Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team

Stars on Ice Review - Seattle, WA - Jan. 4, 2003

written by Joy

Just got back from the Seattle SOI show tonight. Overall, I enjoyed this year's show (much more than last year's show). It wasn't as good as previous years like 94/95, 97/98, 99/00, etc. But I did enjoy it. This year, I had Row 1 Section 111 which was kind of the corner seats. Not the best location. I wish I had center ice seats. But Key Arena is a pretty small arena, so anywhere in the 1st row you sit is pretty good. I thought I'd give a little review. Hope you guys like it.

Opening Number-- The opening number was so-so. Didn't remember too much except Kurt Browning and Alexei got the loudest applause, followed closely by S&P and B&S.

Born to be Wild- Alexei skated next. This was the first time I saw him skate live. Boy, is he CUTE or what! LOL! From the moment on, I knew that Alexei would be "on" the whole night. He skated the program clean, no mistakes. Didn't like the pink shirt on him though! He shakes his hips a lot in this one! He got the crowd going doing those moves! LOL!

Bed of Roses- I&Z skated next. This was a pretty program. I'm not really much of a fan of their skating, but they skated it well and it was well-received by the audience.

Come Fly with Me- S&P were next! This was also the first time I saw S&P skate live! For some reason, I don't remember too much of this program, but they skated it clean.

Channel 1 Suite- Todd Eldredge skated this program. I didn't really like the music. But he skated well. No mistakes if I remember correctly. He really has the BEST spins out there! Wonderful fast scratch spins. But again, didn't care for the music!

Hotter than Blue- This was the group number with K. Witt, G. Sur, J. Zimmerman. Interesting little group number. Kat looked really pretty tonight with the neon green dress! It suited her well.

Overcome- Alexei skated next! I know a lot of Yags fans out there were worried that they were scratching out "Overcome" when a special guest star comes to the show (like Katia did tonight). But he skate it! He was awesome! I really have become such a huge Yags fan this year. I guess with missing him compete in various amateur competitions, it has made me miss his skating! He skated this program perfectly! No mistakes. There was one jump where he skated VERY VERY close to the edge of the ice border. And everone sitting near the end of the ice rink kind of let out a little gasp when he came close to landing it on the floor! LOL! Then after he does the straight-line footwork, when he comes to the end of the rink, he kind of swiped his forehead and looked down to the ice and then to the audience, kinda acknowledging that it was a "close call!" I noticed that across the ice rink from me, there was an Asian female holding up a Yags sign (in Russian). Don't know who you are, but great sign! I'm sure Yags did read and notice the sign, but didn't see if he acknowledged it or something. A little side-note: I was supposed to make signs for Katia, Yags, and Kurt. However, those of you who live in the Seattle area, know that we just has a recent wind/rain storm. This happened Thursday evening. I didn't have power for 24 hours. So as a result, I couldn't finish my signs! I was so mad at myself. I kept saying to myself throughout the show that I should have finished making those signs! It would have been definitely handy during Kurt's second number in the show.

I'm Your Man- Jenni & Todd were next. This was a really cute number by these two. Very interesting how they connected the different lift positions, etc. This was definitely one of the cutest numbers I've seen Jenni & Todd do! I liked it. I think Jenni fell on the throw double-axel here.

How do you Keep the Music Playing- Kurt skated next. Nice program from Kurt. It doesn't live up to his masterpieces like Nyah or Raggidon, but he skated it well. I think he turned out of one of the triple-toe loop jumps. Well skated though.

Power Play- This was the group number by B&S, S&P, while Todd Eldredge does some kind of commentary. I didn't understand what the concept of this little group number was all about! I was like scratching my head after this was over. I do miss the old SOI shows when they ended Act I with a big group number. So I didn't really care too much for this!

Studz- This was the beginning of Act II. It started with the girls doing some country dance moves in front of the audience in shoes, not skates! Elena Berezhnaya was almost right in front of me. She was more off to my right side, but close enough! She's very pretty in person. Very small and petite! I like that she is growing her hair out. Then Jamie Sale also walked down past me! I LOVE her hair color. Does anyone know what color it is! LOL! Then the guys come out! This was my favorite group number tonight! And I guess you guys can't guess why? LOL! Because the guys are in it! All of them looked CUTE in their cowboy hats and jeans. Kurt wore a blue (or was it green or white?) bandana covering over his head. The guys were shaking their butts and playing to the crowd! It was cute! The crowd loved it!

The Rest of your Life- Kat Witt was next. Nice program from her! She skated great. Nice double-axel!

Miserere- Todd skated next. Nice program. He skated well. Landed all jumps. Again, nice spins!

Prayer- Roca & Sur skated next! Absolutely LOVED LOVED this program! I'm so glad SOI brought back Roca & Sur! They are an amazing dance team! This is one of their best programs! Nice inovative lifts. I was reading the SOI program, and it said that Rene started skating at the age of 10? Isn't that a bit late? But it certainly didn't stop Rene from being so successfuly in skating! I loved that lift where Gorsha is just holding onto Rene's back as he is spinning her. Cool move! Drew some gasps from several audience members sitting near me.

Russian Folk Music- Katia skated! Yeah! LOL! If you guys haven't guessed by now, I am a HUGE Katia/G&G fan. I was waiting ALL NIGHT for Katia to skate. Of course, there was no mention of Katia before the show. No mention in the programs or music list. So I wasn't too sure if Katia would make it to the Seattle show. But she did! It was the first time I've seen Katia skate in 2 years now. She still looks beautiful out there on the ice! The program was very charming and cute! When they announced Katia as the "Special Guest Star" tonight, she immediately got big loud applauses from everyone! The crowd also was clapping to the music. She did land her triple-toe loop but it had a turn-out. But still, she landed it! No falls. Nice double lutz. And beautiful footwork! Katia has also grown her hair longer now. It's almost to the middle of her back! When she was done, the crowd gave her an appreciative loud applause and several standing ovations on my side (including one from me of course!) Saw several people also wave a Russian flag too! My only complaint was that it was TOO SHORT. I was like, can Katia go back and reskate this program again? It ended too quickly!

