Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team

Stars on Ice Review - Oakland, CA - Jan. 10, 2003

written by Wendy

For the Oakland show, we had on-ice seats near the tunnel. While being on ice is certainly a treat, not too much happens on the tunnel side of the show. It gets a little more attention than last year's show (where we actually had the exact same seats by some wacky coincidence), but still most of the action takes place on the other side.

Alexei Yagudin:
Of the three programs Yagudin does, I like OverCome most, with Racing being a close second. The first shows off his artistic ability, especially when the music slows in the middle part. It's also amazing to see his straight line footwork down the ice, especially seeing how fast he goes. Racing is also a great program, but more for the upbeat and fun nature of the program, rather than the intensity of Overcome. He does a good job of looking into the audience with Racing. Most of his jumps are toe-loops, possibly because of his injury.

Todd Eldredge:
I really enjoy the way Todd skates Miserere. I think the music and choreography highlight the qualities of his skating. He didn't go for the 3-axel, but it seems the ice quality was not so good, so it wasn't a big surprise. I finally watched Todd a bit in the pairs program at the end of Act 1. It's really hard to focus on him when he's wearing all black and the pairs are dressed in bright outfits doing all sorts of moves. Anyhow, in the program he came to stand by our little corner so I watched him some. He was dancing to the music and spinning (in a dancing way, not a spin spin) pretty much the whole time he was there. It's too bad they make him kind of invisible in the number, but I suppose that is the point.

Kurt Browning:
Kurt's programs are among my favorites in the show. The Tony Bennett number is beautifully skated. I especially like the long deliberate edges in the program. He completed a 2-axel, a 3-toe from a series of 3 turns, and a gorgeous tight delayed 3-sal. The Slippery program is completely different but also very entertaining. He has two incredible footwork sequences that get more and more fun to watch each time.

Katarina Witt:
Katarina's solo number was beautifully skated. She landed a 2-axel and 2-flip. I actually really liked her in the program she did with Gorsha Sur and John Zimmerman because I feel like she lets out a bit more of her personality.

Ekaterina Gordeeva:
She landed her 3-toe and her 2-lutz and skated well overall. I really enjoy all of her skating since it is graceful, fast and precise all at the same time.

Jamie Sale and David Pelletier:
It's great seeing a pair of their caliber skate live. You just get a better appreciation of their speed, lifts, and the height on their throws and twists. The other thing that's cool about them is they haven't eased off on the technical difficulty of their programs. Just about the only thing they don't do are the sbs jumps, but practically no one else does them either as pros. They skated perfectly in Oakland.

Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze:
Their Elvis and Marilyn number is pretty cute. Anton is especially fun to watch when he dances as Elvis in the beginning. They do some pretty creative lifts and a nice throw. They've changed the ending a bit and do a sequence down the ice with Anton flipping Elena. I'm not so sure I like the new ending since it seems a bit frantic, like they are trying to squeeze in too much. It would also be cool to see them do a classical program to show off their grace in addition to this fun program.

Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman:
I hadn't seen much of their skating before this tour. Bed of Roses definitely has a lot of creative moves in it, a lot of which have John doing a spread eagle, which he does pretty well and is probably why those moves are put in. One other thing I noted was Kyoko's expression during Love on the Rocks. She gets the look perfect for her character and she's great to watch.

Jenni Meno and Todd Sand:
Jenni and Todd do a program that's a departure from what I'm used to seeing them do, but it seems like it reflects a lot of their personalities since they skate it so well. Instead of the flowy programs they have done in the past, this program is more comedic. They are constantly changing positions with all their lifts. Jenni actually does a couple of front rolls in the program! They also managed to fit in more traditional lifts and a very pretty throw 2-axel.

Renee Roca and Gorsha Sur:
They are one of favorite dance teams. What I like most about their skating is the strong flowing edges they incorporate into their programs. The Prayer includes those and also adds a variety of lifts.