January 8, 2018

2018 US Nationals - OR - Why I Suddenly Burst Out Crying in Front of My Family

... when I was explaining who was and WASN'T going to the Olympics.


"But wasn't she the veteran on the team?" asked my husband.

And when I started to explain that Ashley Wagner wasn't chosen for the team, I choked up.  I guess watching Nationals with dozens and dozens of my fellow skating fanatics on Twitter will get you emotionally invested.  And I'm not complaining about the skaters who are on the team.  In my mind, all four of them deserve to go.  How about letting Ashley compete in the Team event, since she medaled in it last time?

Just my two cents.  Anyway, my husband and daughter were very concerned that I teared up.  I usually am not so consumed in skating competitions.  I blame you Olympic Channel and Bridgestone Tires!

And it's not easier to explain what happened on the men's side.  Ross Minor getting second place and not being selected?  Again, I'm so conflicted because I really want Adam Rippon there too.

Now I know I'm not going to say anything new or insightful here.  For that you should check out Christine Brennan at USA Today.  She's chockablock with opinions.  If you want a horror show, read the nasty comments following.  I'm so sorry Ashley!

If you don't mind spending hours pouring over  the details, a great source that has EVERYTHING about skating is Rocker - Figure Skating.

And if you just want to feel part of the skating community, join in on Twitter.  It seemed half the people were in the crowd, so I felt I had the behind the scenes insight.  And you know who won Twitter for Nationals?  Gracie Gold.  Yup.  She slayed.

She's whip-smart funny and if she hasn't gotten a literary agent yet I'd be shocked.  Seriously, it's not too late.  Follow her on Twitter in time for the Olympics and you won't be sorry.


December 13, 2017

Ice Capades Choreographer Turned Trainer for I, Tonya

In case you haven't read any articles about the behind the scenes for I, Tonya, this article from IndiWire is very interesting.  Sarah Kawahara was the trainer for Margot Robbie and her doubles.

She's having a good year this year, having also been inducted to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. (btw Sarah's Wikipedia page could use some updating.  Just putting that out there!)

Soooo, has anyone seen the movie yet?  I'm looking forward to seeing it, but I'd rather go with some fellow skaters.  May have to wait a while.  Please add any comment if you saw the movie.  Would love to know what others think.

December 4, 2017

Now Available on Amazon.com





It’s 1989. Sue and Judy are back. In their last adventure they toured Europe with Follies On Ice. Now they’re staying put in a glitzy hotel nestled in a quiet, coastal town in Japan, skating in a scantily clad, Vegas-style review for audiences swarming with Yakuza - the Japanese mafia. Sue has joined the show to get over a crushing breakup, only to fall for a cast member she shouldn’t. Judy warns her that a bad boyfriend, like cheap sushi, won’t last long. Ice Charades: Guy Jean Queen – the follow up to Penguins Behaving Badly and Other Follies From the Road - takes you backstage of the charming little dinner show that is anything but.


November 27, 2017

Coming Soon to an Amazon.com near you!





    Ice Charades: Guy Jean Queen, the sequel to Ice Charades: Penguins Behaving Badly will be ready for purchase on-line at Amazon.com this Friday, December 1st. 

November 2, 2017

Remembering Toller Cranston the Mexican Way!

Dia de los Muertos ends today, so I'm reposting my shout out to Toller Cranston on Nov 2, 2015. I still miss him very much.





That's Toller in Mexico in front of some of his artwork (I believe they hung in various restaurants throughout San Miguel.)





Miss Ice Charades only lived in Mexico for two years, but that's enough to feel like I can celebrate Dia de los Muertos with the rest of them.

For those not so familiar with the Mexican holiday, which was me before going to Mexico, some describe it as "a loving tribute to a family member or friend who has died" but others seem to choose to honor a famous person who has died in the year.

It's only fitting then that my Dia de los Muertos ofrenda, or altar, is for Toller Cranston.


You have to look close to see the two photos of him, one as a skater and one as an artist.  There's lots of red in there because I know he liked that color.  There are also a few snacks and some red wine in addition to the water, since you are supposed to include these to "refresh the spirit after his journey" and candles.

What is missing is the Pan de muerto and the calaveras (sugar skulls) because there are hard to find in Princeton, New Jersey.



