Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!

Following smash hit productions in Australia, London and Toronto, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL began previews on Broadway on February 28 and opened on Sunday night, March 20, 2011.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, PRISCILLA cast member Eric Sciotto received the Gypsy Robe and BroadwayWorld was there for the celebration.

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

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 second floor Audition Center's newly designed case displays the Robe from the 2006-2007 season, which was dedicated by the ACCA to the memory of Patrick Quinn. The 2007-2008 Robe, dedicated to Broadway veteran Adrian Bailey, can be viewed on the fourteenth floor Council lobby.

The Robe from the 2003-2004 season is now housed in the Orlando office and members can stop by to view the Robe during business hours. In the coming year, the Los Angeles and new Chicago office will have their own Gypsy Robes for display. Periodically, the Robes will be rotated so members may have the chance to see various Robes. Robes are also on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, The Museum of the City of New York and the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.

Photos by Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Lisa Gajda Gypsy Robe Recipient for ELF with David Westphal Actors Equity

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Lisa Gajda Gypsy Robe Recipient for Elf

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Broadway Debut Cast members: Keala Settle, Tony Sheldon, C. David Johnson, Amaker Smith, Esther Stillwell, Ashton Woerz and Luke Mannikus

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Broadway Debut Cast members: C. David Johnson, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Amaker Smith, Keala Settle, Tony Sheldon, Ashton Woerz, Luke Mannikus & Esther Stilwell

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
The new Executive Director of AEA Mary McColl with Broadway Debut Cast members: Amaker Smith, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Tony Sheldon, C. David Johnson, Ashton Woerz, Luke Mannikus and Keala Settle and Esther Stilwell

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
The new Executive Director of AEA Mary McColl with Broadway Debut Cast members: Amaker Smith, Tony Sheldon, Thom Allison, Keala Settle, C. David Johnson, Esther Stilwell, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Keala Settle, Ashton Woerz, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Luke Mannikus

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
The new Executive Director of AEA Mary McColl with Broadway Debut Cast members: Amaker Smith, Tony Sheldon, Thom Allison, Keala Settle, C. David Johnson, Esther Stilwell, Ashton Woerz, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Luke Mannikus

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Luke Mannikus

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Broadway Debut Cast members: C. David Johnson, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Amaker Smith, Keala Settle, Tony Sheldon, Esther Stillwell, Ashton Woerz and Luke Mannikus

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Tony Sheldon, Will Swenson & Nick Adams

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Amaker Smith, Mike McGowan & Kyle Brown

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA and J. Elaine Marcos

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!

Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA and J. Elaine Marcos

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Tony Sheldon

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Lisa Gajda Gypsy Robe Recipient for ELF

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Keala Settle, Kyle Brown, B.J. Holt, Nick Adams and Ashley Spencer

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Will Swenson

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with David Westphal Actors Equity

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with David Westphal Actors Equity

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with David Westphal Actors Equity

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with David Westphal Actors Equity with David Westphal Actors Equity

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with Davis Westphal Actors Equity

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA flings his Pink Pumps -

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA flinging his pink pumps-

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA - flings his pink pumps

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with the ensemble cast

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with the ensemble cast

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with C. David Johnson, Nick Adams & Will Swenson

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with the ensemble cast

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with the ensemble cast

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with the ensemble cast

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA withthe ensemble cast

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with ensemble cast

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Director Simon Phillips with the ensemble cast viewing video Greetings

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Producer Garry McQuinn with the ensemble cast

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Director Simon Phillips with the ensemble cast viewing video Greetings

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Director Simon Phillips with the ensemble cast viewing video Greetings

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Director Simon Phillips with the ensemble cast viewing video Greetings

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Tony Sheldon with the ensemble cast viewing video Greetings

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Ensemble cast viewing video Greetings

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Tony Sheldon, Will Swenson & Nick Adams

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Tony Sheldon, Will Swenson & Nick Adams

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA & Lisa Gajda Gypsy Robe Recipient for Elf attending the Broadway Opening Night Gypsy Robe Ceremony for 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert - The Musical' at the Palace Theatre in New York City

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA & Lisa Gajda Gypsy Robe Recipient for Elf

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA & Will Swenson

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA & Will Swenson

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with C. David Hohnson & Nick Adams

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with C. David Johnson & Nick Adams

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with C. David Johnson, Nick Adams & Will Swenson

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with C. David Johnson, Nick Adams & Will Swenson

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with C. David Johnson, Nick Adams & Will Swenson

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with Tony Sheldon

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with Tony Sheldon

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with Tony Sheldon

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA & Gavin Lodge & Thom Allison

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with Gavin Lodge & Thom Allison

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with past Gypsy Robe Receipents

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with past Gypsy Robe Receipents

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with the DIVAS: Jacqueline B. Arnold, Anastacia McCleskey & Ashley Spencer

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with the DIVAS: Jacqueline B. Arnold, Anastacia McCleskey & Ashley Spencer

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with the DIVAS: Jacqueline B. Arnold, Anastacia McCleskey & Ashley Spencer

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Eric Sciotto Gypsy Robe Recipient for PRISCILLA with Tony Sheldon

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Tony Sheldon, Will Swenson & Nick Adams

Photo Coverage: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT - 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.