'Stars on Ice' brings in cutting-edge skaters
||February 11, 2000|
Copyright 2000 The Detroit News, Inc.
AUBURN HILLS -- From the Winter Olympics to professional competitions
in the United States and around the world, figure-skating stars have
become celebrities. And no other event brings sought-after skaters
together like the famed Stars on Ice tour coming to the Palace of Auburn
Hills on Saturday.
This year's cast includes Olympic champions Tara Lipinski, Kristi
Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, Ilia Kulik and Ekaterina Gordeeva, world
champion Kurt Browning, silver medalists Elena Bechke and Denis Petrov
and a host of other accomplished skaters.
Initiated by Olympic gold medalist Hamilton and his manager, Robert
Kain, back in 1986, the Stars on Ice tour has grown into a traveling
spectacle of lights, music, costumes and choreography. Though it's not a
competition, a lot of hard work goes into the production.
"In Stars on Ice, we have six weeks of rehearsal, and we really put
a lot into the show," says 17-year-old Olympic, world and U.S. champion
Lipinski. "It's like a theater show with lights and matching costumes."
According to Lipinski, it's the variety and presentation that make
the tour such a hit with fans.
"In skating now, there's so many competitions and they're all the
same," she says. "The skaters go out and do a number and then there's
another skater, and it's just that kind of format.
"This show is different every year. There's a flow to the show, and
there are stories. It's really entertaining, I think, for an audience."
Debbie Johns, office manager at Bloomfield Township's Detroit
Skating Club, where Lipinski used to train, agrees. "I've seen it for
the last several years, and it's a fabulous show," she says. "It's all
of the top-level skaters, it's choreographed well, and it appeals to all
Though the tour is long and physically demanding, it definitely has
its rewards, Lipinski says. "We're on the road for four months, and it's
like a big family," she says. "Even off the ice we all hang out
"I like being with everybody and traveling around, and performing
for an audience every night is amazing -- 18,000 screaming fans; it's
Stars on Ice is an interactive show that goes for entertainment
value as opposed to the pressure-filled world of competitive skating,
"I can tell you that it's not like skating that you see on TV," she
says. "The adrenaline is always pumping, and we really connect with the
audience and involve them. It's not just for ourselves. It's like a
play, almost. It's fun!"
Target 'Stars on Ice' with Tara Lipinski,
Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton and more
8 p.m. Saturday at
the Palace of Auburn Hills
Tickets $ 60 VIP floor and
reserved, $ 48 and $ 35 reserved
Call (248) 645-6666