LOcals enjoy "Nutcracker on Ice"

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:18

    SUGAR LOAF-Over 1,100 people came out to enjoy "Nutcracker on Ice" performed by the St. Petersburg State Ice Ballet and presented by Kings Theatre Company at the Lycian Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Dec. 5. Both the 3 p.m. and the 7 p.m. performances were well-attended and audience response was both enthusiastic and appreciative. Little did the audience know how much personal sacrifice, effort and determination was put forth to make sure that the show did, in fact, "go on". When Kings Theatre Company was informed that their originally scheduled performance of The Moscow Circus on Ice was being cancelled by the show's agent, the organization worked diligently to find another ice show of equal quality to replace it so theatre patrons would not be disappointed. Their persistence paid off when they were able to secure two performances of the Nutcracker on Ice with the St. Petersburg State Ice Ballet in early December. The change was well-received by theatre patrons and all seemed to be back on track when just before Thanksgiving — less than two weeks before the scheduled performance date — Kings Theatre Company received a call informing them the ice company could not be available to create the ice rink for the 3 p.m. show due to a scheduling conflict. While this was clearly the responsibility of the agency representing the show, Kings Theatre Company and Lycian Centre took it upon themselves to try and locate another ice company. After much research and many phone calls, Lycian Centre determined it could build the rink on its own and began the arduous process of creating an ice rink worthy of a world-renowned skating troupe in just five days. Richard Logothetis of Lycian Stage Lighting and owner of the Lycian Centre provided the money to get the project started and pulled together a team of talented technicians from his own company to begin building the rink. Working every night, often until the wee hours of the morning, the technical crew built the form needed to contain the ice, laid down yards of plastic sheeting and insulation and then began the tremendous task of installing over 18,000 feet, or 3.5 miles, of plastic tubing across the entire stage floor. After the tubing was in place, over 360 gallons of glycol (anti-freeze) was pumped through the system. When the tubing was completely filled with anti-freeze, the water was brought in. One hundred tons of refrigeration equipment was used to freeze the water during a continuous 24-hour process by which water was constantly layered over ice to build up the rink to the required thickness. By Saturday evening, a one and one half-inch layer of ice covered the Lycian Centre stage floor and by Sunday morning, the Russian artistic crew and show's producer declared the ice "perfect". Although there were some setbacks throughout the five-day process, failure was never an option. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the crew and the determination of Richard Logothetis, the show did go on and theatre goers were not disappointed when the curtain opened on Sunday afternoon to the glorious strains of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and the precision artistry of the St. Petersburg State Ice Ballet. The beauty of the performance and the thunderous applause of the audience made all of the effort worthwhile and the show's success stands as a testament to the dedication and perseverance of those who truly believe that "the show must go on."