2007 Ice Chips

The Skating Club of Boston's annual club show returned to Bright Arena at Harvard again this year. Unlike the Harvard-sponsored fall benefit show at this venue, "An Evening With Champions", they managed to get the hockey glass taken down for this event!

I was pleased to see that they had a pretty good crowd for the show this year; there were empty seats here and there, but I'd guess the rink was at least 80% full. On the negative side, throughout the entire show there seemed to be gazillions of people coming and going and shuffling seats in the section I was sitting in, which I found extremely distracting. I recognized many of the people as skaters who were in the show, and their parents; maybe the SCoB ought to consider just setting aside a couple sections for them so that they don't have to play musical chairs among the paying audience? Anyway, because of the distractions, I missed a lot of bits and pieces of the performances, and since I was trying to take photos too, my notes are especially sketchy.

The theme of the show this year was "The Great American Song Book", but it was hard to see what many of the numbers had to do with that. (Where *does* Tom McGinnis come up with the cheesy music they use for this show, anyway?) They also recycled the "Hollywood" backdrop from a few years ago instead of coming up with anything new. On the other hand, the whole point of the show is really for club members to skate around in silly costumes, and there was plenty of that this year.

The show opened with the adult ice theatre group doing a baseball skit. Eh. I'm a lot more interested in skating than baseball, and there seemed to be more of the latter in this number.

Next up, there was a group number for the basic skills skaters, and then the prejuvenile synchro team skated to music from "The Lion King". They weren't terribly synchronized, but everyone's got to start somewhere.

The first of the production numbers was a Gershwin medley, starting out with a group of girls skating to "Rhapsody in Blue". Harrison Choate and Kevin Coppola had solos -- my notes say "Stairway to Paradise" and "Fascinatin' Rhythm".

After this, Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir, a novice pair team, skated to "Grease". I got distracted during their performance and unfortunately took no notes on it.

Then we had a really big production number. I couldn't figure out what the connecting theme was supposed to be -- there was some narration, but it all came out pretty garbled with the crummy acoustics in the rink, and I couldn't understand half of it. Anyway, it started out with a gaggle of miniature Sonja Henies in fur-trimmed costumes. Juliana Cannarozzo bopped around with a snowman (listed in the program as Elin Schran -- Tenley Albright's daughter), and the voiceover started talking about competitions and judging.... heralding the arrival of the evil French judge and her cohorts, the Russian judge, the blind judge, the mad scientist judge, and a lone "good judge"! We in the audience were clearly expected to jeer and boo the villians of the piece.

Next Juliana and the snowman bopped around some more, and they were joined by a herd of smaller snowpeople, and then a group of penguins and chickens, who were joined by Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. Huh? I spoke with "Fred" after the show and *he* didn't have a clue what the connection was there, either. But the costumes were very cute! After this we had a segment where Angela Sementelli, Keilani-lyn Rudderham, and Rochelle Dost had solos -- my notes here say "Macarthur Park" for the music. This was followed by the usual segment they have every year where folks of all ages dance around the ice in formal dress, including the annual appearance by Emily & Sheppard Holt. Susan Enright & Michael Bramante had a solo piece, followed by Ross Miner doing a singularly unimpressive rendition of "Don Quixote" in his "Casablanca" outfit. Finally Julianna Cannarozzo had another solo piece before the finale with all the assorted Sonja Henies, snowpeople, fowl, etc back on the ice.

After this, there was a series of solos by the club's juvenile and intermediate national medallists. Bryna Oi skated a disco piece that unfortunately had nothing remotely dance-like in either the choreography or presentation. She might have done better with some other kind of music. Yasmin Siraj likewise skated to disco, and did better with including some actual dancing in her performance. Una Donegan & Andrew Korda skated to the Rolling Stones, while Gretchen Donlan did a GFB. Gretchen has a real star quality about her, but she took a spill on a spin at the end of her program.

Finally, rounding out the first half of the show, guest star Sasha Cohen skated a GFB in a dress that reminded me a lot of a similar one Michelle Kwan had a few years ago -- gold sequins and beads in swirly patterns on flesh-colored illusion. She did a double axel, triple salchow, and her usual assortment of bendy spins and spirals. The jumps she did were secure enough, but my overall impression of the program was slow skating and pretty posing.

