Ice Follies

Last updated
Ice Follies And Holiday on Ice, Inc.
Disney On Ice [1]
FormerlyShipstads and Johnson Ice Follies, Inc.
Holiday on Ice [1]
Typeprivate subsidiary
IndustryEntertainment
Founders
  • Oscar Johnson
  • Eddie Shipstad
  • Roy Shipstad
HeadquartersFeld Entertainment Studio, ,
Area served
Worldwide
Production output
Touring ice shows
Brands Disney on Ice
Parent Feld Entertainment

The Ice Follies, formerly known as the Shipstads & Johnson Ice Follies, is a touring ice show featuring elaborate production numbers, similar in concept to Ice Capades. It was founded in 1936 by Eddie and Roy Shipstad, and Oscar Johnson. [2] [1] In later years, Olympic skaters such as Donald Jackson, Barbara Berezowski, Peggy Fleming, and Janet Lynn were in the cast.[ citation needed ] Ice Follies also featured novelty acts such as Frick and Frack [3] and Richard Dwyer, who was billed as "Mr. Debonair". [4]

Contents

The production company is now called Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice, Inc., a subsidiary of Feld Entertainment which produces the shows under the Disney on Ice and "... on Ice" titles. Feld formed the new subsidiary from the Ice Follies and U.S. Holiday on Ice touring companies.

The show was a variety show that included a chorus line called The Ice Folliettes, which led to synchronized figure skating, that famously precisely performed a kick line and pinwheel on ice. [1]

History

Ice Follies founders Roy Shipstad, Oscar Johnson, and Eddie Shipstad Roy Shipstad, Oscar Johnson, and Eddie Shipstad.jpg
Ice Follies founders Roy Shipstad, Oscar Johnson, and Eddie Shipstad

Son of Swedish parents who had migrant to St. Paul, Minnesota, typewriter salesman Eddie Skeppstedts (later Shipstads) became friends with chemist Oscar Johnson skating at local lakes. They practiced skating stunts together and were hired as halftime entertainment for the local professional hockey team and the for the New York Rangers. [2] Eddie's brother Roy - himself a successful amateur skater - would later join them to perform charity shows and eventually as the Shipstads & Johnson Ice Follies. [2]

Ice Follies produced the first large scale, professional touring show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on November 7, 1936. [1] [5] Ice Follies was featured in the Joan Crawford film, The Ice Follies of 1939 , MGM's answer to the popular Sonja Henie films of the time. [5] Frick and Frack, the comic skating duo, joined the show in the 1939. [3]

In 1946, Ice Follies began co-producing Ice Cycles with Ice Capades. [6] In 1949, Ice Follies left the Ice Cycles show, leaving it under Ice Capades' ownership. [5] In 1950, Roy Shipstad retired from performing and recruited Richard Dwyer to take over his role of "Debonair" as the "Young Debonair". By 1966, "Young" was dropped from the role title that later became "Mr. Debonair". [4] Frack became ill in 1954 ending the duo, [3] but Frick continued at Ice Follies with other partners. [7]

In the mid-1960s, Thomas Scallen took an executive position with Ice Follies which he eventually bought [8] in 1964. [9] The Ice Follies were placed within General Ice Shows, Inc., a subsidiary of Scallen's Medical Investment Corporation. General Shows purchased Holiday on Ice (HoI) by August 1971. After lawsuits filed by HoI's Chaffen [10] and Arthur Wirtz were resolved in August 1971 and February 1976 respectively, [11] Wirtz gained ownership of both shows. [12]

Ice Follies at 1962 Worlds Fair 02 Ice Follies at 1962 Worlds Fair 02.jpg
Ice Follies at 1962 Worlds Fair 02

Mattel's Irvin & Kenneth Feld Productions purchased the Ice Follies and the Holiday on Ice from Wirtz for $12 million in 1979. [12] The company soon approached Disney about doing a Disney-related show on ice. [13]

Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice

Ice Follies merged with Holiday on Ice in 1980, operating as a combined show in 1980 and 1981. The first Disney's World on Ice began touring in 1981. [1] [13] Frick suffered a career ending injury in 1980. [7]

In 1995, the company branched out from Disney's World on Ice with The Wizard of Oz on Ice , [14] the first of the Classic Ice Spectaculars. [15] Disney's World on Ice launched its first international tour in 1986 starting in Japan, [15] had five different touring units by 1988, [16] and changed its name in 1998 to "Disney on Ice". [17] The first ice show done in conjunction with 20th Century Fox was Anastasia On Ice starting in 1998. [18]

Ice Follies also expanded to perform Grease on Ice as early as 1999. [19] Based on the Disney Channel original movie, High School Musical was launched as an ice tour in 2006 and lasted three years, despite having been originally expected to last one year. [20]

Shows

Related Research Articles

Sonja Henie Norwegian figure skater (1912–1969)

Sonja Henie was a Norwegian figure skater and film star. She was a three-time Olympic champion in women's singles, a ten-time World champion (1927–1936) and a six-time European champion (1931–1936). Henie has won more Olympic and World titles than any other ladies' figure skater. She is one of only two skaters to defend a ladies' singles Olympic title, the other being Katarina Witt, and her six European titles has only been matched by Witt.

