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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Who Killed It and Who Fell Off the Combo: The Free Dance

Killed It!: These teams brought the beauty, the excitement, the intrigue
  • Papadakis and Cizeron for captivating my attention and leaving me hypnotized 
  • Ilinykh as the heavyweight diva of contemporary ice dancing 
  • Madison Chock chewing the scenery
  • Weaver & Poje leaving it all on the ice 
  • The smoothness of the Shibs' skating
  • I'm living for Paul & Islam's free skate, that contemporary feel was on point
  • Monko & Khaliavin's controlled upside down lift 
  • The long, lithe bodies of Stepanove and Bukin, plus the sitting twizzles, oh the abdominal control! 
  • The exuberance of Guignard and Fabbri was entertaining at least
  • The chemistry of Hubbell and Donohue, plus their rotational lift 
  • The quiet fabulousness of Marie-France 
  • The ease with which Andria Diaz moves, it's all so effortless
  • The joy on Yinyu Liu's face 

Fell Off The Combo: These teams missed the mark
  • Ilinykh's twizzle mishap
  • Marina's reign at the top
  • The Russian obsession with Sarabande 
  • Self-indulgent entrances of any kind
  • Enough bent legs and lazy feet to last a lifetime
  • Hot mess interwoven twizzle patterns 
  • Mozart Rock Opera....enough said
  • An a la seconde twizzle at 45's 90 or bust! 
  • That moment when the Ukranian team destroyed Bach
  • Carolina Moscheni's dance team smile during a dark piece

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Who Killed It and Who Fell Off the Combo: The Short Dance

Killed It!: These teams brought the beauty, the excitement, the intrigue
  • Every blessed thing about Guillaume Cizeron
  • If you take off the skates, Cizeron is the only natural dancer in the entire event
  • The choreographic specificity of the entire group 5
  • Andrew Poje's entire presentation 
  • The fire and precision of the Shibutanis
  • Madison Chock's perfect bun
  • The dramatic build up to group 6
  • Paul & Islam's rotational lift 
  • Paul Poirier's amazing butt
  • Hubbell & Donohue's smoothness 
  • Stepanova & Bukin's sit spin twizzled.....that abdominal control! 
  • Monko & Khaliavin's matching free leg in the twizzle sequence
  • The grace, poise, and carriage of Marie-France 
  • The Hurtado and Diaz counterbalance 
  • Federica Testa's strapless number 
  • Barbara Fusar-Poli 
  • Elena Ilinykh's overall diva qualities
  • The energy and spunk of Wang and Liu 
  • Juri Karakin's hairography 

Fell Off The Combo: These teams missed the mark
  • Gabriella Papadakis' detached-looking bun 
  • Kaitlyn Weaver's saggy bun
  • Marina's political clout
  • Anna Cappellini's carriage-simultaneously stiff and wild 
  • So many women with sloppy, uneven buns 
  • Guignard & Fabri falling on the choreographic spinning movement 
  • Gilles & Poirier's overly dramatic entrances and exits
  • Piper Gilles' drag queen eye makeup 
  • Donohue's damn twizzle
  • Elena Ilinykh paired with Ruslan Zhiganshin who looks like little brother
  • Kirill Minov's hair.....honey please  
  • Any low or intermediate team doing interweaving twizzle patterns 
  • Viktoria Kavaliova's "Whatever Lola Wants" gloves
  • Smart & Buckland's twizzles
  • The Finnish team's twizzles 
  • Natalia Kaliszek's hideous dress/croptop getup 
  • Bent free legs (multiple offenders) 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Rasheeda Speaking

Speaking, starring Tonya Pinkins and Dianne Wiest, marks the directing debut of acclaimed actress Cynthia Nixon. Written by Joel Drake Johnson, this workplace drama brings to light the racial tensions that are still so present in America today. Ileen (Wiest) is the eager-to-please manager of Dr. Williams' (Goldstein) office, while Jaclyn (Pinkins) seems to always rub everyone the wrong way. The stark contrast between these two women is amplified by the staging--two desks splitting the stage--and the obvious difference of one woman being black while the other is white.

