Hi, there. We attended SOI last night in Northern NJ, and it was wonderful. Here are a few of my thoughts about. I'm sure Tara will comment on it when she has a chance. I like how the show started with the screen and that spinning star going through space. Following that, there were acknowledgments of the cast Olympians from 1992 to the present (for example - Todd, Yuka - Albertville 1992, Yuka - 1994 - Lillehammer, Todd, Mike - 1998 Nagano, etc.) Meryl & charlie are doing 40 of the 41 shows of the tour. Unfortunately they couldn't be there last night because they were doing the "Ice chips" show in Boston (and I imagine that was an earlier commitment prior to being signed for SOI). They will do their Indian Dance OD for the rest of the tour and a duet with Tanith & Ben. Guest skaters included Mirai Nagasu. she did her Pirates of the Caribbean program (and was pretty much on in this performance). Rachel Flatt skated to "Someday I'll Fly Away" from "Moulin Rouge" (long time SOI attendees may remember that Kristi & Russian pair skater Denis Petrov did this song very memorably in the year of the controversial "Gold" tour (2002 - controversial yes, but good for us since that's when Todd first joined SOI). She wore a lovely blue dress and skated it beautifully. Sasha did her short program Espana Cani (her SP for this season) - gorgeous dress, extension, spirals, what you'dstumbles but recovered expect from Sasha. Alissa had some stumbles, but she recovered quickly from them, and I still love watching her spins and spirals. Her first program was "You'll Never Walk Alone," sung by Barbra Streisand, which I think suited her well. her second program was "I Like the Way," a rather upbeat, "sexy" kind of program (a real departure for her - I prefer the "other" Alissa, but that's OK by me). The Flower Duet with Sasha and Alissa was lovely. It was like "mirror" skating. Jeremy skated to Symphony #3 )Camille Saint Saens - was this his free skate program? and Michael Buble's version of "At This Moment." I can't identify the jumps, but he seemed "on." Mike skated to "You're Still You," by Josh Groban, and dedicated it to his wife Lisa. I don't think the song lends itself to backflips, but he did one anyway, and I don;t think people minded that t all. he always gets a great response for that. His other program was "keep Your Hands to Yourself." I'm not familiar with the song. it's sort of country rock, but I liked his moves, good spins, the freedom blades move, the backflip, and some moves where he slides on his knees (Todd does that sometimes). Yuka is a joy, always smiling, whether she's skating to "It don't mean a thing" (in a cute polka dot dress - for a moment it reminded me of seeing Kristi). Her second number was "Clair de Lune" (Debussy). Her blades are so quiet, and she is so elegant on the ice. I never get tired of watching her skate. Evan did one program -"man in the Mirror," 9the Michael Jackson song), complete with white sequined glove. he was spot on and very well received.
Tanith & Ben had an adorable program 'If it Kils Me" that tell s story of a youthful friendship (starting from school days) ending with a loving adult friendship on ice. Ben also played the electric guitar in some transitions. That was cool, and he's so cute, especially now that he is clean shaven again.
Todd - what can I say - two great programs. "I Want You to Want Me," by Cheap Trick is not your typical Todd number, but he skated it very well, and flirted with the audience. personally I loved it. his second program was to Elton John's classic "Don't let the Sun Go Down on Me," very well suited to his style. I'm in seventh heaven because he included his terrific Russian Split Jumps, always a treat in addition to his magnificent spins. He just flies across the ice and has such a presence. His costume for the second program was Wyliesque - simple and elegant heaven(dark blue or purple?).
There were a few group numbers - fewer than usual I think because of the fact that this is an Olympic season. For the most part, the core cast skaters were involved with these (Evan came out for the finale). I particularly liked the one that opened Act 2 - "War" with Jeremy, Todd, Yuka, and Mike. it was a program in which each skater dared to add another element on to the previous one. There was also a cute moment when Yuka introduced Jeremy;s second program. He talked about his life long dream to be an Olympian and skate in SOI. Yuka basically said to him to enjoy the experience, but in the summer, we'll have to get down to serious training again, LOL!
At the end of the finale to Kiki Dee's "I've Got the Music in Me," the skaters skated down around the rink. I got to touch Mike's hand, and the skaters threw out plush mini SOI strawberries, similar to the ones from last year, but a smaller version. I caught one, gave it to my friend Andy (she didn't have one from last year), but then I caught another one.
All in all, a great show. I do hope that next year's three tours don't overlap (Japan/US/Canada). We love our US skaters but we also want to see the international cast, a pairs team in every show. I also would like for each skater to get to do two programs. I hope the veterans Todd, Mike, Yuka, and Sasha get to skate in SOI for as long as they'd like and are able to physically, but I do welcome wonderful additions like Tanith and Ben and am very much looking forward to seeing Meryl & charlie next week in Reading, PA. I like the mix of classical, rock, and other genres of music. I'm rather eclectic in my musical taste (personally I also love Broadway and movie soundtracks).
Well that's it. If I think of anything else, I'll pass it on!