Burnaby skater fulfills dream in Disney on Ice

A Burnaby skater is amongst the cast of Disney on Ice, which opens at the Pacific Coliseum on Nov. 21. - CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
A Burnaby skater is amongst the cast of Disney on Ice, which opens at the Pacific Coliseum on Nov. 21.
— image credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

You can take the boy out of Burnaby, but you can’t take the Burnaby out of the boy.

When Chris Molnar hits Vancouver on Monday as part of the cast of Disney on Ice that will be performing its Dare to Dream show at the Pacific Coliseum Nov. 21-25, he’s looking forward to spending some quality shopping time at Metropolis at Metrotown.

Since joining the troupe in August, Molnar’s life has been a blur of bus rides, hotels and arenas, from Mexico City to El Paso, Texas, to Portland, Oregon, to Spokane, Washington. He’s learned to pack his life into two bags, one for clothes, one for his cooking implements and his beloved longboard, which he uses to speed his trips around the towns the ice show visits.

Not that there’s a lot of time for sightseeing, with up to three shows on some days.

Molnar, 23, says he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Joining the cast of Disney on Ice fulfills a dream he’d had for a number of years, as he eyed the end of his competitive figure skating career. In fact, he sent in his first audition tape two years ago, but turned down the job offer that resulted because he still felt he had some winning salchows in him.

Molnar’s been a rink rat his whole life. He and his twin brother Nick played hockey at the Burnaby Winter Club. When they were five, their parents enrolled them in figure skating at 8 Rinks. Eventually the demands of skating, hockey, karate, lacrosse and the myriad other activities in which they participated called for some hard choices. While his brother stuck with hockey, Chris picked figure skating.

“I was good at it,” says Molnar in a phone interview from Spokane. “I was a little small when I was younger and I didn’t see myself as a big hockey player.”

Molnar skated competitively all over the world, including a stint in France. So he’s accustomed to some of the rigours of the road.

Performing as different characters in sometimes bulky costumes that must be changed up to five times in a show is another matter.

“It can be challenging,” says Molnar, whose characters include a paper boy in the show’s opening New Orleans number, a waiter in a restaurant and a prince.

It’s also a lot more fun than competitive skating.

“You have to be focused in competitions,” says Molnar. “A show is more easy going. No one is judging you. You’re not worried about your edges anymore.”

Which is just the license he needs to play it up a bit when he hits the Coliseum ice; more than 50 of his relatives and friends have bought tickets to the Vancouver shows. Some of them have never seen him skate.

“I’m looking forward to it,” says Molnar. “I get to show them what I’ve been doing for the last 15 or 16 years.”

• Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream opens at the Pacific Coliseum on Wed., Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and runs until Sun., Nov. 25. Tickets are available for purchase at the box office, online at www.pne.ca or by phone at 604-280-4444.


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