September 28, 2010

Another Ice Capades Reunion

This time it's a on a cruise ship! It makes a lot of sense, because this ship has the ice show, the ice rink, and lots of mutual connections.

Ice Capades Reunion 2011 Bermuda Cruise


Royal Caribbean's
Explorer of the Seas
5 day Cruise to Bermuda


Saturday June 18, 2011 -to- Thursday June 23, 2011

Dear Alumni:

Ice Capades was my life for so long. I am sure you have great memories like I do and would love the time to re-connect with past cast members as well as meeting new ones. So I am trying to find a good way for us all to enjoy each other's company with few distractions.

Reconnecting with old friends, meeting new friends and enjoying the luxury of time on board a truly incredible five star ship is what I am putting together. I have arranged for a wonderful escape on board a cruise to the gorgeous island of Bermuda in June of next year. Pricing is affordable and all inclusive, payments are easy to make and best of all we will have each other to make memories with once again.

I hope you find this idea appealing and will give it some consideration. I look forward to seeing you when we take Ice Capades first cruise! Bon Voyage!.

With Love,

Greg Bonin

Ice Capades Reunion
tel: 1-504-228-0915

P.S. Royal Caribbean needs a count of how many staterooms we will need no later than October 23, 2010. Please click on the link below to learn more details and to register TODAY. Don't miss the boat!

Get more information

Greg Smith of Expedia CruiseShipCenters is coordinating the group with Royal Caribbean. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact him at the number below

Greg Smith
Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®
tel: 1-800-410-5451 x420

September 24, 2010

Everything's Better With Muppets ...

If you've got three minutes and a soft spot for the Muppet Show, I think you'll agree with me that, yes, "Everything's Better With Muppets", that's for sure. Your toes will be tapping by the 30-second mark, I promise.

thanks to the Daily Dish for this video

A week ago a friend and former show skater commented on getting a bunch of Facebook skaters together to do an ice show. Lots of people wrote on his wall: "Count me in", "Let's Do It" or "That Sounds Fun" ...

So I came up with a plan, a theme - Muppets. Why haven't we seen Miss Piggy and Kermit on the ice? Wouldn't that be a great pair number? I think the male would have to be Miss Piggy in that case.

I don't know what the licensing would cost for that show, but I'd do a limited run and glom on to any publicity I could with the 25th anniversary of the show first airing and a new muppet movie coming out next year for 2011.

Voila - open with this number and close with the Rainbow Connection and the final minute of their first movie. And as Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland may have said, "I think we've got a show."

Have a great weekend!

September 23, 2010

Ice Capades Mini-Reunion Oct 23

In case any of you Ice Capettes haven't seen this, here is an email going around for another reunion. Santa Rosa is a wonderful place to meet - not far from many of Sonoma's wineries!

When: Oct. 23rd, 2010 starting at 4:00 P.M.
Where: Santa Rosa, California (Linda Illsley's home)

(Linda's address and phone to be announced later to those who are attending)

Linda has a fabulous outdoor park like setting and she is known for her entertaining skills!

We thought it would be a lot more fun to have the party at Linda's home instead of in a restaurant, etc.

We will ask everyone to contribute to the "party kitty" (probably about $25-$30 each) to help cover the cost of food, beverages, etc.

If you are local and want to bring a dish; that would be great. I plan to bring a cake! Yea, no weigh-ins!

For those of you who don't know the area, Santa Rosa is just 50 miles north of San Francisco and is very near the famous Wine Country of Napa and Sonoma.
Our weather in Oct. us usually some of the nicest of the year. Please note it will still be HIGH season for hotel rates.

Please let us know if you can bring any DVDs or CDs with movies/photos of our performing days. Linda will have a theater set up to show/play them.

Even "low tech" scrapbooks are a lot of fun to share. There is the possibility to also go to the Shultz Museum and maybe work in some wine tasting at a few local wineries.

Any questions please respond to: Jim Hurst directly at:

Looking forward to seeing you next month!


Jim Hurst

Ice Capades West 1971-1976

Hollywood Ice Revue 1978

September 20, 2010

The Sequel

I got an email this weekend ...

"I just finished Ice Charades and loved it. Is there a sequel coming out?"

Hey, thanks.

Sequel? Well, I'm working on it. Still tinkering with it, I hope to get it out at the end of 2012. Books can take time, sorry.

I was wondering how to give the next one wider appeal. Should I market it to the Young Adult crowd? Take out all of the questionable adult behavior?