The tension between Jaclyn (Pinkins) and the white employees in the office is palpable immediately as Ileen and Dr. Williams discuss how to get Jaclyn fired without creating an HR nightmare. This motif of Jaclyn walking into a room stealthily as she's being gossiped about is repeated several times throughout the play. At the beginning, Jaclyn and Ileen are friendly, with Ileen saying "you are full of drama, I missed your stories, your yammerings." Then things start to unravel as Jaclyn starts showing up late, mixes up details when she tells stories, and grows increasingly negative. This wears on Ilene until she reaches a point of such hysteria that she brings a gun to work and quits.

As the audience, we get what Johnson is trying to do here. He wants to show us that as much as we try to push them under the carpet. Unfortunately, in making Jaclyn, or as she later refers to herself, the stereotypical Rasheeda, he undermines his point. We have to assume that Johnson wants us to pull for Jacylyn since he establishes her as an underdog early on, but she is just such a horribly unlikable character. The pacing is also quite slow, making it difficult to feel engaged in the piece. The subject is certainly an interesting one, but a play may not be the best vehicle. The drama of the piece never really ramps up until the final twenty minutes, with the highlight being Dianne Wiest's exquisite portrayal of the physical effects of emotional stress on Ileen. Cynthia Nixon does a fine job in her directorial debut, but I have to wonder what she could have done with a more interesting script?

Sunday, February 8, 2015


It Shoulda Been You, one of the most anticipated new musicals of the Broadway season marks the directing debut of TONY and EMMY winner David Hyde Pierce. This stellar cast includes Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris, Sierra Boggess, Lisa Howard, Chip Zien, Montego Glover, and David Burtka to name a few. This new musical comedy about families from different backgrounds begins previews on March 17th and opens at the Brooks Atkinson on April 14th. In the meantime, check out this great youtube preview featuring the cast

We are also offering a great new chance to win tickets between now and the opening. You'll get the chance to gain multiple entries to the contest by performing different tasks on social media and by sharing your own wedding stories with us. Each week one lucky individual will receive a pair of tickets to Broadway previews. Additionally, one lucky winner will receive an original song written for them by show composers Hargrove and Anselmi based on the story they submitted. What could be better than that? The link to the contest page can be found here:

Start reminiscing about your own crazy wedding stories and we will see you on social media!

Facebook: /shouldabeenyou
Twitter & Instagram: @shouldabeenyou

Friday, December 12, 2014

DISGRACED on Broadway

Dear readers, I want to take this opportunity to make one final push for one of the finest, most thought-provoking plays I've seen on Broadway in years. Do your best to catch it before it closes on March 1st! I want to share with you a special discount code for tickets as well as a new trailer for the play. Below is my review of the play.

Code DIBBOX105 can be used over the phone (212-947-8844), in person at the Lyceum Theatre Box Office (149 West 45th Street), or online at The discount offers $95 Select Orchestra and Mezzanine seats and $55 Rear Mezzanine seats. Some black out dates may apply.

The new trailer can be found here:

A few days ago I had the pleasure of seeing DISGRACED on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre. I didn't do much research beforehand and needless to say, I was surprised. Ayad Akhtar's play is though provoking and it will hit your preconceptions like a punch in the face. You have a Muslim Pakistani man, Amir (Hari Dhillon) who is married to a white woman, Emily (Gretchen Mol). Amir works as a lawyer with Jory (Karen Pittman), whom is married to Isaac (Josh Radnor). Isaac and Emily are both artists and having a secret affair. The fifth character, Abe, (Danny Ashok) is Amir's nephew and a supporter of a radical Imam. So now you are caught up.

I saw this play as an allusion to Adam and Eve. Amir has renounced his Muslim upbringing and wants nothing to do with it, while his wife Emily celebrates Islam, studies Islamic art, and encourages Amir to go back to his roots. When Abe wants legal help for an Imam accused of supporting terrorist activity, Emily convinces Amir to jump in. When Amir does get involved, even on the fringe, that's when things fall apart, just as they did for Adam and Eve when Eve convinced Adam to eat the apple. Ownership is such a major theme in this play. Each character meets their downfall when they choose to take or not to take ownership of their own actions. This is particularly interesting because coupling is so important in the structure of Akhtar's play. We have the marital duos and the career duos, but each conflict is ultimately about individuals' decisions.

