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Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony

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A long-standing opening night tradition on the Great White Way, the fabled Gypsy Robe is bestowed upon a veteran Broadway chorus member for each opening production. In what has now become a theatrical ritual, originating on Broadway 60 years ago, the latest receipient was SPIDER-MAN cast member Luther Creek at the Foxwoods Theatre in New York City.

At the song and dance ceremony, cast members who were making their Broadway debuts were acknowledged at the center of the stage, and then Kobak proceeded to circle the room in the robe in celebration with the entire cast. 

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.

SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark now plays the following performance schedule: Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

Photos by Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Shannon Lewis Recepient for 'The People In The Picture'

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Recipient Shannon Lewis for 'The People In The Picture' & Michael Mulheren

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jennifer Damiano & Reeve Carney

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jodi McFadden & Collin Baja

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Mulheren, Isabel Keating, Patrick Page & Nick Wyman

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Reeve Carney

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Craig Henningsen & Natalie Lominte

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Adrian Bailey

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Cast members making their Broadway Debuts

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Recipient Shannon Lewis for 'The People In The Picture'

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Ensemble Cast

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jennifer Damiano, Christopher W. Tierney, Luther Creek & Ari Loeb

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Christopher W. Tierney, Ari Loeb & Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jennifer Damiano, Christopher W. Tierney, Ari Loeb & Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jennifer Damiano, Christopher W. Tierney, Ari Loeb & Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jennifer Damiano, Christopher W. Tierney, Ari Loeb & Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Christopher W. Tierney & Luther Creek & Isabel Keating

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Christopher W. Tierney & Luther Creek & Isabel Keating

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Recipient Shannon Lewis for 'The People In The Picture', Luther Creek & David Westphal

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Recipient Shannon Lewis for 'The People In The Picture', Luther Creek & David Westphal

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Recipient Shannon Lewis for 'The People In The Picture', Luther Creek & David Westphal

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patrick Page & Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Collin Basja, Jennifer Damiano, Christopher W. Tierney & Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patrick Page & Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jennifer Damiano, Christopher W. Tierney & Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jennifer Damiano, Christopher W. Tierney & Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Christopher W. Tierney & Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Christopher W. Tierney & Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patrick Page, Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek, Jennifer Damiano & Reeve Carney

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patrick Page, Luther Creek, Jennifer Damiano

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patrick Page, Luther Creek, Jennifer Damiano

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patrick Page, Luther Creek, Jennifer Damiano

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patrick Page, Luther Creek, Jennifer Damiano & Reeve Carney

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek, Jennifer Damiano & Reeve Carney

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patrick Page, Luther Creek, Jennifer Damiano & Reeve Carney

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patrick Page, Luther Creek, Jennifer Damiano & Reeve Carney

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Mulheren, Patrick Page, Luther Creek, Jennifer Damiano & Reeve Carney

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Mulheren, Patrick Page, Luther Creek, Jennifer Damiano & Reeve Carney

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Mulheren, Patrick Page, Luther Creek, Jennifer Damiano & Reeve Carney

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Mulheren, Patrick Page, Luther Creek, Jennifer Damiano & Reeve Carney

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Luther Creek

Exclusive Photo Coverage: SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Gypsy Robe Ceremony

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Walter McBride As a 14 year old youth, Walter was transfixed by his first Broadway Show, the original production of 'GREASE'. His Journey to celebrity photojournalism began that fateful night. Meeting, photographing and getting to know the cast inspired him to spend his professional life doing what he loved. Walter moved to Manhattan and for a leading role as a Photographer & Photo Researcher. Currently headlining in New Jersey with his partner Richard and family members Dali (Jack Russell) & Gala (Schnoodle). Recently he made his Broadway debut sharing the stage with Hugh Jackman in 'Hugh Jackman on Broadway' as well as receiving the Actors' Equity Association Gypsy Spirit Award. Walter McBride Photography is syndicated worldwide by Corbis/AP.


 
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