1992 Fall Festival of Ice Champions

The following is a report I posted to Usenet about this show in October, 1992:

Here's a quick review of the Paul Wylie / Nancy Kerrigan skating show held this weekend in Fitchburg, MA. First of all, this is apparently not a travelling show, so those of you outside of New England are out of luck.

I was kind of disappointed because most of the skaters seemed to be recycling programs I've already seen several times before. Wylie and Kerrigan did their "Miss Saigon" numbers, for example. They're nice programs and they skated them well but I'm getting awfully tired of seeing the same old thing. The program notes say that Wylie has decided to put off going to law school for a couple of years in order to tour professionally -- I certainly hope he gets some new routines in the meantime.

Besides the lack of original material, most of the skaters chose to do glitzy show numbers to pop music, that I didn't find very interesting in terms of choreography or interpretation.

Just to briefly list the other skaters:

Jo Jo Starbuck choreographed the opening and closing numbers and introduced all the skaters. I actually think the show would have been better off if they'd cut the elaborate introductions. As it was, it ran over 3 hours and people were getting a little restless by the end. (The Fitchburg arena is quite small and has uncomfortable bleacher-type seats.)

Jill Trenary did two rather nondescript show numbers, and Roslyn Sumners did the same two routines I'd seen her do on TV last winter. It seemed like they both wiggled their hips a lot. Mark Mitchell did a lot of hip-wiggling too in his second routine. The teenage girls in the audience loved it. His first routine was more soft and stylish and mildly jazzy.

Kovarikova & Novrotny only did one routine but they were certainly very impressive -- it was more difficult technically than what either of the other two pairs did, and their presentation is also excellent. Urbanski & Marval did their technical program first (wearing costumes that must set a new standard for ugliness), and the usual James Brown thing later on. I didn't care much for the Carruthers' first routine (again, it was something I'd seen before anyway) but their second one was really nice, using exceptionally mellow music.

David Liu did a routine to Gershwin and I think it was one of the highlights of the show. He's not much of a jumper, but he did some really nice footwork and spins.

Lisa Ervin was still struggling with her jumps through both of her routines, much as she did at Skate America. I wasn't terrifically impressed.

Annenko & Sretenski did two very nice dance routines, one to a Strauss waltz and the second to a Mahler piece. Mayer & Breen were also there. I think their first number may have been their new competition free dance (it had a bluesy feel to it). Their second one was a bit of Swan Lake. I think it suited their style.

As a kind of novelty act, the show featured two male Armenian skaters, Zakarian & Manoukian. They did some acrobatic stuff, and some fancy footwork, and they were fun to watch. There were also some non-famous local skaters in the show. The one who was most impressive was Molly Ziolkowski, who is only 10 years old but who popped off an amazing bunch of triples in her program.

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