Went to see the Nutcracker Saturday night. Both times I saw the Nutcracker back in Madison, Wis. the ballet there invited a local VIP to play a small, innocuous role in the opening party scene. Ballet Austin takes a different approach. They expect their guests to shine.
Thus Council Member Jimmy Flannigan as Mother Ginger, the woman whose enormous dress hides a dozen children dancers.
Jimmy put on quite a show in his role as a fussy old lady. I barely watched the dancers who emerged from his dress. I don’t know if that’s how it’s supposed to work. I guess the idea is if your Mother Ginger proves to be a dud then the audience can focus on the dancers instead. Fool-proof strategy.
Flannigan was filling in for jewelry baroness Kendra Scott, who apparently was out sick. Here are the other local notables upon whom Ballet Austin is bestowing this unique honor:
APD Chief Brian Manley
Tiffany Chen, President and Co-Founder, Tiff’s Treats
Rosie Newberry, Host, KXAN’s Studio 512 Lifestyle Show
Chelsea Andrews, Meteorologist, FOX 7 News (KTBC-TV)
Spencer Cronk, Austin City Manager
Col. Christopher E. Albus, Deputy Commander/Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Operational Test Command, Fort Hood
Colette Pierce Burnette, Ed.D., President and CEO, Huston-Tillotson University
Bill Stotesbery, CEO and General Manager, KLRU-TV
Geronimo Rodriguez, Jr. J.D., AISD Board President
Greg Fenves, President, University of Texas at Austin
Chikage Windler, Chief Meteorologist, CBS Austin (KEYE-TV)
Hector Perez Jr., Founder, Merivis Foundation, Global CRM Strategy Lead
Amazon Web Services
This will be a big test for Cronk.
Also, every network TV station except KVUE represented. They clearly have to up their game.
Update: Due to protests from Spectrum City Hall correspondent and former Mother Ginger Jeff Stenslend, I have corrected the article to reflect that KVUE is not the “only TV station” not included, but the only “network TV station” not included.