Stars on Ice Shining Their Brightest
||April 19, 2000|
Copyright 2000 Sun Media Corporation
Ten years old and still going strong, the skating troupe that is
Stars On Ice hasn't lost its touch.
That special, oh-so-rare ability to reinvent itself over and over
again, in ever-wondrous ways that always seem to please its loyal
To be something different ... that's the $ 64,000 question tour
director Sandra Bezic dares to answer, each and every year, no matter
how difficult it continues to get.
Darned if she and her gifted cast didn't cash in one more time last
night. The 10th anniversary Canadian version of this tour, which played
before about 14,000 at the Corel Centre, was a special occasion, to be
sure. Indeed, Bezic and Co. may have pulled off their best show stopper
That seemed to be the prevalent feeling among the audience members,
most of whom walked out the doors into the chilly night with mostly
smiles on their faces.
It was an audience that came out knowing who they wanted to see --
the tight-knit cast, remarkably, stays almost intact from year to year
-- but not knowing exactly how they'd see their favourites.
But that's the magic of Stars On Ice, a seamless, classy production
from start to finish. You come only knowing one thing -- that someone,
or something, will force that grin across your face.
So what made 'em smile last night? Oh, let us count the ways.
Perhaps it was the, uh, fashion statement. Picture glittery outfits
at one moment, or the biggest of purple feather boas draped around a
glamorous Shae-Lynn Bourne at another. Or those way-cool skates Scott
Hamilton strapped on at one point, which looked like a pair of black
Converse high tops (you remember, those?). The accompanying red overalls
... let's not go there.
Nostalgia, you say? How about a Simon and Garfunkel medley,
including that all-time party favourite, Cecilia? Not just a top-40 hits
show, this one.
Maybe it was the high-flying antics of Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd
Eisler, almost guaranteed to pull a crowd out of its seats. Or the
backflips doled out liberally by Hamilton and Brian Orser.
Neatly tying the show together from beginning to end was perhaps the
most lovable skating clown and muse of them all, Kurt Browning, red nose
and all, who couldn't stop figuring out new ways to generate a few
laughs. Although the crowd surely didn't complain when he switched to a
pair of plastic-looking pants and gyrated to an old disco fave, Play
That Funky Music.
We won't even get into trying to describe the ballerina outfit
Hamilton pranced around the ice in, but the performance itself was
boffo, to be sure. You really had to be there.
Old hits showed up in different guises, like a modernish Mack The
Knife, by Bourne and Victor Kraatz, or a funked-up version of Louis
Armstrong's What A Wonderful World, that closed the evening.
Hitting close to home doesn't hurt, either, when you're playing to
an Ottawa crowd. Like that young American Woman, Tara Lipinski, flashing
across the ice to an old Canadian band favourite, waving the red maple
leaf when done.
'Course, you couldn't top the last words spoken this evening.
"Good luck, Senators!," Alberta boy Browning yelled at the crowd
before the show closed for the night.
What a wonderful thought, you've gotta admit.
Kind of like this tour itself, which is aging quite nicely, thank