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Skater Snoopy

It’s Christmas, Snoopy! On Ice. At the Arlington Theatre,
Saturday, December 2.

Reviewed by Michelle Drown

I’m a big Snoopy fan, so when I heard the feisty dog was coming
to Santa Barbara as part of an ice skating performance, I jumped at
the chance to see the show. Last Saturday, with my wee niece and
nephew at my side, I settled into my seat at the Arlington ready to
be swept away by the magic of Charles Schulz’s beloved beagle come
to life — on ice, no less.

Snoopy-Web.jpgAs the lights dimmed, the audience
clapped and hooted with excitement. The show was tip-top from the
start. Snowflakes and colorful lights dappled the rink, providing a
festive feel as skaters gracefully glided onto the ice in dazzling
costumes, spinning and dancing while Christmas music filled the
theater. Then there was Snoopy — he was stuffed-animal cute, and
the skater inside the costume imbued the pooch with a perfect mix
of whimsical charm and rascally attitude.

The performance consisted of two acts, each comprising five
stories with such titles as “Snoopy in the City,” “Toys and Dolls,”
and “Snoopy and the Snowmen” (which was particularly amusing). Each
skit required costume changes, providing the audience with
continuing visual delights. During the “Candyland” number, my niece
leaned over to whisper that she would very much like a dress made
out of giant pink hard candies just like the one twirling about
onstage. All the skaters in the show were pros, but a few stood
out: pair skaters Melanie Lambert and Fred Palascak did some
heart-stopping combinations, and Matt Kessinger’s skill and
athleticism were particularly impressive.

Although It’s Christmas, Snoopy! has run for some 25 years in
Santa Rosa, this was the first time Santa Barbarans were privy to
the cool fun, thanks to the cartoonist’s daughter, Montecito
resident Jill Schulz. The original production was started by
Charles Schulz himself, who once said: “The thing I enjoy most of
all, even more than drawing cartoons, is putting together an ice
show. … I think that is the ultimate in happiness.” From the look
of the bright, smiling faces leaving the Arlington after the show,
I’d say Schulz was right. n

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