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The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News
October 17, 2018 Edition
(C) 2018 Portland Ice Skating Society
Hi there, fellow Tonyaphiles. Welcome to another edition of "The
Portlandian". We've got a huuuge backlog of stuff to get through
that's built up thanks to all the movie coverage, so let's not
beat about the bush and get right into it.
This issue focuses to a large extent on how Tonya has inspired
the creative side of others, from cosplay to artworks. We look at
some cool Tonya-themed costume ideas for Halloween, put out a
Tonya Christmas gift suggestion, and announce the premiere of a
new Tonya-related documentary - that isn't actually about Tonya.
We also have the story behind what REALLY went on with Tonya's
interview with Piers Morgan, discover how one of the most famous
photographs of Tonya was captured, and a few more odds & ends
HALLOWEEN ON ICE?
With Halloween just around the corner, you'll be looking for an
outfit pretty soon.
Tonya costumes have always been a favorite at Halloween, usually
accompanied by a bloody-kneed "Nancy", and with "I, Tonya"
putting her back in the spotlight recently it's no surprise that
this year is expected to be a bumper one for lookalikes, with
searches for Tonya Halloween costumes on Pinterest showing a 720%
increase over last year. This article shows how you can make your
own version of Tonya's 1991 Nationals triple axel costume without
breaking the bank:
Pity they don't show the finished result. But this drag queen
called Mona spotted on Instagram has had a go at doing her own
interpretation of the same outfit:
Along the same lines, Corrine, who hails from Melbourne in
Margot's home country of Australia, has created this replica of
Tonya's 1992 Olympics costume that she wore recently to the
Okay, so they really need a cigarette and an asthma inhaler to
complete the effect. But what's most interesting is what's NOT a
part of the outfits - there's not a crowbar or a tire iron
anywhere! While as previous attempts at costumes have almost
always focused on replicating her 1994 look and referencing "The
Incident", these latest ones hark back to an earlier era, and
seem to be about celebrating Tonya rather than making her into a
joke. Let's hope that this marks the start of a new trend that
will continue into future years.
And don't be surprised if a few "LaVonas" turn up at parties as
well. A LaVona impersonator was spotted at a skating rink a few
months ago, complete with fake parrot, as well as a couple of
For those who favor a more professional approach, costumes from
the movie were on display at the Fashion Institute of Design &
Merchandising Museum in Los Angeles a few months ago:
ROCK OPERA RECORDING NOW AVAILABLE
And with Halloween coming up, that only means one thing - that
guy in the red suit will soon be turning up at the local shopping
mall a few weeks afterwards.
Apart from an "I, Tonya" Blu-ray, here's another nice little
stocking-filler for Tonyaphiles: Broadway Records and the people
behind the Tonya & Nancy Rock Opera have released a recording of
some of the songs, recorded during a partial performance at
Feinstein's/54 Below in New York earlier this year.
This performance features Ashley Spencer (Rock of Ages, Grease)
as Tonya alongside Tony-nominated Broadway star Lauren Worsham (A
Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder) as Nancy, with Tony LePage
(Rock of Ages) as Gillooly and Nancy Opel doing double-duty as
both Tonya and Nancy's mothers. Songs include Tonya’s "Watch Your
Back" and Nancy’s aria, "Why Me?" and 25 others. Available both
on CD and digital download (for those who just can't wait):
https://www.broadwayrecords.com/cds/tonya-and-nancy-highlights-from-the-rock-opera-live-at-feinsteins54-below ($15.95 - CD)
https://www.broadwayrecords.com/shop/tonya-nancy-highlights-from-the-rock-opera-live-at-feinsteins54-below ($12.99 - digital download)
This review gives it a favorable write-up, declaring "from the
first song, 'Three and a Half Minutes,' it's clear that Searle
and Teoli have some serious musical chops: the music is driving
and distinctive, if a little frustratingly repetitive. Even at
this early stage, Searle expertly uses specific language to
highlight how Nancy (Lauren Worsham) and Tonya (Ashley Spencer)
are two sides of the same coin: ambitious and talented with mommy
issues, but polar opposites in approach and style. I also have to
give kudos for the inexplicably entertaining rhyme of 'nuts' with
'lutz'." One can only hope that their wish comes true that
someone will actually have the guts to skate to this one day:
A complete track listing can be found at Amazon:
Personally, I'm still waiting for someone to once again skate to
"People Are Still Having Sex", particularly now that vocal music
is permitted in figure skating.
"I, SHANE"? - NEW TONYA-RELATED DOC TO GET PREMIERE
November will see a new Tonya-related documentary get its
premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival - but it's not
actually about Tonya.
