Caesars Tribute brings great skating, surprise appearance by Dorothy Hamill, to Boardwalk Hall.
The folks behind the "Caesars Tribute: A Salute to the Golden Age of American Skating," had a special guest up their sleeves. About one third of the way into the skating exhibition toplined by current Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek, Dorothy Hamill walked on to the Boardwalk Hall stage. There was a gasp from the audience at this unexpected treat, although her participation was just a quick introduction for the NBC broadcast.
However, the rest of the evening was packed with skating talent, some who were there to be interviewed by Mary Carillo for the broadcast that will take place Christmas day, others to show that they still can skate with grace and power.
The show is a tribute to the legacy of the sport over the decades, with lots of video clips and interviews mixed in with the actual skating that fans came to see. When Tenley Albright, the 1956 Olympic Champion, showed up on skates to be one of Richard Dwyer’s ladies (the others were Tai Babilonia, JoJo Starbuck and Linda Fratianne), the audience was thriller to see the 75-year-old on skates despite a cast on her arm. Of course the dapper Dwyer, in his trademark tuxedo, is 77 and has never stopped performing.
Nancy Kerrigan, who also did some hosting duties, skated twice and was a fan favorite. Rudy Galindo, who skated despite two hip replacements, did a delightful routine to a medley of Village People hits including “In the Navy” and of course, “YMCA.”
You could tell which skaters were in shape from current gigs in professional skating shows like Todd Eldridge and Michael Weiss, who are currently in Stars On Ice.
Ice dancers Naomi Lang and Peter Tcherneshev brought the crowd to their feet, as did the pairs team of Calla Urbanski and Rocky Marval.
It was also fun to see Dr. Debi Thomas, who hadn’t skated professionally in 14 years, give it a go. It was also great to see a grown-up Sarah Hughes do a lovely routine to the music of Joni Mitchell, “Both Sides Now.”
Evan Lysacek and Sasha Cohen, who are also in Stars On Ice, were two more skaters who were dynamic, in particular Cohen who revved up the crowd of 6,375 with her performance in a bowler hat to the song from Cabaret, “Mein Herr.”
Those who came to be starstruck, and those who came to see great skating, were rewarded with a terrific, athletic show.
Sasha Cohen (Photo by Donald Kravitz)
NOTE: This show has been cancelled and will be rescheduled.
There’s a certain hold that figure skaters have on the American conscious — especially female skaters. Come the Winter Olympics, the country seems to rally around the top female U.S. figure skater and accept them into their hearts. Even the most macho, truck-driving guys watch and feel the pain of every slip or a fall and the excitement of every successful triple salchow.
Headlining the show is the reigning Olympic 2010 gold medalist Evan Lysacek, joined by 2006 Olympic silver medalist and three-time World Champion, Sasha Cohen, as well as Nancy Kerrigan, Brian Boitano, Scott Hamilton, Peggy Fleming, Sarah Hughes, Michael Weiss and doubles champions Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner.
It’s one thing to see so many former, recent and current ice skating champions listed in a press release for the Caesars Tribute to the Golden Age of American Skating. It is quite another to see all these champions sitting together in one room.
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