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Ever wonder what happened to all those figure skaters who faded from competition? You'll find some of them in Disney's World on Ice, the latest entry in the world of showbiz skating spectacles. It's hard to see how this show could miss, combining as it does skating professionals such as the lovely Olympic silver medalist Linda Fratianne with all those lovable Disney characters. The slight story line, loosely based on Pinocchio, is a framework on which to hang beautiful costumes, impressive choreography, extravagant sets—and, of course, some top-notch skating. Vern Taylor, 23, who was the first athlete to perform a triple axel in world championship competition, repeats that feat in an energetic performance. Fratianne, while venturing nothing more daring than a spin or two, executes her showbiz program with dash and grace, like the champion she is. For diversification there are Gerard Soules and his Poodles de Paree, a Chaplinesque skit by a funny, farcical Argentine named Little Lito and a daredevilish acrobatic act by the well-drilled Canestrelli family.
The main attraction, naturally, especially for the kids, is Mickey and his chums. The gang's all there—Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Donald, Dumbo and, if you can believe it, four Love Bugs, plus Herbie—and they're as endearing on ice as on the screen. The children in the audience are a show in themselves, running from their seats to call out familiarly to their favorite rodent and get a closer look at him and Minnie. In turn, M. and M. and all their crew wave back and shake hands with their fans.
Disney's World on Ice is sliding its way across the U.S. for the next two years. Currently in Indianapolis, it will be in St. Louis (Nov. 10-15) and then will visit Detroit (Nov. 17-22), Chicago (Nov. 24-Dec. 6) and Rockford, III. (Dec. 8-13).