Before I begin my report, I know I am going to get tons of e-mails, asking how I was able to go to the post party reception. Let me answer that now...I got a flyer in the mail a while ago for the show. One of the choices was "Golden Circle/VIP." It includes on ice seats, and the post party. It was pretty expensive, though. But, it was my birthday present from my mom (skating tickets have been my present for the past three years!) I didn't take notes on what jumps the skaters did or did not do (though I jotted quick notes during intermission and after the show on what I remembered). So, this will basically be my general thoughts on the programs. For a detailed review of the show, check out Louis' report on the show. Now, onto the show!

First thing I always check when I go to a show...what can I buy, and where's the program? Well, for this show, the program was free, but it wasn't the usual was basically an 8 page newspaper. There were only 2 color pictures (of Nancy Kerrigan and Lu Chen.) However, it included a running order of the show, so I knew who was skating next, and what they were skating to. Our seats were front row, right on the end. Next to us was one of the cameras, and I guess the producer of the show? She had cue cards for Robin Cousins, who would give the intro to most of the programs. He stood right in front of us when he did this. Behind us were almost 10 flower girls. Before the show, they were talking about how they would go on the ice, how they would take turns, etc. Problem is, they never had to retrieve flowers during the show! (Actually, they did once, but it was during the retakes. That's a funny story...I'll get to that later.) Most of the time at shows, they don't let you throw things on the ice, so I guess people didn't bring anything. They still got to watch the show, and the skated around on the ice when the show was over. I thought the skaters would be coming out right there, since they always have come out of that tunnel for every other show I have been to (and I have never been near the entrance.) What do you know...they came out the end opposite me. ;-) There was a curtain blocking the entrance. Next to that was the live band (Faith Prince and Alan Thicke sang 2 numbers each), and where the singers stood for their first number. The security guard also announced to us that we could take pics, but no flash. We didn't have a very fast film speed, so I don't know how well the pics will come out. My pictures of the show should be up sometime this weekend.

Act I:

The cast for the show was Todd Eldredge, Nancy Kerrigan, Lu Chen, Caryn Kadavy, Robin Cousins, Kazakova and Dmitriev, Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze, and Klimova and Ponomarenko. Everyone came out and skated to Opening Production from Ragtime. Todd landed a double axel right in front of me. Everything went smoothly in the opening. Then, Robin skated over to us, and did his little intro piece for Nancy's number (I saw the cue cards...if you ask me, I think the writing on the cards would have been too small/light for me, but Robin did a great job!)

Nancy skated to "Tomorrow" from Annie. She came out dressed just like Annie...complete with a red wig. She fell out of a jump at one end of the rink, and fell on another jump in front of me.

Next up were Kazakova and Dmitriev skating to "Take Me As I Am" from Jekyll and Hyde. (Robin's intro to this was cute...said something about critics complaining that the show had too much "ice rink" music, and he wanted to say thanks for that.) Great moves in this program.

Then, Klimova and Ponomarenko skated to "Hello Young Lovers" from King and I. Faith Prince sung live. They skated to two non-depressing music that was a nice change.

Lu Chen skated to "No Man Left for Me" from Will Rogers Follies. This was a flirty type number. Her costume was the one for her short program at 97 Worlds (I think.) She skated slower than normal.

Robin Cousins skated to "I'll Cover You" from Rent. Wonderful. And the back flip always makes the crowd go crazy. :-)

They had to set up a few things for the next skaters, Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze. They announced "don't worry, it's worth it." They skated to "Luck Be a Lady" from Guys and Dolls (Alan Thicke sang.) She started by sitting on the podium Alan was standing on. I know I say it every time I see them, but I can never get over how fast they are! Pretty hard to take pictures of. ;-) I thought some of their moves (just a few steps, or so) were from their Barcelona number. Still, a great program.

Caryn Kadavy skated to "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables. She fell on a double axel, but came back and landed one later in the program.

The final skater in the first act was Todd Eldredge skating to "Any Day Now, Day" from Baker's Wife. Huge ovation (every time he came on the ice.) I guess for every time I say B&S are fast, my mom says how fast Todd skates. :-) Did 3 double axels in a row.

Intermission. After they cleaned the ice, Melitta Brunne, the oldest living Olympic figure skating medalist came on the ice. She skated to Rhapsody in Blue, and wore a blue costume, with a blue scarf thing on her head with kind of a tiara on top. She was great (just skated around...and the woman behind me kept saying "I hope she doesn't fall.") Pretty sure ESPN didn't tape it, though.