Earlier this year we saw the resurfacing of Shane Stant, who to
us is remembered as the hit-idiot in Shawn's "team" who whacked
Nancy and in the process destroyed Tonya's skating career. But to
his younger sister Maile Stant, Shane was a totally different
figure in her life - a hero who raised her and protected her from
an abusive father. Now, in a new 78-minute documentary, "My
Hero's Shadow", Maile prepares to confront the dark side of
Shane's past and come to terms with the fact that her hero is a
complex multi-faceted figure, neither saint nor villain.
For the first time, Stant also goes into detail about the
planning of the attack, as can be seen in this interview he gave
for Inside Edition:
Asked about the movie, Stant gives it two thumbs-up, describing
it as "pretty accurate", saying "I liked it alot". "It was pretty
cool though because I thought I was more attractive than the
actor that played me", adding that he would have preferred Dwayne
"The Rock" Johnson instead. On the subject of whether he thinks
Tonya was involved, he has this to say:
When Stant was asked whether he believed Harding knew, he
shook his head, saying, "I don’t know."
"The only person who really knows is her and Jeff and I guess
from what I know he's saying she did; she's saying she
didn't," Stant claims.
He says he was never in a room with Harding and had never
formally met her.
"No one ever told me, 'this is what Tonya wants you to do,'"
"I can't say if she did or she didn't - that wouldn't be fair"
As for Tonya, Stant holds no grudge that she's now getting her
turn in the spotlight, saying "It's been a super-long time, and
why not give her the ability to enjoy part of life?".
What is he up to now? Stant, now 46, reveals that he's now a drug
dealer - but don't worry, it's all legal. And there's a Kiwi
connection: his sister, who is actually 20 years younger than
him, once worked on a farm in New Zealand.
Directed by Justin Young from Hawaii, "My Hero's Shadow" is, like
Tonya's story, one of redemption. The film-makers have also
signed a distribution deal with Roco films so hopefully we'll be
seeing this one soon.
A review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVxVkVU8YxM
TONYARCHY IN THE UK...
was the story as the "I, Tonya" juggernaut hit England back in
January. And in a scene not seen on that country's TV screens
since Bill Grundy's infamous confrontation with the Sex Pistols
way back in '76, Tonya put an annoying limey twit interviewer in
The showdown occurred on ITV's "Good Morning Britain" show when
host Piers Morgan insisted on dredging up the same tired old
questions that have been asked of Tonya at least
2,000,000,000,000,000 times since 1994 rather than focusing on
what Tonya really wanted to talk about, which was bullying and
abusive relationships. Apparently pea-brain Piers couldn't get to
grips with the idea that there's more than one victim in this
case, and that the fact that Nancy was a victim doesn't exclude
the fact that Tonya was a victim too. And can someone please
explain how Nancy had her Olympic dreams "shattered" when she
actually went to the Olympics and won a silver medal?
In any case, Tonya was having none of it, and shut him right down
by nearly walking out. And unlike the Pistols, or Margot Robbie
in the movie, she didn't have to swear either.
Now, for the first time, we can reveal what really went on - and
as usual it's not what the Tonyaphobes in the Lamestream Media
would have you believe.
It turns out that when the U.S. representatives from "Good
Morning Britain" and ITV approached Tonya's management they
assured them that Piers Morgan had seen the film and LOVED it;
that he was a huge FAN of Tonya's, and that it would be a short,
5-minute interview, basically promoting the movie, for which they
would pay Tonya and provide a limo to and from her home. Tonya
would be tired from her trip back to Portland that morning from
the Golden Globes, but everybody agreed it seemed like too good
an opportunity to pass up.
In other words, Tonya was promised what seemed like a chance to
make some easy money for answering some softball questions
pitched by a fan - what that famous British TV character Arthur
Daley would call "a nice little earner". What could go wrong? As
it turned out, plenty - Morgan turned out to be a total cad,
rotter and bounder, with the interview quickly going from
softball to hardball - and definitely not cricket, old bean.
The public, however, sided with Tonya, with the ITV switchboards
jammed with positive comments towards her, and also inquiries as
to when the film would open in Britain and at which theaters.
Tonya's management later received an apology from the ITV Vice
President in London for Morgan's appallingly rude behavior.
The rest, we all know. Tonya, having once again been betrayed by
unethical media, became spooked and a whole pile of other
interviews were canned. One unfortunate piece of collateral
damage in the whole affair was Tonya's long-time representative
Michael Rosenberg, who shortly afterward severed his business
relationship with her, though he still remains on good personal
terms with her. We would like to thank Michael for his long
service and support of Tonya, particularly through some of her
most difficult times.
Fortunately, some other Brits treated Tonya with more class, with
"I, Tonya" winning a BAFTA Award, the British equivalent of the
Oscars, for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Allison Janney).
It was also nominated for four others: Best Actress in a Leading
Role (Margot Robbie), Best Original Screenplay (Steven Rogers),
Best Makeup & Hair (Adruitha Lee, Deborah La Mia Denaver) and
Best Costume Design (Jennifer Johnson):
GIRLS ON FILM
Often a really great photo is a matter of luck as much as skill.