You may think you are completely open-minded when it comes to race and religion, but Akhtar's work will make you feel uncomfortable. It forces you to ask yourself the difficult questions. It is not for the faint of heart, but if you expect theatre to make you think and feel, this is your show. Don't make plans for any post-show events unless you can discuss the play. Trust me, you will have plenty to talk about. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

2014 SKATE CANADA: Pairs Preview

The 2014-2015 edition of the Meagan Duhamel show kicks off tomorrow. I hope she learns to point her feet for the event. The top two seem pretty clear here, but bronze is up for grabs.

Podium Predictions:
Gold: Duhamel & Radford (CAN)
Silver: Sui & Han (CHN)
Bronze: Tarasova & Morozov (RUS)

Duhamel & Radford (CAN) pretty much felt they were guaranteed an Olympic bronze last year, but then Ksenia Stolbova happened. They repeated as world bronze medalists last season, but I feel like that's not enough for Meagan. She is in it to win it for another four years cycle, but finding the perfect programs will be key. The artistic side of skating is foreign to them, but God bless her vegan diet.

Sui & Han (CHN) are looking to hit the reset button after a strong campaign the last quad ended without a trip to the Olympics. Age is no longer a concern, and if they are healthy, they could be on the verge of a world medal this season. Now that they are teamed with Bin Yao and Hongbo Zhou, their ISU standing should escalate.

Tarasova & Morozov (RUS) have two of the most famous names in the figure skating world. They placed an impressive second at the Nebelhorn Trophy after also placing second at junior worlds last season. They have an excellent opportunity to medal here if they hit their elements.

The Rest of the Field:
Jones & Reagan (CAN)-4th at 2014 US International Classic, 7th at Skate Canada Autumn Classic
Moore-Towers & Marinaro (CAN)-No competitive history
James & Cipres (FRA)-5th at 2014 Europeans, 10th at 2014 Olympics, 10th at 2014 Worlds, 4th at 2014 Nebelhorn Trohpy
Vartmann & Van Cleave (GER)-9th at 2014 Europeans, 3rd at 2014 Coup de Nice
Aaron & Settlage (USA)-5th at 2014 World Juniors, 3rd at 2014 US International Classic, 6th at 2014 Nebelhorn Trophy, 5th at 2014 Skate America 

2014 SKATE CANADA: Ice Dance Preview

This Ice Dance event is going to be exciting! The winners will pretty much be a given, but about 5 teams will be in the mix for the rest of the podium. I can't wait to see the new programs!

Podium Predictions:
Gold: Weaver & Poje (CAN)
Silver: Hubbell & Donohue (USA)
Bronze: Gilles & Poirier (CAN)

Weaver & Poje (CAN) are finally the top team in Canada with the retirement (??) of Virtue & Moir. They finally took a world medal last season and they should remain perennial world medalists throughout this upcoming quad. They are an innovative team, usually tending toward more contemporary or sensual programs, so the Vivaldi free skate is a huge departure for them. They will likely play with many different styles of choreography to find the perfect piece for 2018.

Hubbell & Donohue (USA) are heading into a huge season. They barely missed the Sochi team and will want to lock up the second or third spot in the US before the hot juniors come up. They will want to outscore the Shibutanis from Skate America or stay really close to them. Their Great Gatsby program should highlight their connection and their romantic style.

Gilles & Poirier (CAN) are going to look to seal up the number two spot in Canada. From 2013-2014 they made a huge jump at Worlds from 18th to 8th and this year, in a depleted field, they will have the opportunity to make another big move.

The Rest of the Field:
Paradis & Ouellette (CAN)-5th at 2014 Nebelhorn Trophy, 4th at 2014 Skate America
Zhiganshina & Gazsi (GER)-7th at 2014 Europeans, 11th at 2014 Olympics, 11th at 2014 Worlds, 3rd at 2014 Nebelhorn Trophy, 2nd at 2014 Finlandia Trophy
Monko & Khaliavin (RUS)-6th at 2013 Trophee Bompard, 5th at 2014 Rostelecom Cup, 1st at 2014 Ice Star Minsk
Hurtado & Diaz (ESP)-10th at 2014 Europeans, 13th at 2014 Olympics, 16th at 2014 Worlds, 2nd at 2014 Nestle Cup, 5th at 2014 Skate Canada Autumn Cup
Aldridge & Eaton (USA)-3rd at 2014 Four Continents, 17th at 2014 Worlds, 1st at 2014 US International Classic