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Memory Lane

Snowden on Ice

November 1997
written by Norma Baker

This show was, first and foremost, a Christmas fantasy featuring Katya and Kurt. The performers were as follows:
  • Katya Gordeeva as Kate
  • Kurt Browning as the hockey Coach, Grandpa Albert, Albert, Snowden
  • Josee Chouinard as Shana
  • Daria Grinkov as Lizzie
  • Scott Hamilton as Scootch (the Zamboni Man)
The music was pleasant and was written by Randy Goodrum, and performed by some very well-known artists: Amy Grant; Olivia Newton-John; Anne Murray; Lou Rawls; Kenny Rogers; and B.J. Thomas.

"The Zamboni Man" introduces Scootch, driving the machine, then talking about how the town was named after Grandpa Albert, champion skater who built his home right on the pond's edge, where he taught grand-daughter, Kate, how to skate. He also introduced Snowden and his importance to the town and story. Since the Winter Festival is approaching and the local folks are all excited about being in it, there's a big skating number to "A Skater's Holiday," in which both Albert and Shana participate, as well as a huge number of young kids skating their little hearts out. While all this skating activity is going on, an adult Kate (now a famous children's book authoress), with her daughter, Lizzie, is returning (to "A New Hometown") while she tells her all about the town, the people, and the snowman there. (At this point Scootch hints about remedying an old problem, and notes that uncovering the furniture uncovers the past as well.) As the sun rises next morning on Kate's first day back, the skaters are preparing for the Winter Festival...separated into 2 groups: Albert with the boys' hockey team, and Shana with the girls' figure skaters team. At this point, there is a fantastic routine by Albert to "Just Do It," complete with all his fast and fancy footwork and jumps and spins, with the little guys doing their best to imitate him. While Shana and her girls skate to "Practice and Practice," Albert and his boys keep interrupting and teasing them, at which time there is a duet between Albert and Shana, mixing the melodies of both songs. (Very cute and very Kurt!)

At this point there was a flashback--thanks to Scootch's narration--about Shana being jealous for years and years about Kate's skating skill, thanks to Grandpa Albert, until at a competition Kate missed a jump and fell down, humiliating herself so completely she never returned to skating. And little Lizzie, in her first attempt to skate falls down, to the obvious amusement of all the little girls. And, like her mother earlier in her life, Lizzie says she doesn't want to ever skate again.

Back to the show and Scootch, bragging about how Grandpa Albert and he are the only skaters in the world who can do the "Scootch" maneuver (a thoroughly improbable maneuver), then going back to wish Kate could recapture the special feeling she had when skating with Grandpa Albert (with his special jacket with candy all over and in the pockets. This led to a cute duet by a young Grandpa Albert with a young Kate, to "My Katy Lou," which was purt Kurt Browning footwork and pizzazz. When he finished, he left his hat and scarf on Snowden. At this point, Scootch hinted Kate should read Lizzie her story about the bird that couldn't fly, and she did so, at bedtime. While Lizzie slept, Kate found and donned her skates, her winter clothes changing to a beautiful skatintg outfit. Then Snowden came to life and they skated to "Fly," a very beautiful duet (with the snowman, changing from a "real" snowman to a cartoon one during the routine). As the number ended, Kate was back in her regular clothes, and Snowden was back on the ground.

We're nearing the show's end, and it starts with Scootch handing the Albert trophy to Snowden as the Winter Festival begins, first with the little girls performing for their family's applause, then Shana, in an eye-catching red outfit, skating to "I'm Number One." But before she can accept the trophy, another entrant is announced, and Kate appears, in a gorgeous white outfit, skating to "We Are Home," with great elegance and grace. As she finished her number, Shana graciously hands her the trophy. Why not? She gets our good buddy, Albert/Kurt!!

The show ended with "Come Gather Around the Table," and while the adults are praising Kate, we see the "Welcome Home" banner draped on their porch. Then the camera pans to the pond, where Lizzie and Snowden are skating, hand in hand, and Snowden becomes Grandpa Albert! See? I told you this was a fantasy with a fitting end for a Christmas story.

Review by Norma Baker