEN !
This should close the first act. The audience needs time to cool off
after this. What can I say about Kurt / David / Todd Sand / Gorsha /
Alexei / John dancing around in tight jeans. They had a great time
and the audience really appreciated it.
This is a classic SOI group number. I think it should be expanded
out next year. SOI has never repeated a group number, but this should
be the first. The ladies like to see cowboys prancing around on the
ice. They can change the music next year, but keep the cast.
I can honestly say I can't remember much of the technical skating
moves. They did some pseudo pairs lifts that were a lot of fun for
the men. The men were having fun out there and it showed. I didn't
even pay attention to the song because my senses were concentrating on
the visual sights.
The Rest of Your Life - Katarina
Katarine, spend the rest of your life off the ice. She is way past
her prime on the ice and the audience knows it. She wore a purple
dress with a very sheer front. The panties on her outfit were black
and jsut didn't match the skirt. This number was just pure sex appeal
for the men in the audience.
Is it a coincidence that this number followed the sexy men ? One
number gets the women worked up while the men sulk. While the women
are cooling off, the men get their turn.
Miserere - Todd
Another Andrea Bocelli number choreographed by Richard Callaghan.
Sounds like another competitive number. Technically Todd is still at
his prime. He did several great triples. He did his triple lutz but
had a terrible takeoff - he was almost parallel to the ice. But, Todd
(and his cat legs) managed to actually land the jump. That was the
most entertaining part of the number.
Todd is obviously going through a transition phase. This is his
first year of touring with SOI full time. He was probably smart to
stick with Callaghan for his choreography in a 'comfort zone'. But I
would like to see him work with Christopher Dean next year.
The Prayer - Renee and Gorsha
Wow ! The moves just flow. The lifts, turns, edges, choreography
just flows. A classic number. This is one number you need to see in
person to appreciate it.
Slippery Side Up - Kurt
True Kurt. Great comical number; only Kurt can do these. The
audience appreciates him and Kurt appreciates them.
In this number Kurt gives his skate guards to a fan. He happened
to find a little girl (about 2 years old) that had on ice seats with
her parents. She was standing in front of the chairs and was too
young to understand what ws going on. But Kurt just played it up.
Not only is he a great entertainer, but he'll be a great father.
Love on the Rocks - Kyoko & John / Jenni and Todd /
Renee & Gorsha
This is a cute group number that works well. The six skaters are
doing some cute moves that grabs the audience's attention. I admit to
watching John throughout the whole number. He's in a tight white
t-shirt and I appreciate the great costuming.
Elvis & Marilyn - Elena & Anton
I hated this number. I don't care for Elvis and Marilyn
impersonators. They're both dead; let them rest in peace.
Interesting that Tamara Moskvina was a co-choreographer; it's an
amateur exhibition number, keep it to the ISU competitions.
Lovin Touchin Squeezin - Jamie and David
This number is pure attitude ! It's obvious Jamie and David are a
couple off the ice and they're not afraid to show their feelings.
They have attitude and the moves are just so natural for them. They
are true entertainers.
Technically they are still at their prime. A gorgeous triple
twist. Great death spiral, etc.
It's interesting how Jamie and David's classic number followed
Elena and Anton's dead number. The audience walks away with their own
viewpoint about who should have really won the gold medal. (Doesn't
Canadian Sandra Bezic plan the program ????)
Racing - Alexei
He came out skating to the checkered flag. This is the true Alexei !
Great jumps, including triple flip. Fast footwork; great choreography.
A real crowd pleaser. If his injury is still bothering him, it doesn't
show. It looks like he got a boost of adrenalin from the Studz number
and it carried forward to this performance.
I question why the injured Alexei has three solo numbers. Kurt
should take over Born to be Wild and leave Alexei with the other two.
He is too valuable of an asset to SOI (and the fans) to risk losing
him. I am partial to this because I want to see more Kurt.
Can't Stop - Cast
The show had to come to an end and this is one of the better closing
numbers in recent years. The audience didn't want the skaters to stop
skating. The skaters were having a good time and didn't want them to
stop either. It left the audience with a good feeling at the end of
the show, and a want to see the show again.
At the end of the number Kurt was right in front of us. He opened
up his shirt as if he was saying, 'look'. I don't know if any of the
other men did either.
Overall Rating - I give the show an A this year.
No props this year and that was positive. It was pure skating.
The audience response was 'average'. I was surprised they were not
louder during Todd Eldredge's numbers. He's the hometown boy and had
a group of friends in the audience.
Kurt seemed to be the true star of the show. He ws the crowd
favorite and a leader of the cast. John was the 'most watched' of the
evening. I think he skated with someone out there but I don't
remember what she looked like.
Jamie and David have made a smooth transition to the pro circuit.
They are true performers. Jamie has the charisma and David has the
Elena and Anton need to get pro numbers.
Jenni and Todd have real personality on the ice. Give them some
more comedy routines.
Todd is transitioning much like Kurt did his first year. Next year
he should be ready to branch out to a Christopher Dean or Sandra Bezic
Alexei is a natural for SOI. Let's pray he stays healthy.
Renee and Gorsha are natural performers and well seasoned veterans.
Katarina Witt. She's past her prime and is just there for the sex
appeal. I don't know if she is a factor in ticket sales; SOI could
save a lot of money by keeping her at home modeling.
John Zimmerman is a great looking skater. I can't remember
anything about Kyoko. In most pairs, people watch the lady and don't
pay much attention to the man. (Everyone watches Jamie and David is
just her support). But with this pair, John is the one who shines.
They have real potential with SOI.
People watching in the crowd.
Yuka Sata and Jason Dunjeon. Elizabeth Punsalon and Jerod Swallow.
Richard and Mandy Callaghan. Larissa Spielberg and Craig JoRight.
All the local elite skaters were there.
Steven Cousins was there. He had on-ice seats with two of his
friends and he was part of the entertainment. He was really cheering
on the skaters. The skaters knew he was there and played up on it.
That is probably why Kurt opened up his shirt. He was six seats away
from me and we chatted with him during the intermisison.
Steven is doing well after his surgery. He's walking without pain
or a limp. He said he's getting fitted for a brace this week and will
be on skates shortly. He's keeping his fingers crossed and is
planning on being back for the Canadian leg of the tour. He has a
great attitude and is determined
He was saying how different it is for him to watch the show from
the sidelines. He said it was an odd feeling. But he's motivated and
both him and his doctors and therapists are optimistic for a full
Highlight for the evening - STUDZ
Suggestion for next year - more cowboy numbers with men in tight
They had advance order forms. I have a few extras if anyone needs
one for Detroit. (Contact me privately).
I'm disappointed that I will be seeing only one SOI show in the
States. I usually see a second one in Michigan or Ohio, but the
schedule has changed this year and other close cities are during my
trip to Worlds.
I will be seeing the show in Canada and hope it follows the same
format. (except for Katarina and Elena and Anton's solo).
Good work skaters (and congrats to everyone reading this long
review; I didn't think it would be this long).