Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ice Castles

I am a fan of Olympic ice skating. A big enough fan, I thought, to be bowled over by the Smuckers Stars on Ice tour, which passed through San Diego this past Saturday night.

Dear Readers, my faith is a bit shaken. During the Vancouver Olympics, I was riveted by certain skaters--the tragically beautiful Canadian Joannie Rochette, the quirky ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, and the lithe, radiant Evan Lysacek, who snatched the men's gold from dastardly (in a good way) Yevgeny Plushenko.

I've also been following Evan avidly on Dancing With The Stars, and while I think the mirror ball trophy is Nicole Scherzinger's to lose (you heard it here first) I do think Evan rocks the ballroom most of the time. I was really excited to see him do his thing without cinematic mediation--I won't lie.

David is an absolute gem and humored me. Jarrah was just hoping it held a candle to "Princesses on Ice," which she saw with Paul, Mary and Joy not too long ago at the same arena. We snagged fairly good seats only a few rows from the ice, and the crowds were tame and cooperative. I was absolutely pumped when the screens started flashing photos of the tour members with big, swoopy Announcer Voice.

Here's the thing, Readers. An ice skating show is very...skatey. I mean, there's a LOT of skating. Like, that's pretty much the whole secret. They keep skating and skating and...skating. And then there's more skating. When the show began, Jarrah clapped and cheered for a couple of songs and then slumped back in her seat. It was already past her bedtime and she'd started to realize they were just going to keep on skating. Like, without princesses.

"Why does it take so long?" she whined.

"Why does what take so long, my love?" I asked.

"Why does it take so long to ice skate?" Readers, I don't know, but it surely does. There was a good two hours of ice skating, and I was never really able to address this question. She did have one more bit of commentary worth repeating. When I whispered that Meryl and Charlie have been skating together a long time and that "they also skate together in real life," she looked at me oddly and said:

"This is real life." Right you are, Jarrah. Right you are.

And another thing. A bunch of people whose photos were displayed did not show up. I mean, we were promised Joannie Rochette, Mirai Nagasu, and Rachael Flatt (San Diego is Rachael's hometown, so maybe she was home eating her mother's pot roast) but I never saw them. And the Chinese gold medalists glided out there and did one big number and were never heard from again. Whatever!

Evan was awesome, but they are probably protecting him because he has to dance three times live on Monday night. His one solo, to "Man in the Mirror," was a show-stopper, sequined single glove and all. I feel like his dance training is adding passion to his skating--never a bad thing. The young couple next to us might have exchanged words later, because as Evan headed back to the dugout she leaned over the railing and wailed "I LOVE YOU, EVAN!!!" Now, now. Evan didn't have to sit through two hours of ice skating like the guy sitting next to you did.

The funniest moment was when this one guy skated out there in jeans and a slightly rumpled, untucked shirt, his hair flopping in his eyes, and started huffing around the rink. I leaned over to David and whispered "I think they found this one in the pub across the street. 'Hey, dude! Want to try figure skating?' 'Sure, I'll give it a go, right after I finish this beer.'" So there I am making saucy comments, and suddenly he comes barreling towards us and does A COMPLETE FRONT FLIP and then keeps on skating like that is a normal thing to do. Yowza! Turns out his name is Michael Weiss--ring any bells? Didn't for me. I started to love him even more when they ran a PSA for his charity which has something to do with getting kids to read, and they showed him reading while doing the flip. Nice.

There were lots of beautiful, fairytale-like moments, with diaphanous dresses and soaring strings, but I must admit they sort of ran together after a while. Of course I felt awful for thinking so. But at the end of the day (or night) the numbers that really got me pumped had blasting music, crazy costumes, and lots of people skating in formation. Hell, I probably would have been stoked to see some princesses. But really, what did I expect? The tour is named for jelly.


Caroline said...

Yeah, but with a name like Smuckers, it has to be good!

In seriousness, my friend who was a professional ice skater went last night, too, and, other than some good drooling over Evan, she wasn't that impressed. Maybe it was an off night.

Love Jarrah's comment about real life. :)

Stephanie said...

Let's go roller skating soon--in real life.

Jen said...

Very cute. That Jarrah is a pretty smart kid. :-)

Logical Libby said...

I like it when they fall.

Sam said...

@Caroline: Hee! Oh, okay, so it wasn't just me...

@Steph: Sounds fun!

@Miss J: Yeah, I can't always keep up--you know the feeling. ;)

@Libby: Oh, I forgot to mention there was falling galore. So you might have loved it. :)