Chrysler Stars on Ice Review - Halifax, NS - April 15, 2001
written by Louisa
We lucked out on our seats. On ice and my seat was lined up with
the centre red line. Couldn't have been more "centre' than that,
right? Fantastic view of the skaters' facial expressions and lots of
opportunities to see jumps, spins up close.
Lots of Kurt content this year :-) made for a very enjoyable 2
hours. He will surely need R&R and TLC when this tour is over. Yes
indeed, Welcome Home, Kurt! Do we still love him the best-est?
Judging from the audience response, yes he's still the star of CSOI.
The energy in the arena when Kurt is on ice is enormous.
I was very happy that Scott was "on". Last year in Halifax, he
fell at least twice on his jumps and seemed a bit off but this year,
whether he singled doubled or tripled them, he LANDED them.
I don't think I was as emotional about seeing Scott this year as I
expected to be ... why? Maybe because I had the impression last year
that it was his final Canadian appearance. Now that he's announced
that he isn't reallly completely retiring but will be making guest
appearances, it didn't seem as "final". Anyways, as always, Scott was
Scott and everyone loved him. What's not to love? He's a pleasure to
watch no matter what he does. I hope some of those guest appearances
will be here.
LET'S GET IT ON
Let's Get It On - Cast
I Got You - Scott
A Song for You - Scott & "Star of Tomorrow"
--- You've all heard plenty about his ... nothing new for me to add.
NEW MOON IN THE OLD MOON'S ARMS
2000 AD "Reaching for the Stars" - Alexei Yagudin, Maria Butryskaya,
Jenni Menno & Todd Sand, Renee Roca & Gorsha Sur
It was nice, but sorry, things were moving sort of slow by now.
C'mon, bring on the entertainers, please!
HIGHER - Steven Cousins
Now it's getting going. What a charismatic guy with that million
dollar smile. Even though he seems to have a permanent smile on his
face, it also looks truly genuine, like he's really enjoying himself
out there entertaining. This guy can move. A good entertainer and a
lot of fun to watch. Great choice of music for him, I thought.
CAN'T FIGHT THE MOONLIGHT - Josee Chouinard
Beautifully skated. What can I say? We love Josee and she seems
to get more beautiful every year. A beauty that comes from inside --
I think that's her secret! :-)
DOUBLE BOGEY BLUES - Scott Hamilton
Very cute Scott piece. Lots of laughs. The backflip over the
golfbag was the highpoint.
EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE - Renee Roca & Gorsha Sur
I enjoyed watching them skate. Such body control. Oh, to be half
as "fit" as these skaters takes so much training and hard work! They
really deserve our admiration.
AGAINST ALL ODDS - Brian Orser
Brian unfortunately tripped on his backwards footwork segment but
he followed it up by doing his backflip into a double. This is what I
call a "typical Brian number". I'll always be happy to watch him
skate for as long as he wants to.
BIG SPENDER - Shae Lynn Bourne & Victor Kraatz
Okay! This is where Halifax came to life! I saw Shae & Vic do
this one on television at the Worlds and thought it was perfect for
them. I was so glad to see them do it "live". Shae makes eye contact
with the audience (front row, anyways). She must have a great
personality. Vic is more intense and less 'relaxed' in his
presentation but still, a wonderful presentation. They flow over the
ice so effortlessly and naturally, as if they could skate for hours
together. Makes you feel as if it isn't "work" for them. Standing
ovation, of course!
BRING HIM HOME - Kurt Browning
Absolutely my most favourite of the evening, maybe of all live
performances I've seen Kurt do. (although Antares.....) Anyways!
This was beautifully perfectly skated as far as I could see. The
focus and emotion on his face as he went by was wonderful to see. The
jumps at close range were incredible. You can see that he loves this
music. Could there possibly have been anyone in the arena who was
dry-eyed and untouched by this performance? Possibly, but I don't
want to know that person.:-) What else can I say? He is still the
very best skater I've ever seen. A huge standing ovation started just
as he was finishing and I'm sure everyone wanted to hug him. Wow.
Thank you, Kurt. I will never ever forget this performance. sigh
TUNNEL VISION - Cast
Laughed a lot in this one. Out loud. Scott & Denis were
hilarious. Kurt dumped Steven's and Todd's jackets off at my feet,
wrinkling his nose as he smelled them. (I just had to mention that --
it was a little highpoint for me. LOL). Not much to add to Tina's and
other reviews of this. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Terminator - Renee, Gorsha, Denis, Steven, Kurt
This was great to watch, although the view from higher up in the
seats would be better than at ice level. However, I love it from any
Dance With Me - Maria Butryskaya
She choreographed this one herself. It was good. She's never been
one of my favourites but she is obviously very talented.
