Thanks to Ice Charades, I now know that I completely blew it by not letting all of you Long Islanders know about "Cold as Ice," starring Oksana Baiul, which closed the other day. It was playing in Bellport, and had I only known I would certainly have tried to attend while visiting family on the Island a few weeks ago! Sorry blog readers.
Apparently, she played a skater in the play during the skating scenes, and another actress played the character's singing alter-ego. And there was a RINK at the theatre!!! Does this not sound like the greatest skating show since Xanadu (which is probably the greatest show since Starlight Express). Please let this thing somehow make it to Broadway. With Baiul in tow, preferably.
The show features a roster of characters from the figure-skating world: pushy "skating mothers," demanding coaches, fatuous sportscasters, eager neophytes and the competitors they become. For those who vividly recall Ms. Baiul as the balletic, pixieish Ukrainian teenager who won the gold — and who soon fell from Olympic glory to alcoholic notoriety — the tale of Maya Propova may have special resonance.
While Maya, a Russian who feels trapped in her life, is a composite character, she closely resembles Ms. Baiul, who choked up recently at the first cast run-through of the script: As Maya learned that her parents had died in an accident, Ms. Baiul’s eyes welled, and she was temporarily unable to go on.
"I’ve lived through it — it’s emotional," she said later, her accented speech still recalling her girlhood. "It’s good story. I think it’s very true."