Slippery Side Up- Kurt skated next. He started his program right directly in front of ME near the corner! See, at this point, I was kicking myself b/c this was a perfect opportunity to hold my Kurt sign (if I had one) b/c surely Kurt would see it, since he was standing right in front of me! I yelled out "Go Kurt" just before he started skating, and he gave me a little gland and smile, then proceeded into his character. I know there are a lot of people out there that don't like the "funny" Kurt and are thinking, "Oh no, not another clown number". But I didn't get this feeling at all! He was absolutely funny in the program and really sold it to the audience as only Kurt can do that. Just as he was taking a step onto the ice with his skateguards on, he sort of knocked off one of the lights that border the ice/floor, and he kind of looked back and gave a look that said "did I just do that!". Very cute number! Got a HUGE loud applause from the crowd! During this number, he also gave his skate guards away as a souvenir to some lucky person in the front row (wish that was me!). He also put some kind of fluffy white ball on top of his red hat. I was thinking, is he also going to give that away to an audience member? If so, I was like, pick me, pick me! LOL! But he just took it off and put it back in his pocket.

Love on the Rocks- This was a small group number with I&Z, M&S, and Roca & Sur. Didn't really remember too much of this number.

Mme. T After Hours- B&S skated their Marilyn & Elvis routine. I first saw this program on tv. I didn't really care too much for the music cuts of Marilyn Monroe on top of the Elvis songs. It made it sound weird. But it was a cute number! Anton really gets into the character more than Elena does! Gotta love the sequins on Anton! He's growing his hair longer, including longer side-burns. So I guess you can say that his look fit the program! LOL! I think Elena fell out of her landing of a throw triple jump (can't remember if it was the toe-loop or loop). It was either this program or the other program. Can't remember since I didn't take notes and am only going by memory.

Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'- S&P skate next. I LOVE this program of theirs! Very cute number and great lifts. My favorite lift is where Jamie is sort of in a hand stand but on David's arm! Drew gasps from the audience sitting near me! Jamie landed a nice throw triple salchow! Also, gotta love their trade-mark death spiral entrance.

Racing- Alexei skated again! I also LOVE this program of Yags! Great number and liked the music! He skated well too! No mistakes. I can't remember if it was this program or Overcome where he does a triple-triple-double loop. But he landed everything and got a huge applause again from the audience! Loved the nice interesting footwork in this program!

Can't Stop- This is the Finale with the whole entire cast. I don't know. . . maybe it's just me, but I really didn't care too much for this Finale this year. I liked the music. It's hip hop (Will Smith), but it just didn't look right on the ice. I don't know. I kept thinking about Stairway to Heaven or Rolling Stones, or Wonderful World finales from the past. And this one was kinda BLAH to me. I do remember though that David Pelletier fell on the triple toe loop when all of the guys were doing this triple jump in unison. He sort of got up and was shaking his head laughing at himself for falling. Katia came back out for the group bows at the very end. Everyone (almost everyone) gave standing ovations at the end of the finale.

All in all, it was a good show. Definitely not the best show when you compare it to past previous SOI shows. I miss Katia (wanted her to be in the show more! like more numbers or longer numbers!), Ilia, Steven, and Kristi in the show. But for a whole bunch of them where this was their first year ever in SOI, I give them much credit for doing well. Of course, this is still very early in the tour. I'm sure that everyone will sort of gel more and give it a bit more excitement towards the middle and end of the US tour when they get more shows under their belts. But overall, I enjoyed the show. My first time seeing Yags, S&P, and B&S! It was great to see them in person! Loved that I was able to see Katia skate since anything from Katia nowadays is such a rarity for me! I was surprised at how well the arena filled up this year. Last year, Key Arena wasn't filled up and attendance was down. I was wondering if it would be the same thing this year b/c last year's show scared away some of the people. But that didn't happen. The Seattle Show had a good turn-out. It wasn't sold out, but most of the lower level seats were filled. The Seattle crowd was also much more quiet during the 1st act. During the 2nd act, the crowd loosened up a bit and started cheering louder, at least in my section.

My only complaint would have to be the merchandise, or I should say lack of it! I was one of the first people to approach the merchandise stand. I was hoping that they'd have any kind of Katia memorabilia, since she was a guest star, but I wasn't holding my breath! Of course there was nothing. Then I was hoping for an Alexei autographed photo. Still nothing! All they had were autographed photos of Kurt, Meno & Sand, Todd Eldredge. Then they had a cast photo, mugs, lanyard (looks like those VIP laminated cards), several different SOI t-shirts/sweaters, pins, and a SOI teddybear in red/yellow. The program they sold was $15. And I have to be honest that it was such a rippoff! Seriously! All of the past SOI shows, at least the programs looked good quality and the covers were more of a harder cover than the rest of the pages in the program. This year's program has S&P and B&S on the cover. And the program is so thin, light and flimsy. If I wasn't careful, I couldn't really bent my program! Not worth the $15 IMHO, but I got one anyone b/c I always get a program. I also got a t-shirt and a red SOI teddybear. But the merchandise this year not only sucks b/c there wasn't much available, but also, the prices are so inflated it's ridiculous!

To those of you guys who are able to go to SOI in the next couple of weeks to months, have fun! I know I did! Thanks for taking some time to read this review.