The Inside Edge: All-star cast announced for 'EWC'Savchenko and Massot, Weir highlight lineup for Jimmy Fund benefit show
The annual Jimmy Fund benefit show "An Evening with Champions" has announced the cast list for the September performances at Harvard University. The new high-profile pairs team of Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot will skate together in public for the first time on American soil, and Johnny Weir returns to the show for the first time since 2001. Alissa Czisny and Kimmie Meissner headline the ladies. The beloved pairs team of the Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov, ages 78 and 82, will skate in the show for the 23rd time.
As they have for the past three years, Paul Wylie and Emily Hughes will co-host. It will be Wylie's 15th time at the microphone.
The other ladies appearing in the show will be Agnes Zawadzki, Christina Gao, Ashley Cain, Courtney Hicks, Yasmin Siraj and Marina Kalina. Hughes will skate as well. Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus are the lone dance team.
Other men joining Weir are Jeremy Abbott, Shawn Sawyer, Joshua Farris, Ross Miner, Nathan Chen, Douglas Razzano and Shotaro Omori. Two-time world bronze medalists Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford highlight the pairs, which also includes the new team of Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran. Synchronized skating is represented by the Haydenettes, Team Excel and Team Excel's collegiate squad. The Theatre On Ice troupe Act I of Boston rounds out the cast.
Castelli said that skating in the show is always a priority for her.
"I am so excited to skate in it this year with Mervin," she told us. "I think he will really enjoy it. It's a great atmosphere."
Castelli's favorite part of the weekend, as it is for many of the skaters, is the kids' skate. The cast spends some private time on the ice with young cancer patients and survivors, teaching them to skate and having fun on the ice.
"It's a time we can interact with the Jimmy Fund kids," Castelli said. "We have dance parties on the ice! It's so much fun to hang out with them, and then they stay and watch the show afterward."
Castelli was in Boston for a few days, after competing with Tran for the first time at the Quebec Summer Championships.
"We were really happy," she said. "We feel really comfortable with each other."
"An Evening with Champions" was founded in 1970 by former U.S. champion John Misha Petkevich and fellow Harvard University classmate John Powers. From the beginning, it has been run entirely by Harvard University students, and has raised more than $2.7 million for the Jimmy Fund in support of adult and pediatric cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The shows are Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Bright Arena in Allston, Massachusetts. A reception with the cast is included for sponsors. Tickets go on sale Aug. 19 at the Harvard Box Office and online. More information can be found at aneveningwithchampions.org.
Update (8/14/14): Savchenko and Massot have withdrawn from the show due to personal reasons.
More happy occasions
Still more summer wedding news to report: Savchenko's former partner, Robin Szolkowy, married Swiss beauty Romy Born on Aug. 1, the bride's 33rd birthday.
John Kerr and his wife, Nadine Ahmed, had a second wedding ceremony last weekend in Miami, where most of her family lives. This time, the couple dressed to honor the bride's Pakistani heritage. For the mehndi henna ceremony the night before the wedding, the couple wore gold, with garlands of flowers and pink scarves. All the ladies of the party were decorated with elaborate henna decorations; bridesmaid Sinead Kerr tweeted a photo of her henna'd hand, complete with turquoise nails.
At the wedding reception, Ahmed wore a stunning gold-embroidered red gown, and Kerr donned a gold-embroidered black tunic with loose white pants, looking very dashing. The bridesmaids wore multicolored saris. Douglas Webster, Jeff Buttle, Silvia Fontana, John Zimmerman and Jeremy Barrett attended.
Former pairs and singles skater Amanda Dobbs married Dylan Muckey on Aug. 3. Dobbs coaches at the Allen Community Ice Rink in Texas. The groom, who is with the U.S. Air Force, is stationed at Aviano Air Base in Italy.
R.I.P. Robin Williams
The news of comedian Robin Williams' death Monday night overwhelmed social media. Skaters from Weir to Meissner to Kristi Yamaguchi took to Twitter and Facebook to express their shock and dismay. Here are some of their tweets.
How many of you had rainbow suspenders? I did....#RIPRobinWilliams Your work will always be remembered with a smile.- Kristi Yamaguchi (@kristiyamaguchi) August 12, 2014
A giver of light in a world with far too much darkness; I can't believe Robin Williams is gone.- John Coughlin (@JohnCoughlinUSA) August 11, 2014
RIP Robin Williams. You will be missed, your work brightened the lives of everyone. :(- Felicia Zhang (@felicia_zhang) August 11, 2014
Heartbroken over the death of Robin Williams. As President Obama said, "He made us laugh. He made us cry." You will be missed!- Kimmie Meissner (@kimmiemeissner) August 12, 2014
This is so sad... RIP Robin Williams. Thank you for all the laughter, all the joy, and all the wisdom. pic.twitter.com/Uh3q4PTvYI- Alex Shibutani (@AlexShibutani) August 12, 2014
Still reeling from this profound loss. Let's grow the dialogue around mental health issues and end the stigma. Please. #RIPRobinWilliams- jian ghomeshi (@jianghomeshi) August 12, 2014
So bummed to hear about Robin Williams. One of the most brilliant funny men of our time. I am officially starting a Robin Williams marathon- Ryan Bradley (@RyanSBradley) August 12, 2014
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