Right time, right place, and in the case of Boris Minkevich,
having the right genes - because that made him tall enough to get
the shot without obstruction! A news photographer looks back at
1994 and how one of the year's iconic sports photos was captured
- Tonya's broken shoelace at the Olympics:
"It wasn’t really until she broke her skate lace that it
really went bananas."
"She stops skating and there was silence. An incredible,
unbelievable pause. I remember it — like, it was silent. No
one was taking pictures. Everyone was confused, almost."
Minkevich also faced another problem that modern photographers
don't have to worry about - the possibility of running out of
film. Once again, Lady Luck was on his side:
"I swung over the big lens, and it literally swung over this
other photographer’s head, and I had a perfectly clear view
of that angle," he says. "All I thought in my head was, ‘When
am I going to run out of film?’ We were still in the film
days, so you had 36 shots. You just buzzed through the film
hoping you wouldn’t hear the sound of the film starting to
rewind just as the moment was happening."
Minkevich's photo subsequently won an award in a National Press
Photographers Association contest:
"I got third place in the world for Sports Feature," he says.
"Just some kid from the Prairies who figured out how to get to
the biggest sporting event in the world."
TONYA CAUSES ART ATTACK
It's no surprise that Tonya's story has inspired a huge amount of
artwork over the years, and the release of "I, Tonya" has
resulted in another explosion. But this time around, as with the
Halloween costumes, there's a difference: gone are the crowbars -
instead it's joyous, triple axel Tonya, or badass, rebellious
Margot-Tonya, as these samples show:
Tonya sketch by A Walk in the Art:
This drawing of Tonya & Nancy by Side Eye Studios evokes the
famous '94 Olympic team photo:
Tonya pencil sketch by Andrew Latinen:
Margot-Tonya headshot watercolor:
Tonya drawing by Riousart:
Some have created their own alternative "I, Tonya" posters -
here's one by Roberta Cerise:
Another alternative movie poster showing baby Tonya & LaVona:
Tonya's relationship with her mother has also inspired this
Tonya/LaVona drawing by Dashawater:
Tonya headshot by Bruna Dolenc:
Tonya head sketch by Robert Llobrera:
Tonya head watercolor by Conor Eden:
Crying Tonya candle by miss_corinne1 of Reenies candles:
Three sides of Tonya by Nayties:
Tonya's triple axel has also proved fruitful creative territory
for artists - think back to the diorama from a few years back
that now resides in the THNK1994 Museum in New York. It's
inspired this fully-functioning kinetic sculpture by tuco_vr:
A great Triple Axel Tonya drawing from Commander Cookie:
Is there a Tonyaphile in your life with a birthday coming up? Now
you know what to give them: a massive 6 x 3 foot (1.8m x 0.9m)
acrylic painting of Tonya showing her just after she landed the
triple axel in '91:
Because as every Tonyaphile knows, you can never have a big
And finally to finish off, here's a roundup of random Tonya stuff
we found on Instagram:
For those who want that authentic '90's playback, here's a copy
of Sufjan Stevens' Tonya song on "cassingle" (and in blue
Just makes me want to pull out my 1976 glass & ferrite-head Akai
GXC-39D tape deck and play this baby.
Every Olympic year, the Mixed Precipitation theater group of
Minneapolis/St. Paul put on a performance of "Tonya & Nancy: The
Opera" (the original classical version). One year they even
performed it on ice on a frozen lake. Here's the poster for this
A cartoon about why people don't watch the Olympics as much as
they used to:
Photos from Zachary Grady's "Toe Pick":
Back in '99 Tonya was a skating instructor in Portland - this guy
saved his instructor's ticket:
Another shot of Tonya & Tommy Wiseau at the Globes:
Movie advertising spotted on the back of a bus in Italy:
Tonya with a couple of fans at the Alamo Drafthouse screening in
San Francisco back in March:
Well, that's all ffffffffffffffolks, as Judge Kavanaugh would
say. Join us again in another few weeks when we put out our
annual birthday issue. Until then, as the late Burt Reynolds
would have likely said in "Smokey & The Bandit", "keep the bugs
off your glass and the bears off your... er, tail".
VISIT THESE GREAT TONYA WEB SITES:
PortIce - http://www.pdxiss.org
David House - http://www.tonyaharding.org
Charlie Main - http://www.charliesweb.com/tonya/tonya.html
Puppetboy - http://www.usapaul.net/tonya/
Valerie Smith - http://www.olywa.net/radu/valerie/LilHam.html
Swan Lake - http://members.tripod.com/~TonyaHarding/index.html
Blades of Gold - http://members.tripod.com/tmhfan/index.html
THNK1994 Museum - https://www.facebook.com/THNK1994/
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