Ice Company rehearses the toy soldier routine.
Pairs team Pam Shifman and Todd
Brown in "Latin Rhythms."
140 toy soldiers, penguins, indians and
ice dancers have prepared. Southfield's
15th annual skating extravaganza.
BY LISA POLLAK
Special to The Jewish News
It's an April afternoon, and the
ice arena at the Southfield Civic Cen-
ter has been transformed into a musi-
cal toy shop. There are no skaters on
the ice, just twirling penguins, bears,
a porcelain doll, a mouse, a bother-
some skunk, and a regiment of march-
. ing toy soldiers.
The explanation for this trans-
formation? . Simple. It's yet another
day of rehearsal_for Southfield Parks
and Recreation's Ice , Company of
1986. This year's 15th anniversary
show, entitled "Rhythms and Re-
miniscing," will run for five days be-
ginning Wednesday. 'It consists of re-
vised acts from the past shows • that
have gained the Ice Company a repu-
tation as "the most professional
amateur.show in the country," accord-
ing to Ron Basten, the show's director
and choreographer of 13 years.
- But as opening day draws near,
the thoughts turn not to recognition
but th rehearsal for the Ice Company's
140 participants, who range from
young children to adults.
When the "Toy Shop" music ends
on this rehearsal afternoon, Basten
summons his skaters to the rink's
edge to be singled out for critiques.
One name he calls is that of Todd
Brown,18, a senior at Oak Park High
Brown, who will appear for a sec-
ond year as a star in the show, skates
year-round as do many of the Ice
Company's participants. An experi-
enced skater who received his intro-
duction to figure skating at the age of
after playing hockey with his older
brother, Brown left his family in Kan-
sas City, Mo. at 15 to pursue a career
in Detroit. Since moving to this
"noted training area for skaters" he
has placed in national competitions
Ice Company director-producer Ron
Basten gives a critique.
for pair skating. Though he trains in
both pair and solo skating at the De-
troit Skating Cluh, Brown calls group
skating in Ice Company "fun trying to
get everyone to do something at the
This Olyrivic aspirant stresses
that "the: show's quality of perform-.
ance is far above the Ice Capades even
without the professional soloists," and
notes that the show's prestige and et-
perience helped him to land a spot in
Walt Disney's World on Ice, although
he plans to postpone joining while he
trains next year in Seattle, for compe-
In addition, to playing a jack-in-
the-box in the show's "Toy Shop"
routine, Brown will skate a "Latin
Rhythms" routine with 16-year-old
Pam Shifman of Huntington Woods.
For Shifman, who has placed in the
Continued on Page 54
Jill Attenson and Jennifer Bayer listen to