For just the second time in seven years, Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts is getting set to play host to The Gateway’s Holiday Spectacular On Ice.
That’s right. On ice.
The ice is frozen and more than two dozen skaters — among them 2011 USA National Silver Medalist Ricky Dornbush — will be hitting the stage on skates starting tonight, Thursday, Dec. 15, and running through New Year’s Day.
They’ve been practicing since last week at The Gateway in Bellport.
Scot Allan at The Gateway described the Holiday Spectacular as “a fun holiday show with amazing singers and skaters performing to a combination of classic songs and current hits” that range from Bing Crosby to Kelly Clarkson.
“And these are world class figure skaters,” he added.
The ice is just 33 feet x 34 feet, or 1,122 square feet, so the skaters have to be good.
The Gateway, which produces the show, held its first Holiday Spectacular on Ice in 1997 — when moving ice shows from arenas into playhouses was a new thing — and then again in 2004 in Bellport.
The year 2009 marked the first time ice was put down on the Patchogue stage.
“It’s evolved a lot,” said Paul Allan, The Gateway’s executive artistic director. “It’s similar in spirit but we’ve just been improving it more and more over the years.”
Paul Allan also doubles as the ice engineer for the show.
He’s quick to give a tour of the compressor, which sits in a construction trailer and pumps refrigerant from the trailer into the pipes that run below the ice.
The solution heads into the theater at 18 degree and comes back at 22 to be cooled again. The rink itself is bordered by wood and lined with rubber, though which run the pipes.
The trick is keeping the ice just right for the skaters, Goldilocks style.
“Not too hard; not too soft,” he said.
There’s a VIP pre-party from 5-6:30 p.m. Friday at New Village at Patchogue, with food, wine and cocktails. There’s also a meet and greet with the skaters.
Tickets can be purchased at lipulse.com/holiday for $75.
Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts is located at 71 East Main Street.