Snow King 2, Evgeni Plushenko’s sequel to his 2014 smash hit Snow King, premiered in Moscow over the weekend to sellout crowds for a 15-show run throughout the holiday season. The sequel first played in St. Petersburg in November, but without Johnny in the role of Kai due to scheduling conflicts. Luckily for the Moscow audiences and for Johnny fans everywhere, he’s back to reprise the role that he made his own a year ago.
According to fans on site, the show follows the same storyline as the original, but with newly added special effects—including a massive on-ice polar bear—and some tweaking of the skating performances. For Johnny, the biggest change is to the number he skates as “Enchanted Kai” with Plushenko in the Snow King’s Palace. Their program now includes a chess duel between Kai and the King in which young skaters play living chess pieces.
The show again incorporates acrobatics, multimedia, a dazzlingly upgraded backdrop, and of course fantastic skating—plus a live performance of the theme song, “When the Ice Melts,” by Dima Bilan on premiere night. But most importantly for Johnny fans, there is the beautiful, headstrong, tortured, poignant Kai, the central figure of the story and brilliantly portrayed once again by Johnny.
And here is just a glimpse of what Johnny brings to the role as seen in these exclusive photos by the lovely Elena Vasileva, without whom the blog would not even be happening this week. Also included in each section below are the YouTubes featuring Johnny that have been posted thus far, with hopefully more to come.
Thank you, Johnny, for everything you give us on the ice, including spending your holidays away from home to bring Kai to life. Your performances are an inspiration to so many around the world. Wishing you every happiness this holiday season and in the New Year!
PART 1: Kai, Gerda, and the Snow King’s Carriage
The story: Kai and Gerda (Irina Slutskaya) are dear friends who love one another like brother and sister. They especially love gardening, and work together tending their beautiful flowers. But one day everything changes, when pieces of a shattered enchanted mirror fly into Kai’s eyes and he no longer sees Gerda as his beloved friend. He becomes angry and cruel, fights with Gerda, then abandons her.
Shards from the mirror also flew into the eyes of the King, and he, too, is transformed: he becomes the evil Snow King. He encounters Kai while driving his carriage and kidnaps him, taking Kai away to his icy enchanted palace.
PART 2: Enchanted Kai at the Snow King’s Palace
The Snow King wants Kai to stay with him forever and be one of his soldiers. Kai does not want to do this, and fights to keep his independence. But in the end, he surrenders to The Snow King.
PART 3: Kai, Gerda, and the Snow King
Throughout Kai’s enchantment, Gerda never loses hope that she might find him and see him become again the boy whom she loves. She journeys to The Snow King’s castle through a great many difficulties, but finally arrives, carrying with her a beautiful red rose in which blooms her love for Kai. Kai does not remember her at first, but the power of love in the rose sets him free.
PART 4: Finale: ‘When the Ice Melts’
Gerda faces The Snow King and his soldiers in a tense battle. But there is nothing stronger than love, and ultimately she defeats the King and breaks the icy spell. The rose transforms the frozen palace back into the warm and beautiful place it once was, and releases both Kai and the King from the enchantment.
Johnny is introduced to enormous applause and cheers beginning at about 4:00.
Curtain call from the 12-29-2015 performance. Johnny is introduced at about 3:24 to much love from the audience, as always. But this whole thing is wonderfully sweet and hilarious.
A peek backstage with Kai and his makeup artist, Karina Grigoryants:
…this is Love…💜 @johnnygweir foto by @ponarushka 😘 #thesnowkingbyplushenko #magfilmmoscow #makeup #makeupartist #moscow #снежныйкороль #снежныйкороль2 #возвращение #новыйгод by @karina_grigoryants
REMINDER! Johnny is among the celebrity guests appearing on Dateline NBC’s New Year’s Eve special this Thursday, December 31, 8 pm ET / 7 pm CT!
Image via Johnny’s official website.
AND ALSO: If you’d like to offer happy holiday wishes to Johnny (and Tëma!), there’s still time to send cards and small gifts to him through his fan mail service! Holiday mail will be forwarded to him after he returns to the US next month. Details and gift suggestions on this post, along with tons of gorgeous picspam!
Image via Show Johnny Weir the Love on Facebook.
Very special thanks to Elena Vasileva for the exclusive photos!