SandCastle's "Icy" Dinner Show - Quality Dining & Spectacular Entertainment
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
Want to experience an evening of fine dining and extraordinary entertainment that you will remember for the rest of your life? Well you can easily do this right here on Guam, all in the luxurious comfort of the SandCastle Dinner Theatre, Guam's premiere entertainment attraction. Launched on May 14, "Magic on Ice" is a dazzling one-of-kind performance that combines the elegant beauty of world-class figure skating with the magical enchantment of superb illusions. It is unquestionably one of most uplifting, inspiring, and unique performances I have ever seen, and is patently just darned great fun for the entire family!
"Magic on Ice" was especially created for the SandCastle by Steve Wheeler, the world's premier ice-skating illusionist who has enthralled millions of people around the world, with over 5,000 live appearances. Wheeler started performing magic when he was 10 years old and was awarded top honors from the Society of American Magicians when he was 14. He spent several years undergoing intensive training by some of the most renowned figure-skating coaches in the U.S. His first performance of "Magic on Ice" took place in 1982 at Tokyo's New Fujiya Hotel. I could list more credits, television appearances, and other highlights, but it would take several pages. Suffice it to say, you will be overwhelmed by this awe-inspiring performance by Wheeler and his cast of accomplished skaters, who have transformed the SandCastle into a mystical wonderland of superlative artistic innovation that will engage all of your senses.
What better way to prepare for a spectacular show than to begin your evening with a gourmet dinner? After you've entered SandCastle's elaborate lobby (this place exudes baroque-style luxury with Italian marble floors embedded with 24-carat gold plated tiles and ceilings adorned with ornate hand-cut crystal chandeliers), you are escorted by one of SandCastle's well-trained staff to your linen-clad table or booth. Every detail of the tabletop setting has been meticulously attended to with the goal of creating a mood of elegant fine dining. Cocktails can be ordered or you can choose a suitable wine from the impressive wine list.
The standard 4-course dinner menu includes Lobster Bisque, Salad, Choice of Entree (Grilled Filet Mignon, Seafood Grill, or Combination Choice - for an additional $15 you can have Steak & Seafood or an extra Lobster Tail with your seafood selection), and a dessert ends the meal. After dinner, a fresh fruit or cheese platter can be enjoyed for an extra cost. The Lobster Bisque was an exquisite blend of the essence of lobster flavored with brandy and fresh herbs. The thick, rich soup had lobster meat, dill, and was garnished with sweet cream and a flavorful fried leeks. We also sampled one of Executive Chef Jeff Hill's special creations, a stunning shrimp cocktail that was made with meaty jumbo prawns circling a crystal goblet and garnished with fresh lime and lemon slices. The Salad was a winner, with fresh greens, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and Kalamata olives all drizzled with a zesty Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette.
I was accompanied by a visiting friend, Stacie, a previous Guam resident who is now based in Laguna Niguel, California, and involved in booking cruise line adventures around the world. We ordered a Grilled Filet Mignon and a Seafood Grill. The Seafood Grill features an herb roasted Lobster Tail with a Sauteed Mahi Filet. It came with an excellent risotto and had the most remarkable Buerre Blanc sauce laced with beet juice. Steamed Bok Choy accompanied the seafood. It was a splendid presentation and the lobster was outstanding - firm, sweet, and ample; it couldn't have been any better. The Filet was ordered Medium Rare and was served atop scalloped potatoes and was flanked on 3 sides by mounds of laced fried onions. The rich Bordelaise Sauce served to redeem the steak's otherwise ordinary taste.
Dessert was a variation on a trifle (a traditional fruit and cream dessert); the fresh-whipped cream concoction had a slice of kiwi and a big, sweet strawberry that lay in the shadow of a dried banana slice. Plump grapes were hidden in the bottom of the cream. It was refreshing and elegantly presented. If you have room and really want to take your dinner experience up a notch, order a cheese platter...it is indescribably delicious with only the best cheeses.
For those who've seen SandCastle's previous shows, the latest being Fantastique, which just ended a 9-year run, you will be completely surprised by "Magic On Ice". Once the lights go down as the music starts and fog starts billowing out, you'll see colorfully clad dancers go into smooth gliding movements, making this a show in a class entirely of its own. In what must have been over an hour, we were mesmerized by a seamless, non-stop production of incredible special effects, stirring music blending melodies of Sting, Enya-like choral vocalizations, Flamenco guitar, conga and other drums, and the wide, sweeping majestic orchestrations similar to the music of Yanni and John Tesh. The show has jaw-dropping set-designs and special effects that work fantastically well with the lighting and atmospheric changes.(Can you believe that real clouds are produced on the theatre's sprawling ice-clad stage?) Most impressive of course is the choreography - this is ice-skating entertainment at its finest. Wheeler has created a fusion of dynamic skating routines with bold acts of imaginative illusion, all blended together with sounds and lighting effects never seen here before. Steve Wheeler is accompanied by his multi-talented wife, Tracy. Also featured are several outstanding skating ballet performances by the duet of Max & Natalia.
I could continue heaping more praise on "Magic on Ice", however, I believe it's best for you to go see for yourself just how splendidly surreal and magically uplifting this performance fantasy is. There is no better time than now as there is a local special going on until the end of June! The Dinner Show is being offered for $75 (the regular price is $94), and the Cocktail Show which features two performances a night, six days a week for $45 instead of the regular $64. Moreover, to encourage family attendance, each paid adult fare gets a child age 2 to 11 in free. Special prices for children beyond the "free with adult" admission is $35/Dinner and $25/Cocktail.
Kudos to Baldyga Enterprises and the SandCastle team for bringing to Guam yet another unique, dynamic, innovative world-class production that makes dreams come true. Call 649-7263 for reservations and information about this spectacular entertainment experience.