The show also featured skating solos from Lyla Eshelbrenner, Alexi Johnson and Anabel Wallace.
Guest skaters Jessica Kemper, Culver Ice Productions Senior Team (Ariel Davydov, Koko Hirano, Jessica Kemper, Kira Kubo, Stella Maples, Kate Mullen, Mary Martain and Jackie Nieto) and 10-time U.S. Championship competitor Sean Rabbitt also performed in between numbers.
The Cube’s retelling of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” followed similar to the musical’s version. Old Max, played by Cadence Cugno, retells the story through Max’s eyes of that fateful Christmas in Whoville.
Cugno, 12, has been skating for 10 years and she found the best way to become Old Max was to listen closely to the music.
“It was different, but he has a certain emotion in his voice that’s easy to characterize,” said Cugno.
Seven-year figure skater Madison Rapkine, 10, played Cindy Lou. Rapkine’s skating career prepared her for the part, and the unexpected.
“You need to know how to improv in emergencies like when the music turned off,” said Rapkine.
Toward the very end of the show, the music did cut off, but no skaters stuttered in what to do. All members continued on as if nothing happened and let their skating tell the story.
The skater everyone was looking at when the music cut off was Avery O’Brien, who played the titular character of the Grinch.
“We mainly learned how to be independent because you got to act and they really rely on you to know your parts and know what you’re supposed to do,” said O’Brien.
The Grinch was a character that O’Brien had never had to embody before. She embraced the challenge.
“(It was) fun, hard also because he’s a really different character than you’re used to in skating,” said O’Brien. “Usually in skating we think of like the ice princess and they’re graceful and then it’s hard being the Grinch.”
O’Brien fully embraced the quirkiness of the Grinch while skating with grace. She performed many tricks such as axel jumps, A frame spins and a spider lunge.
By the end of the show, the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes and applause filled the rink that had become Whoville.
Rylee Holwager joined The Signal team in June 2022, but has lived in Santa Clarita her entire life. She loves to tell the people’s stories and keep the public informed. She is a graduate of California State University, Northridge and was the Social Media Editor at her time with The Daily Sundial. Have a story to share? Email Rylee at [email protected].