Mercer chosen as tenth Mother Ginger

Ninth Mother Ginger, Ron Scott stands next to tenth Mother Ginger, Maurice Mercer as Mayor Gary Waters shows off his commemorative second mother Ginger shirt.Mercer was selected to play Mother Ginger in the upcoming production of the Grebel Center for Dance Nutcracker. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Ninth Mother Ginger, Ron Scott stands next to tenth Mother Ginger, Maurice Mercer as Mayor Gary Waters shows off his commemorative second mother Ginger shirt.Mercer was selected to play Mother Ginger in the upcoming production of the Grebel Center for Dance Nutcracker. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—A new Mother Ginger has been named. Following Pelham tradition, this year’s Mother Ginger for the Grebel Center for Dance production of the Nutcrakcer was chosen in a “Passing of the Wig” ceremony during an Oct. 6 City Council meeting.

Pelham City Councilman, and last year’s Mother Ginger, Ron Scott wandered around the City Council chambers holding the baroque-style Mother Ginger wig, with several young ballerinas in tow. Scott placed the wig on City Councilman Maurice Mercer’s head, selecting him to continue the tradition as the tenth Mother Ginger.

“This is something that needs to go to someone who has great promise on the stage, in the theater,” Scott said, noting the role also required “a lot of rehearsal time.”

Mother Ginger is a widely recognizable character from the Nutcracker ballet, as the woman with the large hoop skirt. Mother Ginger traditionally appears during the second act of the ballet and gingerbread children, also called Polichinelles, emerge from her skirt.

The role has been played by many notable Pelham residents in past productions of the Grebel Center for Dance Nutcracker, including former Pelham Mayor Bobby Hayes, current Mayor Gary Waters, Pelham Police Chief Tommy Thomas and Pelham Fire Chief Danny Ray.

“I’m looking forward to you all,” Mercer said to the dancers and families from the Grebel Center for Dance gathered at the Oct. 6 meeting. “I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting Christmas.”

Nutcracker performances will be held Dec. 19-21 at Pelham High School. Tickets are available online and range from $5-$10 for children 5-years-old and younger and $10-$15 for adults. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $15.

More information is available at Grebeldance.com.