Psst, hey Charades ... what's an ice show without questionable adult behavior?

Okay, good point. Maybe I need to throw in a vampire. Worked for Twilight. But I could have a skating vampire.

the first skating vampire from Ice Follies circa 1975

Hey, most of the shows skaters were nocturnal anyway. And think if I had a vampire in the story, my book could be linked to Twilight on Amazon's: Readers Who Like Twilight Also Liked ...

But the young adults out there might be sick of vampires by the time Ice Charades Two comes along.

So based on reports from the BAE (Book Exports America) the latest genre publishers are excited about is ... wait for it ... Amish Romance. Yep, Amish Romance.

Think about it - the religion doesn't allow one to watch tvs or use the internet or IPods, they are the perfect audience for reading books. But how to weave an amish showgirl into my next book? As far as I know, none have ever gotten serious in skating.

Let's face it - skating is not green, not Amish-friendly. You may not need electronics to physically skate, but probably would not be allowed to use the energy for the compressors that keep ice cold, lights to light an ice show, or anything to do with false eyelashes or rhinestones.

Any other ideas?

September 16, 2010

Holiday On Ice Reunion 2010

The pictures are coming in fast and furious to Facebook right now. Wish I had been there - doesn't this look fun? I hope no one minds me posting this ... it doesn't have anyone topless that I can see ... that's the Opera Plage hotel where HOI skaters have had special access for decades.

No wonder HOI keeps going back.

September 10, 2010

What Should She Wear?

I'm having fun with this, so please indulge me.

When I was googling Venus William's images I saw a shocking array of tennis outfits on display. Full disclosure: some of the crazy outfits belong to Serena, so it's a family affair. Below are some of the latest. This looks like an outfit I had back in 89 ...

I think she borrowed this from the Cancan production of HOI in 83 ...

But you probably only saw this dress from the back ...

Venus gets hammered a lot on these outfits of choice, especially when it looks like she's not wearing pants or underwear. You get a lot of these from google images:

But let's get back to her outfits ...

It seems as if the tennis world is coming closer to needing to look as good as you play. Or cynical me, says that Nikes and Addidas better leave room for Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, de la Renta and the rest. Now tennis is still objective - no judges judging costumes and style points, just whether the ball was on the line or out.

But when I saw this on Ana Ivanovic and it reminded me of Nancy Kerrigan's dress that was designed by Vera Wang.

Is this wave of outfits looking more like something from Ice Capades something that will stick? If so, she's in luck. Holiday On Ice has some already for sale ... how easy is that? She can afford the express mail, she could get one of these beauties in a week!

So, play along boys and girls - what would you have Venus wear?

Cue the legless wonder manequin on the Holiday On Ice costumes website: This one looks a lot like the black number she already has. But Ice Charades, this one has a crown.

Or this one? This could work on the court ... probably not with real leather boots. How about pleather with built-in sneakers?

Okay these next two, you probably want to lose the head gear, but the outfits? Fringe could be fun.

Or if she wants a more serious look:

Send in your vote!

September 8, 2010

Fashion Statement

Whenever ice shows are mentioned by name in a major news publication like the Washington Post, Slate Magazine or this random thread from Word Reference it's usually not a good thing.

I think show skaters shouldn't take it seriously, so I don't mind. I laugh too. Usually.

Besides it's good when Ice Capades is printed in any major news publication, because someone might google Ice Charades by mistake and land here!

But with the latest slam of Ice Capades in the Washington Post, regarding Venus Williams outfit at the U.S. Open, I have to say,
"Really? Ice Capades? We wore much better stuff than that."

To me, it just looks like she forgot to put her pants on.

Missing Part of Costume - $4 fine

The Celebritology 2.0 of the Washington Post ran a poll as to what people thought of the outfit and the results were (as of posting)

What do you think of Venus Williams' US Open outfit?

Yuck, it's terrible! 47%

I like it! The pantless look is tres chic! 15%

Who cares? She's a tennis player. 37%

Created on Sep 7, 2010
Total Votes: 3,075

Click here if you want to vote!

September 7, 2010

IceStage Archive

With summer officially over, I thought it would be fitting to give you one last post on "What I Did For My Summer Vacation," as the kids trudge back to school.

One of the best things I did this summer was visit the IceStage Archive in Minneapolis and meet the man behind this massive collection, Roy Blakey.

