Smucker's Stars on Ice hit a skid Tuesday
||Des Moines Register|
||March 18, 2004|
Ames, Ia. - Monday's record snowfall may have prevented
figure-skating fans from attending the Smucker's Stars on Ice 2004
tour Tuesday evening. The crowd of 3,882 only filled about one-quarter
of the seats, but at least Jackie Newbury could see the performers
"Every seat is full, and we're usually way up there," the
Greenfield woman said as she pointed to Hilton Coliseum's nosebleed
section. "I always wondered what their faces looked like."
Newbury, who was with her son, Scott, daughter-in-law, Brandi, and
granddaughter, Natasha Newbury of Waukee, had been to two other ice
shows at the arena. Memories of the 2002 event brought tears to her
"They dropped this big flag down and it was really moving," she
said of the Sept. 11 tribute during a Champions on Ice show.
It had been more than 10 years since the Smucker's Stars on Ice
tour was in Ames, which may have contributed to the low attendance,
said Sara Barr, Iowa State Center director of marketing. She added
that the weather and spring break may have also been factors.
Laughter was prevalent at Tuesday's performance, however, thanks to
funny antics from skaters such as four-time World Champion Kurt
Browning. He purposely fell into fans seated on the floor during his
first number, which was skated to "Moondance" by Michael Buble. As he
waved with an apologetic look on his face, a downpour suddenly fell
above his head from the ceiling. Lucky for Browning, a skater came out
just in time with an umbrella.
"Timing is everything," a voice said.
Similar interludes throughout the rest of the show were intended to
communicate its theme of "time," although they didn't always produce
the desired effect. Among the more obvious was a performance titled
"Working Time" by world champion and six-time U.S. national champion
Todd Eldredge; 2002 Olympic pair champion David Pelletier; 2002
Olympic gold medalist Alexei Yagudin; and world bronze medalist and
three-time U.S. national pair champion John Zimmerman.
One of the most crowd-pleasing numbers was by Zimmerman and Kyoko
Ina, who skated to "Look at Little Sister" by Stevie Ray Vaughan and
Zimmerman's macho image was made complete by his T-shirt and tight
jeans, as well as when he pretended to play piano and guitar. One lift
that placed Ina's head on Zimmerman's shoulder had her legs at nearly
a 90-degree angle.
Receiving standing ovations were Eldredge's complicated jumps to
"When You Come Back to Me Again" by Garth Brooks and Browning's fancy
footwork to "Ding Dong Daddy" by the Cherry Poppin' Daddies.
World and Olympic champion Oksana Baiul failed to gain an
enthusiastic response, however, which can be said for several aspects
of the show.
"It didn't have the pizazz that the other two did," Newbury