The fundraising show is dedicated to poking fun at and essentially “cleansing” the newsmakers of the past year. The name of the show is drawn from a Basque sheep herder practice used to cleanse the wool.
“Sheep dip is a chemical bath Basque herders use,” director Lance Blayney said. “In the spring you bring the sheep down from the mountain and dip them in solvent.”
Blayney said for 47 years, the Sheep Dip show has been cleansing local politicians and celebrities.
“We dip our newsmakers in the satirical vat of Sheep Dip to cleanse them of their past deeds,” the show’s website, www.sheepdipshow.com, states, “so that they may go right back and be foolish again.”
The show is produced and performed by volunteers, many of whom have been involved with the show for a number of years. Often parents get involved in the show and then their children and grandchildren join in.
“When I started Sheep Dip, my daughter Hannah was 5,” Blayney said. “She grew up with the show, and now she is 17 and the main singer in the opening number.”
“My husband and I have been doing it for 12 years,” performer Marnie Frank said, adding that anyone can get involved in the show.
Another performer, Maire Burgess, said she has been in the show for 15 years.
“We have one man, Ron Smith, who has been in every show for 47 years,” Blayney said.
Those who attend the Sheep Dip show can expect to see skits, songs and dance numbers performed by their neighbors, members of the media and a few politicians.
“About 60 people from the community are actively involved now,” Frank said.
Although the contents of the show are “top secret,” Frank said there is something in the show for everyone.
“Nothing is sacred and no one is safe,” she said. “There’s a lot of really good stuff.”
Frank said a number of the performers also are involved in organizing Hot August Nights (HAN), and she divulged there could be a skit that pokes fun at HAN.
Burgess said she plays a flying monkey in one skit, although she did not elaborate.
“There will be a tribute to a fallen leader,” Frank said. “Someone who worked with us for many years.”
That “someone,” Blayney said, is former Gov. Kenny Guinn, who died July 22, 2010.
“During the years he was governor, he shot videos for (Sheep Dip),” Blayney said. “He got into it so much.”
The Sheep Dip Show Facebook page offers a few hints of what to expect this year: “What’s in it you ask? We got Lame Ducks, Fuster Clucks, Seuss Amuck, Job Disasters, Wizard Masters and ... well, you’ll just have to see it from your own ‘Angle.’”
Sheep Dip is a nonprofit organization and funds raised from ticket sales go to support local charities.
“We try to identify charities that work with youth,” Frank said.
In the 47 years of the show’s history, more than $400,000 has been donated to advertising education, community charitable and arts organizations.
This year, CARE Chest of Sierra Nevada, Evelyn Mount Community Outreach, Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation and the Nevada Diabetes Association will benefit from the show.
Sheep Dip begins at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $38 and can be purchased online at www.janugget.com or by calling 356-3300. For corporate seating, call Jackie Peterson at 626-4141.