When we lived in Mexico City, we had an ofreda for Michael Jackson with a few more appropriate components on the table.


I wish I could have seen the bigger celebration at the Gala for the Ice Theatre of New York, but I'm honoring the most artistic figure skater ever, in my own small way.


RIP Toller Cranston


October 25, 2017

In honor of Wakaba Higushi's Free Skate and the fabulous choreography by Shae Lynn Bourne

This is reposted from 11/16/2012 ... I can't believe I choreographed an entire show in my head. (Hey Jeb, call me.)



Bond, Skate Bond

About a month ago I was talking with a fellow show skater who said that Holiday On Ice wasn't doing well. I had to wonder because they don't have a new show coming out this year. That's not a good sign.

So, I've got an idea for HOI ... oh and you're welcome.

Much like when Feld production (the folks of Disney on Ice) produced a pretty successful ice show called "High School Musical On Ice". It sold well in the first and second years.



I think a skating show about James Bond has great potential. So many of the theme songs from the movies are fantastic and would be great to see with skating.

Bond, Skate Bond - what do you think?

Who didn't love Yu-na Kim's short program in Vancouver? Could it work in an entire show like High School Musical did?

I'm putting aside all of the licensing issues - I know it costs a lot to use the music, but I'm hoping the profits would take care of that.

Doing Bond is trickier in some respects. High School Musical On Ice followed the plots of two shows, so there was a natural progression that you wouldn't have with Bond. We're doing theme songs here, so there has to be a variety to keep people interested.

On the plus side, the theme of James Bond is instantly recognized. So let's make it into a show shall we?

Here's how I'd do it:

Opening - to me it would have to be the main "007 Theme" that starts out most of the movies (not to be confused with the "James Bond Theme" - who knew?). Your principal male skater would be this Bond and the chorus could be between robbers (villians) and other spys (gals in trench coats could be very stylish).

The Second number would tie in the newest movie "Skyfall" by Adele with your principal female skater.

The one problem I could see with a James Bond show is that most of the songs are the big ballad types and one after another in the line-up would get boring. So you've got to mix it up.

The third number could be Madonna's "Die Another Day" which has a modern, funky beat that will break up the slow tunes. I'm not crazy about this song though ... personally I don't think it's her best work. But you need this number for the variety. Full chorus for this number, put in a good ol' pinwheel and kickline for good measure.

You could blend this song with the second half of "The World Is Not Enough" by Garbage which has a rich orchestration that we're used to with most of the Bond songs.

Next, as great as all of the Shirley Bassey tunes are, they are the oldest and the audience may not recognize them. My suggestion: put "Goldfinger", "Diamonds Are Forever" and "Moonraker" in a montage with three different skaters in very different outfits. Gold, silver and blue, perhaps, and in that order.

Now we have four to sixish numbers so far, which doesn't make enough to get you through to intermission. The first half needs to be about 40 - 45 minutes at least. So I would add a couple non-Bond songs, like a Scottish-bag pipe song that reminds one of Great Britian, home of the spy. Another location song could be a beachy theme with Bond girls in bathing suits set to a Greek-style folk song. Or Italian accordian? Think the Riveria.

But in terms of this blog post, if you haven't stopped reading already you will soon if I don't speed up my show.

So, for the second half, you would want to include Sheryl Crow's "Tomorrow Never Dies" then Duran Duran's "View to a Kill" and a-ha's "The Living Daylights" to bring in a faster beat. I would have my last two ballads be the more well-known "For Your Eyes Only" by Sheena Easton and Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better" - a personal favorite - that could be the last solo number before the big finale.

The finale should restart the "007 Theme" blending with the "James Bond Theme" and blending into my personal favorite Bond theme (it's my show, so I get to pick the closer, ok?) "Live and Let Die."

So that's the show, plus or minus a few tunes. Like I said earlier, if you're still reading this, let me know what you think?

October 11, 2017

Crystal! by Cirque du Soleil




Finally there's a Cirque du Soleil show on ice!  And it may be coming to a city near you ... check out the itinerary here.  And here's the promo on You Tube.



Stay with the video and you'll hear Kurt Browning, because you'll see some of the skating.

I would love to see this show, because I have seen of it its performers in Phantasialand (amusement park show in Germany) and he is phenomenal.  Worth the five hour drive it may take me, if I decide to go. I'll keep you posted on this one.