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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 
from Instagram.


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 
SuperNovaExpo convention:

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:


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): ($15.95 - CD) ($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.


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,'" 
   Stant said.

   "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:


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 
his place.

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):


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." 


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 
enough Tonya.


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 
plastic, yet):

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 
year's performance:

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".


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