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The Southern New Hampshire Skating Club’s 2016 ice show was Novel Tales. Courtesy photo.




The Envelope, Please!

Where: JFK Coliseum, 303 Beech St., Manchester
When: Saturday, March 25, at 1 and 7 p.m.
Admission: $8 for adults, $5 for students/seniors
Contact: snhsc.com




Hollywood on ice
Skating club presents “The Envelope, Please!”

03/23/17
By Kelly Sennott ksennott@hippopress.com



 If you’re like the majority of Americans and weren’t invited to the 89th Academy Awards, you can get your Oscar fix at Southern New Hampshire Skating Club’s 52nd spring production, “The Envelope Please,” this weekend.

It hits the JFK Coliseum Saturday, March 25, at 1 and 7 p.m., and if all goes as planned, audiences will feel they’re watching the Oscars live, starting with the red carpet, when skaters arrive party-ready via an on-ice limo, and ending with the “results,” when a giant envelope and ensemble of gold statues take the ice.
SNHSC coach Teri Nordle takes a number of factors into consideration when designing a show. What’s the music availability? What’s the audience appeal? And how will the skaters, who range from pre-school age to 60, feel about it?
“One of the reasons I like this theme is it offers a lot of diversity,” she said, noting that the youngest can perform to music from their favorite animated features, while the elder skaters can take on the classics. 
The production is segmented into several categories, including a salute to film classics (with homages to film greats, like Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, and movies like Chicago and The Wizard of Oz); “Best Animated Feature” (featuring flicks like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Shrek and Moana); “Lifetime Achievement” (looking particularly at Julie Andrews and John Williams through music from The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park); and “Best Original Song” (featuring tunes like “Skyfall” from Skyfall and “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic).
Planning is a months-long affair that starts during January rehearsals and continues with weekly practices and prop- and set-building sessions at the old St. Joseph auditorium. The show’s backdrop will look like the Dolby Theatre, where the awards are held every year, centering around a large red curtain and jumbotron.
Nordle’s husband, Ken Lajoie, leads the production team, having studied art and grown up in a theater family, and her son Ryan Nordle helps with film editing. Club members need to put in a number of volunteer hours every winter, and parents typically help too, from painting and hammering to sewing and glueing. 
This all-or-nothing attitude toward the spring show is typical for an SNHSC production. Last year, the rink became a bookstore and the skaters transformed into characters like Harry Potter and Miss Trunchbull. Another year, audiences were transported to Universal Studios. 
Finding new angles is difficult when you’ve been designing skating productions for decades, but it’s very important to Nordle.
“My goal is to try to produce something that audiences are going to enjoy and remember, and not to do the same thing over and over again,” Nordle said.
Kathleen Feeney, who skates in her 15th show this year (as Marilyn Monroe, with a blond wig and white dress), said it’s all worth the effort when she sees the club’s youngest skaters light up as they step out onto the ice under the spotlight. 
For Mary Jo Libby, 18, the joy is in the skating and the performances — she’ll bring to life Maui from Moana, Genie from Aladdin and the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz — but also in the company she keeps on the ice.
“It feels like I’m skating with my family,” she said. 





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