Mother-ly advice: Mayor Crowell, along with newcomers, Amodei, Dawley to don a dress in ‘Nutcracker’ |

Mother-ly advice: Mayor Crowell, along with newcomers, Amodei, Dawley to don a dress in ‘Nutcracker’

Teri Vance
Shannon Litz/Nevada AppealCarson City Mayor Bob Crowell, dressed as Mother Gigogne, watches dancers get pulled back under his skirt during the dress rehearsal for "The Nutcracker" at the Carson City Community Center.

Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell has some advice for former State Sen. Mark Amodei and City Assessor Dave Dawley: “Stir fast and smile a lot.”

It’s what he learned after playing the role of Mother Gigogne in last year’s production of “The Nutcracker” presented by the Pinkerton Ballet Theatre.

He will reprise the role again this year of the beloved and over-the-top character, along with newbies Amodei and Dawley.

But his pointers may not be enough to settle the nerves of his castmates.

“I did not know what I was getting myself into,” Amodei said. “I hope I don’t destroy their event.”

Having worked as a lawyer, assemblyman, state senator and now chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, he is known as a quick-witted and charismatic speaker and is no stranger to being center of attention. But it’s little consolation.

“I have a lot of experience in front of people as myself,” he said. “I have no experience in front of people wearing make-up and a dress.”

He did take some comfort, however, after watching the quality of the local and professional dancers Tuesday during rehearsal.

“It looks like the kids are good enough to be able to carry me.”

The 22nd annual production of The Nutcracker Ballet will be at the Carson City Community Center 7 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $23.50 for general admission and $19.50 for seniors and students.

The performance combines professionals with dancers from Carson City, Reno, Gardnerville, Lake Tahoe and other surrounding areas.

“The level of local talent we have that’s being tapped into is wonderful,” said Molly Walt, president of Pinkerton Ballet Theatre.

Producer and stage manager Denise Gillot said the audience can expect to be entertained.

“It’s not a student recital,” she said. “It’s a high-level, quality show that’s been 22 years in the making. It’s a good kick-off to the holiday season.”

The ballet has certainly put Dawley’s children, 9-year-old twins and a 12-year-old, in the holiday spirit.

“They’re so excited about it,” he said. “They’re telling everybody, ‘Dad’s going to be wearing a dress!'”

Dawley has been preparing for the role by watching other performances on YouTube. But he’s not sure it’s helping.

“I’m kind of scared because I know she’s supposed to be very flamboyant and really female,” he said. “I’m not sure I’m going to be able to do that. I’m not an extrovert.”

Overall, he said, “I’m actually pretty excited,” but then muttered, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m actually doing this.”

Crowell will perform Friday, Dawley on Saturday and Amodei on Sunday.

“It will give people the chance to do a lot of praying Sunday for Mark in his made-up, girly Nutcracker debut,” Amodei said.

Crowell’s last piece of advice to his fellow Mothers is to “just have fun.”

“It’s what makes life worth living,” he said.

* Story changed to reflect that Mark Amodei is no longer a state senator.