VStar Entertainment Group is a family entertainment production company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. It produced Sesame Street Live, a live touring stage show based on the television series. It has also produced stage shows based on Dragon Tales, The Muppets and Muppet Babies, Bear in the Big Blue House, Curious George, Barney & Friends and PAW Patrol.

Ice Capades Touring shows featuring ice skating

The Ice Capades were traveling entertainment shows featuring theatrical ice skating performances. Shows often featured former Olympic and US National Champion figure skaters who had retired from formal competition. Started in 1940, the Ice Capades grew rapidly and prospered for 50 years. A decline in popularity ensued in the 1980s, and the show went out of business around 1995. There have been several attempts to revive the show and its name.

William Wadsworth Wirtz was the chief executive officer and controlling shareholder of the family-owned Wirtz Corporation. He was best known as the owner of the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League, who are part of Wirtz Corp's holdings. Wirtz also served as the Blackhawks' team president for over four decades.

Holiday on Ice is an ice show currently owned by Medusa Music Group GmbH, a subsidiary of CTS EVENTIM, Europe's largest ticket distributor, with its headquarters in Bremen, Germany.

Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice, originally Walt Disney's World on Ice, is a series of touring ice shows produced by Feld Entertainment's Ice Follies And Holiday on Ice, Inc. under agreement with The Walt Disney Company. Aimed primarily at children, the shows feature figure skaters portraying the roles of Disney characters in performances derived from various Disney films. Feld Entertainment licensed the rights to Disney material for ice shows and includes shared merchandising revenue between Disney and Ice Follies.

Frick and Frack

Frick and Frack were a comedic ice skating duo of Swiss skaters who went to the United States in 1937 and joined the original Ice Follies show. "Frick" was Werner Groebli, born in Basel. "Frack" was Hansruedi Mauch,, also born in Basel. Frick and Frack were known for skating in Alpine Lederhosen and performing eccentric tricks on ice, including the "cantilever spread-eagle", created by Groebli, and Mauch's "rubber legs", twisting and bending his legs while skating in a spread eagle position. Only a few skaters have successfully performed the duo's routines since.

Natasha Kuchiki American pair skater

Natasha Maria Hanako Kuchiki is an American former competitive pair skater. She is the 1991 World bronze medalist with Todd Sand.

Carlos Romero was a professional ice skater who turned to acting in films and television. He was a prolific character actor, who appeared on 132 television episodes and eleven films during his half-century of performing.

ABC Family Worldwide is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Television that is responsible for the operations of the U.S. cable network Freeform and the Canadian cable network ABC Spark.

Arthur Michael Wirtz was an American entrepreneur. He was the founder of Wirtz Corporation, a holding company that owned Chicago Stadium, the Bismarck Hotel in Chicago, the Chicago Black Hawks, and the Chicago Bulls. He was the father of the late Black Hawks owner Bill Wirtz, and grandfather of current Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz.

Vivi-Anne Hultén Swedish figure skater (1911–2003)

Vivi-Anne Hultén was a Swedish figure skater who competed in ladies' singles. She was the 1936 Olympic bronze medalist, a four-time World medalist, a two-time European bronze medalist, and a ten-time Swedish national champion.

Sarah Kawahara is a Canadian figure skater and choreographer who has won two Emmy Awards.

<i>The Ice Follies of 1939</i> 1939 film by Reinhold Schünzel

The Ice Follies of 1939 is a 1939 American musical drama film directed by Reinhold Schünzel, and starring Joan Crawford, James Stewart, Lew Ayres and Lewis Stone.

Ice show Entertainment performed by ice skaters

An ice show is an entertainment production which is primarily performed by ice skaters. Such shows may primarily be skating exhibitions, or may be musical and/or dramatic in nature, using skating as a medium in order to accompany a musical work or to present a story. The term generally excludes skating competitions in (professional) sports. Many companies produce fixed or touring ice shows, which are then performed for the general public in facilities such as multipurpose arenas or skating rinks which can accommodate spectators, or in theatres with a temporary ice surface installed on the stage. Ice shows are also featured as entertainment in amusement parks and on some large cruise ships.

Disney Theatrical Group Stage production division of Walt Disney Studios

The Disney Theatrical Group, legally Buena Vista Theatrical Group Ltd., is the live show, stageplay and musical production arm of The Walt Disney Company. The company is led by Thomas Schumacher, and forms a part of Walt Disney Studios, one of the six major business segments of The Walt Disney Company.

Thomas Kaine Scallen was the first owner of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. He owned the team from 1970 to 1974, when Frank Griffiths, an owner of several Vancouver area radio and television stations, the next largest shareholder in the Canucks, took over after Scallen was arrested. Innocent, he received a full pardon from the Canadian government.

