Other Professional Sports

‘Stars on Ice’ Begins U.S. Tour This Weekend


U.S. Olympic champion Nathan Chen will headline the 2023 Stars on Ice tour beginning this weekend. Photo by Chuckarelei/Sportspage Magazine

The 2023 United States section of the Stars on Ice tour will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday featuring an international cast of Olympic, World and National Champion ice skaters. The tour will then go on to seven additional cities in the next two weeks.

2022 Olympic champion and three-time world champion Nathan Chen will lead the tour, which features with U.S. Olympic medalists Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier; Madison Chock and Evan Bates; and Jason Brown. Canadian legend Kurt Browning, Canadian dance champions Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier; four-time Japanese champion Satoko Miyahara plus 2023 U.S. skating champions Ilia Malinin and Isabeau Levito are also participants. This is Browning’s 30th and final Stars on Ice tour.

The tour was founded by ice skating legend Scott Hamilton in 1986, and has performed more than 1,500 shows over the last three decades.

“The greatest ice show on earth started with such a simple notion. Back in 1986, we wanted to create a show that was all about skating. We believed our fans would appreciate sophisticated skating, cutting-edge costumes and challenging choreography,” said Scott Hamilton on the tour’s website. “After 30 years, I am honored by the success of our simple notion. Stars on Ice exists to entertain you. But it has also given me the incredible opportunity to do the work I love and am proud of. For that, I humbly thank you.”

For Jason Brown, this is his fourth full tour. He first toured with Stars on Ice after the 2014 Winter Olympics, and then joined the 2018 and 2022 tours.

Two-time Olympic champion Jason Brown will be on his fourth U.S. Stars on Ice tour, which begins on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Stars on Ice/Photo by U.S. Figure Skating

“Typically the post-Olympic tour is the biggest, but there are also Stars on Ice tours in non-Olympic years,” said Brown. “After the tour ends, my coaches were always thinking about the next year, so I worked on some new routines instead of touring.”

After dealing with years of mental and physical preparation for Olympic and World Championship competition, plus the lack of spectators and family allowed at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, Brown was contemplating retirement.

“After Beijing, I took a mental and physical pause. It was an unconventional year. I took the fall season off and then came back for the U.S. Championships,” he said. “Now my focus is year-to-year instead of in four-year cycles. As far as the 2026 Winter Olympics are concerned, I’m not looking at Italy, but I will not be closing the door on it either.”

The current Stars on Ice tour began in Japan during the last week of March, and then they headed to Halifax, Nova Scotia during week of April 24 for a week of rehearsal. Each skater brings two musical numbers to the tour, and then they practiced the group numbers. Brown said the daily rehearsals lasted for four days and each day was twelve-hours in length. After rehearsal week, the troupe launched the Canadian leg of the tour, which wrapped up last night in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Whenever we get on the ice to perform, we want to do the best we can. The nerves and excitement surrounding the performance is definitely still there,” said Brown. “But here we’re in it as a group, which makes it fun and special. We’re performing for the crowd instead of having the individual approach. Of course we put pressure on ourselves to be the best that we can, but having a connection with our audience is the key.”

Satoko Miyahara will return to the U.S. tour beginning this weekend. Photo by Chuckarelei/Sportspage Magazine

Aside from just being on the ice performing in a venue, Brown admits that he treasures the Stars on Ice tours because of the special friendships that are created amongst the participants.

“It is special to travel with teammates and friends. We really get to be together and know each other over the course of a few months. It’s really special to get to tour with everyone and share the love of the sport, and it is really fun to be a part of this. I’m lucky to have the chance,” said Brown.

He calls Stars on Ice “magical” because of the reception from the audience.

“There is nothing like starting a show in the tunnel and hearing the eruption from the crowd,” he admitted. “It’s a really good feeling in those moments. When the audience and skaters align that way, when we take the ice to warm up, there is nothing more magical.”

Brown, a Chicago-native, concluded, “I had an awesome tour in Canada and I can’t wait to come back to the United States. I’m looking forward to it.”

The Stars on Ice performers for the U.S. tour are:
Nathan Chen – Olympic Gold Medalist, 2-time Olympian, 3-time World Champion, 6-time U.S. Champion
Alexa Knierim & Brandon Frazier – 2022 Olympic Silver Medalists and 2022 World Champions
Madison Chock & Evan Bates – 2022 Olympic Silver Medalist, 3-time Olympians, 3-time World Medalist and 3-time U.S. Champions
Jason Brown – 2-time Olympian, 4-time Stars on Ice participant
Kurt Browning – 3-time Olympian, 4-time World Champion, 30th Stars on Ice Tour.
Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier – 2022 Grand Prix Final Champions, 2-time Olympians
Satoko Miyahara – 2018 Olympian, 1st Japanese skater to join Stars on Ice
Ilia Malinin – 2022 World Junior Champion, Grand Prix Final Bronze Medalist
Isabeau Levito – 2022 Grand Prix Silver Medalist and 2022 World Junior Champion

The U.S. Stars on Ice tour will perform:

May 20 – Anaheim, Calif., – Honda Center
May 21 – San Jose, Calif., – SAP Center at San Jose
May 23 – Seattle, Wash. – Climate Pledge Arena
May 26 – Palms Springs, Calif., – Acrisure Arena
May 30 – Chicago, Ill., – Allstate Arena
June 2 – Baltimore, Md., – CFG Bank Arena
June 3 – Boston, Mass., – Agganis Arena
June 4 – Hershey, Pa., –  Giant Center

For more information or for tickets, visit www.starsonice.com

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