Act II:

Even though the program said that all the skaters would have another number together in the beginning of this act, there was none. First up was Caryn Kadavy skating to "Take Back Your Mink" from Guys and Dolls. Really cute number. This was the other number that Faith Prince sang live (and this time she was standing closer to the ice.) For this number, Caryn wore a black mink (obviously), a black hat, and pearls. In the middle of the number, she takes the hat and pearls off, and rips the mink off to reveal a different costume. Drove the audience nuts. :-) Caryn did fall on her double axel in this program, though.

Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze were up next skating to "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha. They wore their blue costumes they use for Swan Lake. We had a great view of their beautiful spiral (would have been a nice picture if it came out!)

Klimova and Ponomarenko skated to "Carousel Waltz" from Carousel. Wore green and black costumes.

Lu Chen skated to "Will He Like Me" from She Loves Me. I liked this program more than the first one...maybe itís more her style? Pink costume that reminded me of a cross between Michelleís On My Own costume and Kristiís Seasons (?) costume. Singled her axel. (I really thought she would have come out at the end for retakes for both programs, but she didnít.)

Todd Eldredge then skated to "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables. Wore the short program costume he used for Les Mis this year. Beautiful triple axel, and, as always, extremely fast spins.

Kazakova and Dmitriev skated to "Bolero" from Grand Hotel. First I thought he had his air slicked back, but then he turned around, and saw he had it in a pony tail. Red and black costumes.

Nancy Kerrigan then took the ice for "I'd Give My Life For You" from Miss Saigon. Fell out of triple salchow. Greenish blue costume.

Then, the most unexpected program of the night. I donít remember if Alan Thicke spoke about this before this number, or earlier (knew I should have written everything down!), but he said how he had good memories at the Spectrum (the older arena next door) playing in celebrity hockey games against former Flyers. Well, for this number, he came out with hockey skates on, and started skating around before Robin Cousins stepped on the ice! The audience went wild! Alan sang "All I Care About" from Chicago (he does the show on Broadway), while skating around the rink! Of course, Robin did his program great. At one point, they slapped hands (I think.) Another really cute number. :-)

Then, everyone came onto the ice for the finale to "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel. After each skater did an individual move, they skated to a certain part of the ice. When they were all done (I think Kazakova and Dmitriev were the last ones), Caryn, Lu, and Nancy did an illusion in time, the pairs all did the same move at the same time, and then Todd and Robin did unison moves. Then, they all skated to center ice, formed a circle, and received a standing ovation. Then, they skated over to where Robin always did the intros for the skaters (right in front of me), while Robin said goodnight (since this was the only time I used the flash, they were the only pics that came out great.)


Robin stayed on the ice and asked people to stay for the retakes. I first saw retakes at Skating Romance 3, and loved them. I donít know why people leave!

First, Caryn came out to do her double axel for "I Dreamed A Dream". She landed it in one try (with no music)

Then, Nancy came out for the retake for "I'd Give My Life For You". She tried the salchow, but doubled it. Everyone thought she would try it again, but she skated off the ice. She came back, though, and started skating around. She kept saying that she forgot where the jump went! She muttered that she skated to this hundreds of times, and she forgot it! So, she said that she needed the music. Then, she said ďI remember!Ē But, they already started the music, so she skated, and did landed the triple sal this time.

Then, Caryn came out for her double axel for "Take Back Your Mink." Again, she landed it perfectly in one take.

Then, Robin said that he knows we thought Todd skated perfectly (of course!), but he wanted to do a triple axel for his "Any Day Now, Day" program. While Todd was setting up for the jump, a woman screamed "I love you Todd!" He stopped and smiled, and had to fix his hair. :-) Then, a few more women started screaming it. Todd again went to do his triple axel. The first time he singled it. Then, he did a double. Then, he fell. Then he landed a single on both feet. Finally, on his fifth try, he landed it perfectly! He waved to the audience, and skated off.

The final skater was Nancy, who came out for her Annie program. They played her music, and she landed the first jump in one try. Then, she tried to redo the other triple she had problems with. Her tries were unsuccessful (she fell once, and doubled them a few times.) She kept apologizing. She was also having trouble with the red wig staying on. As she was setting up another time, a man screamed "Go Tonya". She just answered that with landing the jump perfectly. :-) Then, she took Robinís microphone, and again apologized for taking so long. (I donít know why...the more skating I see, the better!) She also thanked us for being such a great audience.

