Pinkerton Ballet celebrates 20th year of 'The Nutcracker'

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal

As magical and entertaining as the fantasy fairy tale itself, the Pinkerton Ballet Theatre brings to the stage of the Carson City Community Center its production of The Nutcracker.

The cast of 90 includes members from the area with a number of featured guests traveling from around the nation to present the 20th anniversary production. Three performances are scheduled; 7 p.m. on Nov. 28 and 29, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 30.

Performing or assisting in all years of the production are, Gail Ruff as Grandmother, Vern Manke as Grandfather, Carol Manke and Gloria Dopf, who have worked backstage each year, Ayako Britt and Vickie McMaster artistic directing, and Bob Belknap as Drosselmeyer.

"We're excited about having as many as the alumni in this performance as we can," Ruff said. "Ayako Britt and Vickie McMaster are the artistic directors."

Ruff said over the years many of the performances have been sell-outs. If not, it's usually due to bad weather.

"The community looks forward to this each year. It's been a wonderful experience."

In this year's production, the role of young Clara will be performed by Morgan Gillott of Carson City, with Ryan Frier of North Carolina returning as the Nutcracker Prince.

Dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy is Melissa Framiglio. Framiglio trained at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Boston Ballet, Chautauqua Festival Ballet and the Rock School, after which she joined Louisville Ballet, where she performed for more than 10 seasons.

Tristi Ann McMaster Robinson, who began her training at Pinkerton Dance Academy under the direction of Fern Pinkerton, will dance the role of the Snow Queen; Norvell Robinson Jr. will play the Snow King; the Cavalier is portrayed by Scott Trumbo, who is with Bouand Dance Company in Portland, Ore.

Sharing the featured role in Arabian Pas de Deux are Natalie Berger and Tamra McMaster Mehringer. Berger is from Carson City and trained with Pinkerton Dance. She has earned several outstanding dance degrees from both UNLV and the University of Utah. Mehringer is a native of Lake Tahoe. She began her dance studies under the direction of Fern Pinkerton, continued her training at Marin Ballet School in California, and has performed in the Nutcracker for the past 11 years.

Arthur Reloj reprises his role in Arabian Pas de Deux; Russian dancing will be performed by Armen and Ruben Hagopian, professional dancers who are returning for their 10th year with Pinkerton.

The music of The Nutcracker was composed by Peter Tchaikovsy in 1892. The ballet is based on the story "The Nutcracker and the King of Mice" written by E.T.A. Hoffman.

The story is of a young German girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a mighty battle against a mouse king. At midnight, Clara begins to shrink as the toys and trees around her come to life.

After the battle, the Nutcracker turns into a prince and takes Clara on a journey through the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets where they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy. Each scene makes for colorful fantasy of Clara's dream.

Tickets are $22 general admission, $18 for seniors and students, with group discounts offered and are available at Sugar Pine Cove gift shop, 1087 S. Carson St., or by calling 884-4603 until noon Friday, Nov. 28. Tickets will also be available at the door 90 minutes before each performance.

For information, call 841-4232.

- Contact Rhonda Costa at or 881-1223.


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