Top skating talent sparks Arena show
||April 5, 2002|
||Phyllis A.S. Boros|
"The thing with these professionals is that they make it look so
Skaters right on target
provide elegance for fans
The ice may have been cold but the skaters were hot, hot, hot at
Thursday night's performance of Target Stars on Ice at Bridgeport's
Arena at Harbor Yard.
A behind-the-scenes look at the passions, loves and aspirations of
a group of sultry "showgirls" was the theme of the nearly two-hour
touring show that features some of the biggest stars from professional
Headlining were former Olympic champions Tara Lipinski, Kristi
Yamaguchi, Katarina Witt and Ilia Kulik.
Songs such as "Black Betty," "Lady Marmalade," "El Tango De
Roxanne" and "Elevation" provided the beat for four-time world
champion Kurt Browning, Olympic silver medalist Denis Petrov,
three-time U.S. National Pair champions and World silver medalists
Jenni Meno and Todd Sand, and eight-time British champion Steven
Also in Bridgeport were World Professional bronze medalist and "The
Queen of Spin" Lucinda Ruh, and Olympic silver medalists and two-time
world champions Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov.
Thursday's performance was the 52nd in a 62-stop tour throughout
the United States that began on Nov. 24 and runs through April 20. It
was the tour's final Connecticut stop.
"I can't stand up on ice skates," said Barb Liscinsky of Stratford,
who attended the event with her daughter, Kelly. "But we just love
watching them on television. And to see the skaters up close is really
great. We're both really big fans of Kristi."
For Dottie Migliore of Bridgeport and Vincent Dalessandro of
Trumbull, watching skating is like watching elegance in motion.
"It's just so beautiful," Migliore said.
Georgette and Lou Hamel of Stratford said they have followed
amateur and professional ice skating competitions on television for
"It's the whole package -- the costumes, the music. And when you
take into account all the work that has gone into the various
competitions for these skaters, it's just amazing," Georgette Hamel
One of the most dramatic moments for the arena audience of several
thousand came when a "surprise" guest was announced: Todd Eldredge.
Eldredge, a six-time U.S. national champion and 1996 gold medalist
at the World Championships, joined the tour after competing in the
recent Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. A crowd favorite, Eldredge
skated seemingly flawlessly, earning the night's first standing
"That was unbelievable," Martha Thomas of Bridgeport said of
Eldredge's lyrical performance. "That was spectacular -- I've never
seen anything like it."
Thomas, an arena usher, said she was not a skating fan prior to
joining the arena staff. "Now that I get to see it in person, it's
nothing like on TV. I even love hockey now. The thing with these
professionals is that they make it look so easy."
Stars on Ice was founded by Olympic champion Scott Hamilton and his
manager, Robert D. Kain of IMG, in the spring of 1986. Last April
Hamilton retired as a full-time touring member of the company, but
continues to serve as co-producer.
This year's show was created with the cast in September during a
three-week stay at the International Skating Center of Connecticut in
Simsbury; final rehearsals were conducted in November at Lake Placid,
A portion of the price of every ticket sold on the tour will be
donated to Target House, which provides housing for children
undergoing long-term treatment for life-threatening diseases at
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.