Ellen on Ice

Program cover

I mentioned on Friday that Ellen was sleeping in that morning. It’s because the night before she’d had the first appearance in this show at her skating rink in Wilmington, Delaware. Figure skating is Ellen’s hobby/recreation, and she’s been going there about once a week for the last twelve years, taking lessons from several instructors. Every spring they put on a show, and this is the first time Ellen’s been in it. She always said no because it meant going there several extra evenings and weekdays for practice and rehearsal, but this year her instructor Courtney talked her into it. Ellen’s part was small, the cast huge, but I wanted to see it, and last night (Saturday) I went with her for the final performance.

Hollywood number

It was a fun show, and I enjoyed it. Most of the numbers featured groups of kids of various ages, sometimes with a few adults. Interspersed were older, more advanced teens, and at the very end, several professional skaters, culminating in the big star appearance, Johnny Weir, US National Champion and World Bronze Medalist this year. I took pictures, but no flash was allowed, so they’re mostly impressionisticly blurred. Above is the opening “Hollywood” number, which went pretty well. Ellen said the first night the “D” was upside down and backwards.

Cinderella Carriage

Other numbers I liked were a group of small boys all dressed like Charlie Chaplin, complete with suits, canes, derby hats and mustaches. Typically they wobbled and fell a lot, but dressed like Chaplins it was funny and appropriate. At the end of the first half, an elaborate Cinderella routine with several numbers was quite impressive, and had some clever props, such as the carriage above pulled by older boys.

Ellen skating

Ellen’s moment came near the beginning of the second half, in the number “Aquarius”, song from the musical “Hair.” Ellen’s part was to bring out “the moon,” a lighted globe, and raise it at the correct point in the lyrics, (“when the moon is in the second house”), then she handed it off to someone else and skated around a bit more. I thought she did fine, though she gets nervous, and said she did better the other two nights. I don’t think she’s cut out for show biz, but it was a good experience for her.

Show stars

Shown here at the end are show stars Austrian medalist Victor Pfeifer, U.S. National Bronze Medalists Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre, and Johnny Weir. All were terrific, as were some of the other up and comers that skate in Wilmington and also performed.

Johnny Weir

Ellen was thrilled to get to meet Johnny backstage. We’ve been watching him skate on TV for the last few years, and his performances at this year’s World Championships were excellent. The expected American rivalry we thought would happen there between him and Evan Lysacek didn’t happen because Lysacek was injured and had to miss the competition, but Johnny did quite well.

Ellen on Ice

After the show I was able to use flash for one much better picture of Ellen in her costume. This might be her only performance in a skating show, but at least she can say she was on the ice with Johnny Weir, at least briefly!

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