Skater Brian Boitano teams with singer Barry Manilow
Hey, fans of men in sequined costumes! You’re in for a rare treat this month when Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano skates to the live accompaniment of ’70s music legend Barry Manilow at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Diablo caught up with Boitano to chat about his reverence for Manilow and his East Bay–Olympic connection.
How did this gig with you and Barry Manilow come together?
I’ve known Barry for a few years, and he has this fantastic new album of songs from the 1970s, so we called him up, and he said he’d love to do it. I’m thrilled because I’ve been a big fan of Barry Manilow since I was a kid. I went to see him twice in concert when I was in high school. So, to be performing with him singing the songs that I listened to in the ’70s should be unreal.
Did you have fun playing yourself in Blades of Glory earlier this year?
So much fun. Will Ferrell is the nicest, down-to-earth guy. The first thing he said to me was, “I’m so sorry we’re making fun of figure skating. It’s so hard!” I said, “I thought everyone knew it was hard. Didn’t we all go to an ice-skating birthday party in the second grade, where we spent the whole time falling down?”
You grew up in the South Bay, and your event is in San Francisco, but you’re no stranger to the East Bay.
I trained for the 1988 Olympics at the ice rink in Dublin. It’s the best rink to train in. Also, I’m good friends with Kristi Yamaguchi and have dinner at her house [in Alamo] quite a bit—I wish more often. She and her husband [Carolina Hurricanes hockey player Bret Hedican] don’t spend all their time here because he’s still playing. I would spend a lot more time in Alamo if they were home more.
The Brian Boitano Skating Spectacular with Barry Manilow comes to AT&T Park in San Francisco on December 5, $55–$153, (800) 225-2277 and www.tickets.com.
The performance will be broadcast on NBC on December 22.