Here's a picture of Roy, back in his performing days and here's the place to catch his bio.

photo by the Proskating Historical Foundation

I first blogged about his theatrical skating wonderland back in January in case you needed to write a term paper on Sonja Henie. Hey, I was only half-joking. This place is a treasure trove of skating memorabilia. Besides thousands of show pictures, posters, and programs, there are costumes, dolls, lunchboxes, skates, blades and a real pinball machine. My daughter liked that the best!

In the basement of his apartment Roy is preservating the other side of skating - ice shows. He should be inducted into the Figure Skating Hall of Fame as an archivist. But before the collection can truly be displayed, he needs a bigger space.

He has a primo spot in Minneapolis's trendy East Hennepin Ave, home to the mammoth Aveda School, the gorgeous Nicolett Island Inn and the uber-hip Nye's Polonaise, home to the world's most dangerous polka band and voted the best bar in America by Esquire magazine ... excuse me, Ice Charades, but weren't you talking about that ice show place?

Why, yes. Thanks for asking. Yes, the home to IceStage Archive is busting at the seems. If you laid out all of the items nestled in the basement of his apartment, first of all you would be very tired and second, you would count perhaps ten thousand items.

I wonder if there is a favor wealthy A-list skater or perhaps an even richer skating fan that has a permanent building to showcase all of this. Anyone know anyone? Any space next to the FSHOF right now? That would be the ideal location. There are a lot of skaters who made the FSHOF, that would show up in Roy's museum as well.

And I promised Roy, that if that day comes, where there is a permanent home, I'll volunteer to catalogue some items.

For any fan of ice shows, or even skating in general, this place has to be on your to-do list. Roy's energy and commitment to the collection are infectous. If you ever get to the Twin Cities, you need to carve out a few hours to see this place. You also need to email or call ahead of time and bring some quarters for parking.

Here's his website: IceStage Archive and here he is showing off the place.

Thanks again, Roy for a great tour. Have a lot of fun (and some wine) for me in Nice, France okay?

September 3, 2010

A Legend In The Show World

photo from Proskating Historical Foundation

Doesn't she look a lot like Cyd Charisse? Anyway, I'm thrilled to see this article about Cathy Steele featured in yesterday.

Click here to read it.

I had the opportunity to work for Cathy in one ice show that went to Japan for a year. She taught me a very important lesson, but unfortunately I didn't realize it until much too late.

So if I can pass this wisdom on to a newbie showgirl reading this, then I'm a happy girl. Here goes ...

I had a step-out (a solo with other skaters with you on the ice) so she worked with me individually. I think Cathy thought I was close to a hopeless cause. If I had been hopeless, she wouldn't have gifted me with her words of wisdom. She said I should wear more make-up, wear a nicer leotard to rehearsal, use a belt to emphasize my waist, and keep my chin up.

All of those "suggestions" were meant for performances, but also for rehearsals and my off ice time as well, for my own good. And at the time I thought ... what a bunch of b.s. Who cares what I look like during rehearsals? I don't want to load up on make-up for rehearsals, that's stupid.

I admit my pride was hurt and I was stupid to ignore it.

By the time of my last ice show, I knew she had been right. It may seem insignificant, but she was right. It was important to look good be it during the show or during rehearsal. It could be as simple as correcting your posture or a darker shade of lipstick. Skating in an ice show is all about how you look. There's no artistic score anymore and certainly no technical score. So when I actually started showing up to rehearsals dressed better, I performed better in rehearsals. That led to performing better in the shows. And that is the goal, always.

It's good to be a nice person, easy to get along with off the ice, dependable and healthy, but the end goal is to perform well on the ice. I strived for more of the first and less of the second. The best of show skaters do both. And she did.

So ladies and gentleman, Cahty Steele with her first skating partner Phil Romayne.

photo from Proskating Historical Foundation

September 2, 2010

Here's a Reminder

... not that anyone will find out about the Holiday On Ice Reunion from this blog and buy their tickets tomorrow. But I'm just wishing all those that go to the reunion next week have a great time.

The reunion will be held in Nice, France on the weekend of September 11-12, 2010. One event that folks can sign on to via Facebook is the Day at Opera Plage.

The Opera Plage was the hotel in Nice that allowed skaters to use their private beach for suntanning on the Mediterranean. A beautiful place indeed, especially considering skating in Holiday On Ice was usually a ticket out the door, rather than in.

The only other true perk I remember was getting to see the Lido in Paris for free! Free was a big deal, because we couldn't have afforded it otherwise.

Aaah, France. Wishing I could go, but it is not to be. So for those of you that are, please have a great time, sip some good wine, and take lots of photos.