Review: 'Stars on Ice' glides into KeyArena
"Stars on Ice," celebrating its 25th year, made a Seattle stop on Friday night with Evan Lysacek, the duo Jamie Salé and David Pelletier and even Kurt Browning, showing he's still got the moves.
"Stars on Ice" is celebrating its 25th anniversary as the country's
premiere skating revue this year. And the current touring show, which
visited KeyArena on Friday night, reflects this special birthday with
clips from previous years, remarks by producer (and former champion
skater) Scott Hamilton, and a feel-good vibe from a cast made up
largely of "Stars on Ice" veterans.
||February 26, 2011|
The show itself was a pleasant, if significantly blander outing than
usual, with less of the cheesy splash or the artistic reach of many a
previous "Stars on Ice." The choreography (by former skater Renée
Roca) was light on pizazz, and disappointingly did not take full
advantage of the outstanding skills of the talent gracing the
Still, those grand skaters gave it their all, and earned a warm
reception from the enthusiastic crowd at the Key.
Capping the highlights were two exceptionally exciting routines by the
Canadian figure skating team of Jamie Salé and David Pelletier. The
pair, who married after winning Olympic gold in 2002, announced last
year that they're divorcing.
Lucky for us, they're still skating in tandem, and their duets set to
The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" and Janet and Michael Jackson's
"Scream" were stylish and spellbinding, filled with creative lifts,
turns and holds — including the one where an upside-down Salé hooks
her skates around Pelletier's neck, and he swings around.
Evan Lysacek, the 2010 Olympic male figure-skating champ, is a superb
but somewhat stiff technical skater who is starting to loosen up into
more of an entertainer. Lean and long, a brilliant jumper, he's
growing more expressive in his two solo numbers, a tango and a skate
to David Hernandez's "The Climb" — one of the excessive store of gushy
pop ballads used this year.
For sheer showmanship you can hardly beat Kurt Browning, the
ever-charming and humorously self-deprecating host of the revue. In
one of the cleverest routines, "Steppin' Out," Browning gracefully
tripped the light fantastic on ice a la Fred Astaire, to a song that
let us in on an aging skater's innermost thoughts while performing
("Knees don't fail me now!").
At 44, Browning's knees (amazingly) did not appear to fail him. He
skated with his trademark wit and flair, and even popped a couple of
multiple jumps. Pushing 40 himself, Todd Eldredge has cut way back on
hard moves, but he's still a crowd favorite. Three-time national champ
Michael Weiss, meanwhile, remains an athletic dynamo and fearless
backflipper, as demonstrated in a hard-driving solo to Queen's
"Somebody to Love."The ever-lovely (and newly blond) Ekaterina
Gordeeva was back again too, showing off her sexy side to the spicy
"Cinema Italiano" mambo from the movie "Nine."
Among the younger set, there were appealing ensemble and individual
moments for Sasha Cohen (a pixie charmer in a clowning skate-skit with
red balloons), pretty and lithe Canadian bronze Olympic medal winner
Joannie Rochette, and glamorous ice-dancing duo Tanith Belbin and Ben
Agosto (who overcame illness and injury to place fourth in last year's