Review of Ice Fantastic
July 24-25, 1998


My big hope, having read his book, was to meet Toller Cranston. Unfortunately the reception was canceled "due to lack of interest." However I sat near the producer, Jon Johnson's, sister, who kindly introduced me to Jon, who kindly took my program backstage after the show and got all the featured skater's signatures. I *think* I know which one is Toller Cranston's.

This is a longtime local production, a real labor of love, featuring many local skaters as well as the featured stars: Cranston, Robert Wagenhoffer, Sylvain Beauregard (the latter two have been training lately at my rink in Berkeley), Bobby Beauchamp, Lisa Ware (very striking), John Mucko and Fred Haug. I was thrilled to see Cranston in person, and so close up (it was small ice). He looks terrific, very fit, and he skated as well or better than he's done when I last saw him on TV a few years ago. His book is so intimate that I felt like I was watching someone I knew well! He did a number that he was doing then, listed by the program as "The Stars Come Out." Not sure if that was the music he skated to. His program included a number or his unorthodox spins plus one (?) single jump.

Aside from the thrill of seeing such a great legend, I was most impressed with Wagenhoffer's skate in the Starlight Express group number, where he acts hung over. He's got good presence and moved well. Lisa Ware featured interesting dance-like choreography, striking looks and good skating. Local skaters Claire Centabar in a jazz number, and Kristine Carey (an ex-Disney Snow White) were also impressive.

The ensemble skating was also impressive, including numbers to Cabaret, One (from Chorus Line), and Starlight Express. All in all, a fun show for a good price, benefiting a good cause.

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