Feld Entertainment American live show production company

Feld Entertainment Inc. is an American live show production company which owns a number of traveling shows. The company began with the now-defunct Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus then expanded into additional live events, including Disney on Ice, Monster Jam, AMA Supercross Championship, and Sesame Street Live. The company is family owned.

Peter A. Tyrrell was an entertainment entrepreneur in Philadelphia, most prominently associated with the Philadelphia Arena. He was one of eleven founders of what eventually became the National Basketball Association, and was a founder and the first president of the Ice Capades.

Everett McGowan American ice hockey player

Edward Everett McGowan was an American professional ice hockey player. He played with the Vancouver Maroons of the Western Canada Hockey League. He also played with the Winnipeg Maroons of the American Hockey Association, Edmonton Eskimos of the PrHL, and the Springfield Indians of the CAHL.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Schneider Farris, Jo Ann. "Shipstads and Johnson Ice Follies". ThoughtCo.com . IAC . Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 Taes, Sofie (2019-01-15). "The Ice Follies: how a Swedish family changed American entertainment history". [[Europeana (CC By-SA). Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  3. 1 2 3 Bernstein, Adam (April 23, 2008). "'Frick' was half of a comic ice-skating duo". Los Angeles Times . The Washington Post. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  4. 1 2 Schneider Farris, Jo Ann. "Richard Dwyer - "Mr. Debonair" Ice Skating Show Star and Figure Skating Legend". About.com. IAC. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "Timeline". proskatinghistoricalfoundation.org. Pro Skating Historical Foundation. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  6. Kirschner, Betty Jean (January 9, 1946). "Thrills, Laughs, Flashing Blades Put Ice Cycles' on Must-See List". Daily Illini. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  7. 1 2 Hevesi, Dennis (April 23, 2008). "Werner Groebli, Ice Skating's Frick, Dies at 92". The New York Times . Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  8. Royce, Royce (March 23, 2015). "The unsinkable Thomas Scallen: Old-school showman and dealmaker dies at 89". Star Tribune . Star Tribune Media Company. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  9. "Henry (Heinie) Brock, 89, of Shipstad, Johnson Ice Follies". Los Angeles Times. August 23, 1989. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  10. "Chalfen v. Medical Investment Corporation 210 N.W.2d 216 (1973)". Justia U.S. Law. Supreme Court of Minnesota. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  11. Bright (February 10, 1976). "CHICAGO STADIUM CORPORATION, a Delaware Corporation, and Chicago Blackhawk Hockey Team, Inc., an Illinois Corporation, Appellees, v. Thomas K. SCALLEN and Medical Investment Corporation, a Minnesota Corporation, Appellants. 530 F.2d 204". Public.Resource.Org. United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  12. 1 2 Dale, Steve (January 20, 1995). "Snow White And Greenbacks". Chicago Tribune . Tribune Publishing. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  13. 1 2 3 4 "Feld Family Buys Ringling Bros". The New York Times. Associated Press. March 19, 1982. Retrieved July 20, 2008. ... a family that had owned the circus and has been in its management for 26 years. Two members of the family, Irvin Feld and his son, Kenneth, said that the deal included the circus, Ice Follies, Holiday on Ice and the new Walt Disney's World on Ice. ...
  14. 1 2 Mangan, Jennifer (September 27, 1995). "With Vocal, Visual Talent All Around, It's Wonderful 'Wizard Of Oz On Ice'". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  15. 1 2 3 4 "Feld Entertainment, Inc Company profile" (PDF). eswr.com. Feld Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  16. "Disney Ice Extravaganza Opens". Los Angeles Times. Times Wire Services. July 1, 1988. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  17. "About Feld Entertainment" (PDF). feldentertainment.com. Feld Entertainment. p. 2. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  18. 1 2 Hirsch, Deborah (March 12, 1999). "Anastasia: Legend, Fantasy On Ice". Sun-Sentinel . Tribune Publishing. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  19. 1 2 Jones, Chris; Bannon, Tim; Hevrdejs, Judy (October 31, 1999). "Glitzy Entertainment On Ice Still Melts Hearts In Evergreen Park". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  20. 1 2 Frederick, Missy (June 1, 2009). "With new motor sports unit, Feld Entertainment battles recession". Washington Business Journal. American City Business Journals . Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  21. Corry, John (September 10, 1981). "Ice Extravaganza Visits The Garden". The New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  22. "Feld Entertainment's 'Starlight Express' Fails To Find Niche, Pulled From Road". Amusement Business. October 20, 1997. Archived from the original on October 17, 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2008 via HighBeam Research.
  23. Zoltak, James (June 30, 1997). "Feld Entertainment launches new ice show". Amusement Business. Archived from the original on October 17, 2015. Retrieved August 8, 2015 via HighBeam Research.
  24. Jones, Chris (September 25, 1998). "'Anastasia' Impressive Bit Of Family Fare". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved August 8, 2015.