Then, Robin said that the skating retakes were finished. He had to do a few more retakes of the intros for the show. He said that if we left then, to leave quietly. ;-) When he was finished, he thanked us for being a great audience, and said that he hoped we enjoyed the show. Now, we just had to find our way to the post reception. No problem...we just followed the crowd!

Post Reception:

The post show reception was held upstairs. There were a lot of people there. Fruit, lots of different cakes, and coffee were set out. None of the skaters showed up for a while (don't know how long...should have checked my watch. I know it was enough time for the ALCS game to change from 5-0 to 7-0, if that helps.) People left before the skaters got there (one girl had a mini temper tantrum near me when her mom made her leave.) I brought with me a picture of every skater in the show to get signed. Some were from Leah Adams (thanks so much Leah!). I also had one of Todd I took at Nationals, and one of Caryn I took at the 1996 US FS Postal Service Challenge blown up. I didn't have pictures of Lu Chen or Nancy, so I took a picture from Blades on Ice for Lulu, and a picture from the USOC's calendar for Nancy.

Finally, I saw Caryn Kadavy, and I ran over to her, before she got crowded. As I walked towards her, Klimova and Ponomarenko went right past us. When I took out the picture, and asked for an autograph, she complimented my picture of her. :-) She asked if I took it, and I said yes. I told her it was from one of the proams here, and she said she knew. After I got my picture taken with her, we told her how we love her skating. She thanked us, and she was off to sign for the next person.

Then, we saw a bunch of people crowded around someone, and saw that it was Lulu! Up close, she is even more beautiful than on TV! Got her autograph, and my picture taken with her (my mom later got a picture of her alone.) She just kind of signed mechanically, if you know what I mean. I think she disappeared for a while after that.

Then, we saw another cluster of people around a was Todd! He was sitting at one table, and Alan Thicke was at a table next to that. Todd put his arm around everyone that got a picture with him. The mother of the girl in front of me said "can't you keep your arm around her?" LOL! Then, I went to Todd, and he saw my picture (from Nationals), and said "Wow." :-) A woman in line asked me where I got it, and I told her I took it...she couldn't believe it. So, Todd signed, and I got my picture with him (hopefully it came out better than the one I got taken with him at Nationals.) I totally forgot what I was going to say to him (or any other skater for that matter...I always freeze up around them!) A few seconds later, I asked Alan for a picture, he said sure. Then, a waiter came over and put a tray of cake slices in front of Alan. He called Todd and said "Todd..nananana." ;-) Then, he asked him if he wanted one. Todd said sure, and Alan said, hmm, which one is best for Todd? He gave it to Todd (while I was in the middle of them), and then took a picture with me.

Someone was then complaining that Nancy wasn't there yet. As I was putting my pictures away, someone said that they saw Artur Dmitriev. I didn't see him, but went in the same direction. Then, I saw Nancy. She signed a few autographs, and her husband kept saying that she should walk around a little, and then sit down. But, she stood there for a while. I got my calendar page signed, a picture, and off I went (I probably sound like a broken record by now.) Later on, I saw that she was sitting, but still signing.

We spotted Robin Cousins (who must have been so tired!), and went over. When I gave him the picture to sign (another great one of Leah's), he was very impressed with it. Someone at the table asked where it was taken, and Robin told them.

By then, a lot of people had left. We walked around to the other side of the room, and saw Klimova and Ponomarenko again! Her haircut looks great. :-) While they were signing, a woman came up to them, and asked if she could test out her Russian on them. So, they went off for a while (I assume they were talking about where they train because she said "California" and "Lake Arrowhead"). Then, in English, she said how she couldn't believe people traveled so far just for training. After that, I was able to get a picture with them.

We walked around a few more times, but didn't see Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze or Kazakova and Dmitriev, which was strange because I saw their coach Tamara Moskvina earlier. I did hear that Artur came and left early, though I never saw him. Oh well, I still had fun! It was different than I thought, though. I thought that there would be more mingling than skaters just sitting there signing, but I guess I can't complain!!

I will have my pictures up soon. Hope you enjoyed my report!

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Photo © Heather Winfield