Exclusive Photo Coverage: Inside THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY's Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
The company of The Bridges of Madison County just celebrated their February 20 opening night on Broadway with the famed Gypsy Robe ritual. BroadwayWorld was on hand for the event and brings you exclusive photo coverage below!
The Gypsy Robe began in 1950, when Bill Bradley, in the chorus of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, borrowed a dressing gown from Chorus member Florence Baum and sent it to a friend in CALL ME MADAM on opening night Oct 12, 1950 saying it was worn by all the Ziegfeld beauties and would "bless" the show. A cabbage rose from Ethel Merman's gown was added and the robe was passed along to next Broadway musical on opening night. The tradition evolved so that the robe is now presented to the "gypsy" who has performed the most Broadway musicals on a chorus contract. Along the way, the robe is decorated, painted, patched, stitched, and signed by everyone in the show, becoming a fanciful patchwork for an entire Broadway season.
Recognizing their cultural and historic value, Gypsy Robes can now be viewed at two of Equity's Offices. The National Headquarters in New York now houses two of the historic Robes. The Robe from the 2008-2009 season is on display in the lobby of the New York Visitors Center. The 2007-2008 Robe, dedicated to Broadway veteran Adrian Bailey, can be viewed on the fourteenth floor Council lobby.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride
Jason Robert Brown and daughter
Jennifer Smith and Company
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