They’ve turned in their Gershwin tapes and replaced them with Motley Crue. Their austere leotards have been spruced up with sparkles. And yes, audiences are encouraged to do the Macarena.
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Olympic Gold medalist Shannon Miller and 14 other gymnasts will bring their lively John Hancock 1996 Tour of World Gymnastics Champions show to the Arena. The 34-city tour has been a hit across the country as it heads into its final leg.
“It’s a lot less stressful,” Miller said Tuesday in a telephone interview from her home in Edmond, Okla. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
Miller, who won the 1996 gold medal for balance beam and was a member of the first American women’s team to win a team gold medal at the Atlanta Games, said the show features individual performances, such as floor exercises, pommel horse and uneven bars, as well as ensemble performances.
“We do some of the same routines,” said the 19-year-old, whose resume includes seven Olympic medals and nine World Championships. “It’s a lot easier, and there are no judges.
“We perform to everything from country to heavy metal.”
The 2-hour show, described as “an ice show without ice,” features Miller’s gold-medal teammates Dominique Dawes, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps, Amanda Borden and Amy Chow.
It is without Kerri Strug, who will best be remembered for the Olympic vault she made despite a severely sprained ankle. Strug has joined the tour of another group.
Even without Strug, Miller said the exhibition, which began Sept. 19 in West Palm Beach, Fla., has been “almost like reliving the Olympics.”
“It’s been a long tour, but it seems like we started yesterday. It’s been a big hit. We can’t believe how many arenas we’ve sold out,” said Miller, who has no plans to retire.
Members of the U.S. men’s team in the show include John Roethlisberger, Blaine Wilson, Kip Simons, Mihai Bagiu, John Macready and Chainey Umphrey.
In addition, world champions Kurt Thomas and Kim Zmeskal and the 1996 Ukrainian gold and silver-winning Liliya Podkopayeva will perform rhythmic gymnastics, along with 1995 national and Olympic team member Jessica Davis.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Show information Tickets remain for the Tour of World Gymnastics Champions at the Arena Thursday night at 7:30. Tickets are available at G&B outlets or call G&B Select-A-Seat at 325-SEAT or 1-800-325-SEAT. The cost is $32.50, $25 or $19.50.
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