Oh what a night!!!!!!!!!!! Here's my review of the Hershey show we attended last night! Since the tour was short this season, our normal show that we've been going to the past 3-4 years in East Rutherford was cut, so we had to pick an alternate location, and Hershey was the closest show for us. It's about a 3 hour drive, but much less stressful than the drive we've taken to Bridgeport, Trenton or Philly in the past. We also decided to stay over, so we made a little mini vacation out of it, and had a great time. It was our first time going to Hershey, and we are already looking foward to our next trip back!!!! So much to see & do (especially outlet shopping!!!!).. hopefully we can get a little more in next time. We drove in Saturday afternoon, and left for home late this morning, so we only had 2 days there, but they were very busy!!!! Once we checked into our hotel room, we decided to hit up the outlets for some shopping before meeting up with friends for dinner. Had a lovely dinner with our friends from the Philly area... nice time catching up on what's being going on lately!! Sunday morning we did the little factory tour in Chocolate World, and then of course, shopping at Chocolate World ($55 later... LOL)!!! After Chocolate World it was back to the room to gather our stuff and head out to the arena for the warmup and fan club meet & greet. We were fortunate enough to see a good majority of the warmup, which included full run throughs of the main group numbers, which was great to see!! I'm guessing they did the run throughs in the warmup because of the space between shows... a good refresher for the cast.. and a lot of fun for the fans to see!!! I did manage to get quite a bit of video from the warmups, which was nice!!!! Fan club members had the chance to get autographs & pictures with Kyoko Ina & Joannie Rochette... it was our first time to meet Joannie and she was very nice.
The show was FABULOUS!!!!! I had heard great things about it, and it definitely exceded my expectations. Kurt choreographed the show, and it had him written all over it with the intricate footwork and choreography! Great job Kurt!!!! The group numbers were a little shorter than normal this year, but I'm sure that has to do with the short rehearsal time the cast had together, but even though they were short, they were jam packed with choreography!! I was exhausted just watching!!!!
There were 2 rookie cast members this year... 2011 US Champ Ryan Bradley, and 7 time British ice dance Champs Sinead & John Kerr. Both rookies fit in really well with the cast and added a great personality. Ryan has always been known for playing to the crowd and I knew he'd make a great fit for the SOI cast. He skated two solos...one to "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins and the other was Frank Sinatra's "The Best is Yet to Come". Both featured the always crowd pleasing backflip that fans have been used to seeing from Michael Weiss in the past.
Sinead & John made a great addition to the cast, and I would love to see them back again next season. Their first program was very elegantly skated to “Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3”, and their second number was "Pencil Full of Lead".. a more upbeat fun number... they did both well. Their costumes for the 2nd number were so much fun and the program featured the lift where Sinead "lifts" John... a crowd pleasing move!!! After they finished, Sinead flexed her muscles and John made a small muscle and put his head down in shame... LOL. I got the feeling the crowd wasn't too sure of who they were, but they got great receptions after their programs, particularly the 2nd one.
The Hershey show featured a special guest performance by 2002 Olympic Champ Sarah Hughes, who has been performing in select cities as a tribute to the 10th anniversary of her Olympic win. Sarah skated to "What I did for love" wearing a gorgeous gold dress, and she looked really good... as always, she got a great ovation from the fans.
Sasha Cohen was back with the tour again this year, skating two solos, as well as having some pairs like work in the group numbers doing lifts with the guys. Her first solo was "Dos Gardenias" a latin number that fit Sasha's skating perfectly... she had a beautiful red & black dress... great fit with the music. For her second number Sasha skated to "Big Spender'... I have such a hard time getting this song out of my head once I hear it... its very catchy. Sasha wore a beautiful sliver dress for this one... fans are always amazed by her fliexibility... the ending pose for this one I wouldn't even dare attempt... LOL!!!
Back on tour this season were fan favorites Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman!! So great to have them back again... we were fortunate enough to see them in Bridgeport last year, but they've brought all the crazy big tricks back this year!!!!! It looked like they had been skating together all this time, when in reality they had a 2-3 year period where they weren't skating together at all, but they didn't miss a beat!!!! Their first program was jam packed with their signature wild tricks... the music was “Johnny Got a Boom Boom”.. I was relieved when it was over, and Kyoko managed to survive... I don't know how she does those tricks.. she's very brave, and trusting!! Their second program was more reserved, and beautiful... skated to Rascal Flatts' “Take Me There”... very nice program... both were well received by the fans!!!!
Katia Gordeeva opened the show after the finale with "Love will Keep Us Together"... very fun number... Katia has become quite a good singles skater over the years... of course no one will forget the beautiful pairs skating she did with her late husband Sergei Grinkov. Katia also skated to a version of "Feeling Good" by the Pussycat Dolls which featured a stunning dress... hard to tell if it was a dark blue or black, but it was very, very sparkly and looked great on her.
Ilia Kulik was back on tour as well looking great!! He won the 1998 Olympics, but still looks as though he could compete today... jumps are still there, and his innovative choreography is always well received by the fans. He skated to an instrumental version of "Who wants to live forever" which was beautiful... perfectly suited for his skating. His second program was “Love in this Club” by Usher... a more upbeat fun number.
2010 Olympic Bronze medalist Joannie Rochette was back for her 2nd full season on tour. She skated two programs... one to “Formidable” where she is wearing a scarf around her neck and later uses it to flirt with an audience member.... very nice. I didn't really care for the music of her second program which was "Indestructible" by Robyn... her costume was a black unitard... looked very hot and I'm sure was not fun getting in and out of, but it did look nice on her.
Kurt Browning served as the choreographer and codirector of the show, as I mentioned earlier, and did a fabulous job!! He also skated 2 solos along with the group numbers. One group number in particular with the guys (John Zimmerman, Ryan Bradley & John Kerr) feature the guys coming out in just white tanks & black pants
and the only lighting in the arena came from 4 lights the guys brought on to the ice, and manuevered to highlight whoever was skating at the moment... music was “Waiting for my Real Life to Begin” not sure if that's part of the SOI special that is airing or not, but its a great program... and very Kurt. His solos were "I'm Yours" and "Feeling Good"... Kurt was.... Kurt... always a showman. Great to see him touring again, and hope to see him back next year... skating and choreographing!!!