Gladiator - Alexei Yagudin
Okay, I went there expecting to be impressed. Always have been
amazed by this guy's skating. I was not disappointed. Talent,
Talent, Talent! Power and grace are combined in this guy. Yes, I was
very impressed! He did have 1 tumble but more than made up for that
with some huge jumps. As an entertainer, he really needs some
pointers from Kurt. But remember, he is only 20 years old and is
still skating in the eligibles. I think that if he wants to, this guy
could skate to anything and if he wants to develop his entertainment
side, he could do it. I certainly hope he does. Loved the
Don't Fence Me In - Kurt Browning
I thought he looked tired from the beginning of this number. He
looked like he was really pushing himself through the spins and jumps
and when he fell, it was huge. That must have hurt so much. When he
skated by us, I could see the concentration on his face, trying hard
but just plain tired. It wasn't a great skate by any means for Kurt,
but he's our guy and no really cared. He received another standing
ovation for effort and stamina and just because he's Kurt. :-)
Let 'Er Rip - Josee & Kurt
Well, he was tired until now! LOL My husband said "who wouldn't
find the energy to skate with Josee". They are my favourite pairing
for Kurt -- Josee and he are such a charming, cute couple! They seem
to really like each other and performing together, always smiling and
laughing. I loved this one, not just because of the choreography
which was great, but because I just love watching these 2 skate
Sin Wagon - Kurt, Josee, Denis, Steven, Renee, Gorsha
Fun piece and a perfect ending for this segment.
I Can't Make You Love Me - Jenni Menno & Todd Sand
Nicely skated but such a "downer" after all the excitement of the
2nd act. It didn't fit into the mood and that's unfortunate for them
that their piece was dumped in here. Maybe it should be at the
beginning of the 1st act somewhere? In the slower moving segment? I
dunno, but I just can't seem to warm up to this pair, even though
they're excellent skaters.
Sir Duke - Brian Orser
L'Histoire d'Amour - Shae Lynn & Victor
I love their skating.
NYAH - Kurt
I knew I'd love this! My second favourite performance of the
evening (next to Bring Him Home). Wow! Kurt! Amazing footwork and
so intense. The audience 'got it'. At the beginning, when he came
onto the ice in the dark to begin and the spotlight came down, there
were many whoops and calls from the audience and a lady yelled "Kurt
you're so sexy". Nothing bad about it at all. Just sincere
appreciation from his fellow countrywomen and when the performance
began, everyone settled down and enjoyed. It sounded to me like the
whole arena joined in for the clapping segment and there was a HUGE
roar of cheering at the end when he got his 3rd standing ovation.
Went on for quite a while. Yup, we know great skating when we see it
and we love it. :-)
My Way - Scott Hamilton
Well, it was hard to settle down after Nyah. And we're used to
Kurt skating last. However, this was enjoyable. I really liked the
segments where Scott reminded us of various things he'd done in the
past ... like "walk this way". Big cheeers, standing ovation. I was
glad that everyone joined in to make Scott feel loved and appreciated.
Where would skating be without Scott and SOI? Thank you, Scott! Come
ALWAYS - Cast
If It's Magic
You've all heard the descriptions of this finale and I think it
went the same way ... very touching choreography, standing ovation,
Kurt pushed Scott out ahead of the lineup at the end to take an extra
Curtain call - they all came back out for another bow. My last
look at them was of Kurt & Scott bowing and backing up into the tunnel
with an arm around each other's shoulders. That would have been a
Handshakes -- I shook Todd Sand's hand and just barely Alexei's.
Managed to say thank you to Alexei and he really smiled. I know that
they're told to smile smile smile but the difference between Todd's
and Alexei's smiles was amazing. Todd was just going through the
motions because that's what he has to do. Alexei doesn't smile very
often -- I only caught him smiling twice during the night, but when he
does, it reaches his eyes and seems to be very sincere and genuine.
Maybe he's a bit shy? Or just too focused on skating technique? Who
knows? Just my impression.
I don't care to judge or compare the shows from one year to the
next too much. It's definitely worth going each year to at least one
"live" SOI. My only complaint is that Lloyd Eisler & Isabelle
Brasseur weren't there. I really really missed them! Seemed to be a
huge hole in the show that they would have filled. Please come back!