You have to really love skating to have gone out last night in Omaha. Temperatures started out with 7 below zero and were only like 1 above for the show last night. On Monday 11 inches of snow had fallen. Our new convention center is a monstrosity and because it was the first time I had been there I didn’t know where to park close enough without freezing. All of this made me very nervous, so I asked myself a question. Is Alexei worth all of this? Need I answer the question? Here are some of the highlights of the show:
During the opening cast number, I noticed that Alexei had lots of smiles. He really seemed like he was enjoying the number. In my own mind, I thought, good, I bet this is going to be a very good night. The seats I had were off center ice but in the fifth row. Alexei is almost right in front of us and this little girl yells out Alexei, Alexei. She was so excited (kind of like me) and the skaters move and the little girl still very excited said to her mom, he saw me, he saw me. That was just so cute.
Scott Hamilton started off the show. It seemed the audience all knew who he was and there was lots of applause.
Kyoko & John’s routine, Look at Little Sister, was very upbeat and they seemed to really enjoy the number. There was lots of smiles and playfulness.
Yuka Sato was such a lovely addition to SOI. She is just beautiful as well as her performance. Her skating is so elegant and her number has such a calming effect.
Todd’s Flamenco routine was outstanding!! Of course that kind of music makes my blood boil, hot, hot. Todd has just the flair to do a number like that with his long, lean body, his dark hair, tight pants and all the right moves. His speed was incredibly fast and his jumps were high and brought a lot of oooh’s and ah‘s from the audience. Todd gave a 110% in this performance and I think overall Todd received the loudest applause from the audience up to this point.
Prior to their number, and at the beginning of the show, I didn’t know who the blonde women skater was until I looked through my binoculars and discovered it was Elena. Her hair is very long. As usual Elena & Anton were very graceful and the audience rewarded them with very loud applause.
And then there was Alexei. I love his memorial program. He does it with so much passion and his jumps were all good. At the end of the number, when he runs on the ice, I have seen when he falls on the ice and slides, but he didn’t do that last night. The sliding always gave the number such a wow effect and I guess I missed him not doing it but it was OK.
The broom number from the guys was excellent. The only thing I thought of was if one of them was out of synch someone could really get hurt. They did it though with very good precision.
Alexei’s Ain’t that a Shame is fast moving with lots of rock star moves. He interacts with the audience more or should I say with the ladies. It is a very different program for him but it was nonetheless exciting. The women all enjoyed it as did I.
Katerina Gordeeva was very much off. Her jumps were most singled and double footed. She just didn’t seem with it.
On one of Scott’s routines he got lots of applause but no standing ovation. So at the end, he just stood there until the audience stood up. I thought good for you Scott, now that’s the way to get a standing ovation. No one except for Scott got a standing ovation except at the very end and it was right before the final number was over, so the skaters seemed to appreciate that.
The people I went with had a discussion about last year versus this year. They thought this year show was filled with novelty things, such as introducing the skaters and lots of costume changes. They thought last year show featured more elegant numbers. I just wanted to share with you what the general public thought. I enjoyed both years.
One last thing, the arena was about 3/4 full, so the PR and marketing this year really worked. I was happy to see that.