The second half started out with the club's novice synchro team. Again, they didn't seem very synchronized. Personally, I think it's a dumb idea that synchro skaters now have to do solo spins and jumps in their programs.... even if they're capable of doing the elements individually, even on the best teams they never manage to get all 16 skaters in unison, so it just looks like a confusing muddle on the ice until they form up in a group again.

Brittney Rizo skated to a GFB -- I wrote down 3s and 2r for her jumps. Michaelee Scarinicio did a 3s and 2x with a step out I didn't write down her music, but I think it was something operatic.

Next the club's junior synchro team came out, skating to "Pirates of the Caribbean". They obviously had much more speed and power than the novice team, but they slowed down visibly in their footwork, and their spin section was still a mess.

Kylie Gleason skated to a GFB, wearing what looked like her red free skate dress. The only jump I got in my notes was a single axel; maybe she did more that I didn't write down.

Michelle Boulos skated a fun program to music from "Flashdance" in an appropriate costume, complete with a shiny metallic wrestler-style leotard, legwarmers, and a headband. Even in a show program like this, it's obvious she's a high-quality skater -- effortless speed, "big" movements that fill the ice surface, etc.

Ice Chips always features a group number for the club's boy skaters. This year, they were all skating Elvises! Complete with plastic headgear including enormous fake quiffs and sideburns, white and red outfits with capes, and fake prop microphones.

After this we had a disco medley for the older girls/women in the club. A group of four ladies skated to "Last Dance", and the whole thing concluded with the Ice Capades-style chorus line and pinwheel that they do every year.

Another thing they do every year is have the club's regional competitors skate around and be introduced. It seemed like there were fewer of them this year; but maybe that's because so many of the club's skaters did well enough in competition this year to get solo spots instead.

Curran Oi skated to the Simon & Garfunkel classic "Sounds of Silence". Technically, he's a good skater, but he needs to work on his expression and performance, because he might have been skating to anything. I wrote down 3s(?), 3f with step out, 2x for jumps.

Emily Naphtal, who trains at the club but competes for Mexico, skated to "The Impossible Dream". She's not a strong jumper (she had a messy fall on a double lutz here), but her international experience shows in the rest of her skating.

Juliana Cannarozzo skated a solo to music I noted as "screechy female vocal". Jumps were 2x, 3f, botched loop. I remember not being terribly impressed by Juliana when she was younger, but she's really improved her posture, and her acting and international competition experience has made her a polished performer now. She's also, ahem, grown up. Her outfit for this number seemed to consist mostly of sheer illusion with some strategically-placed sequins.

Scott Smith skated the Michael Buble program I've seen two or three times already. It's a good program for him and he obviously feels very comfortable with it. Jumps here were 3r fall, 3t, 3s. It's been kind of sad season for Scott, with failing to make the podium at Nationals, and now evidence that he's lost his status as the SCoB's highest-ranked competitor. How much longer is he going to keep trying? He's been at the same level for 4 or 5 years without having anything to show for it in terms of either his skating ability or competition results.

Stephen Carriere, as World Junior Champion, got the coveted spot as the last of the club soloists this year. He skated a new program to techno music with breakdancing movements and a lot of two-footed skating and strutting around while he waved his arms. Jump notes are 2x, 3f/2t, 2z/2t. It obviously went over well with the crowd, and it's good that he's finding music he can really get into and perform to.... but I would have liked to see a little more skating in the choreography, too.

Sasha Cohen closed the show skating the "God Bless America" program I'd previously seen her perform at the December cheesefest. 2x and wobbly 3s again, along more slow skating and trying to look soulful while doing her various bendy moves. I was struck by how similar the choreography and layout of the elements was to the first program she performed here.

So, that was the show. I wasn't too crazy about the choice of Cohen as the sole guest star this year, but for me the real attraction at these shows is seeing the local kids, anyway; it's fun to watch them grow and develop over the years.

Photos

Photos are Copyright (c) 2007, Sandra J. Loosemore, and are provided for personal viewing only except as noted in Skateweb's photo use policy.

Insert usual apology here for not getting good photos of everyone! I always have problems with the lighting for the group numbers, and while I try to take photos of all the soloists, sometimes none of my shots come out.

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