Michael Weiss Foundation: 8th Annual Ice Champions Live

This was a more difficult year for the annual show.  Sinead Kerr wasn’t able to get across the pond in time, thunderstorms and even tornadoes threatened the place and the lights even blinked off as we were all getting into our seats, and even when they went back on it seems the Kettler’s sound system has been traumatized by being forced to play too much Russian techno; it failed to start the music a couple of times, the volume wavered badly while Ryan Bradly was performing, and the sound quality wasn’t too good a couple of other times either.  The skaters handled it as gamely as they could.  Some better than others; Mirai Nagusu looked very strong despite the static nearly overwhelming her music.  John Kerr was there, and drew on his singles experience from his younger years to do a very charming Robbie Williams number, complete with even a double axel!

He in fact led off the highlights of the show, which were all at the end.  Brian Boitano will always be a highlight, of course, and this year he did his old “Nessum Dorma” program, and he might not have the jumps he once had in it, but it’s still very beautiful.  Then from old to new, no sound problems were going to stop Ashley Wagner from debuting her Red Violin short with a lot of intensity and expressiveness already, and it’s a good program, one I look forward to seeing done as often as possible this season; I feel honored to have witnessed its premiere live.  Apparently the two-foot monster struck at one point according to someone else on FSU, but I didn’t notice.  And then there was Micheal Weiss himself, skating for the first time since injuring his groin early in the year, and I think there were slightly fewer skaters than usual this year, so he made up for it by doing two numbers.  First he brought his daughter out to sing, and came in and skated to the second half of her song, and fortunately she sounded much better than she had last year, at least in the first half, and in the second he distracted from any faults by skating as if he hadn’t been away that long.  Then he closed with his longtime “Hard to Handle” routine, if in what I think was a slightly abbreviated version.

I was amazed it was over when the cast came out then; even with the technical difficulties the show had just flown by.  No wonder my mom now wants us to travel up to Pennsylvania if necessary to see Stars on Ice(seeing it possibly in the Penguins arena, my my!).  Hell, maybe if there’s a lockout, all the unexpected empty nights at the Phone Booth will land the tour a spot there(on the other hand, if there is a lockout, I’m not sure I want to give Ted Leonsis any of my money by paying to see something in his arena).

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