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Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony

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 recipient was EVITA cast member Matt Wall at EVITA's opening night, last night, April 5, at the Marquis Theatre.

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.

The company of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's landmark musical EVITA is led by Ricky Martin as Che, Elena Roger in her Broadway debut as Eva Perón and Michael Cerveris as Juan Perón, along with Max von Essen as Migaldi and Rachel Potter as the Mistress.

The creative team includes Scenic and Costume Designer Christopher Oram, Lighting Designer Neil Austin, Sound Designer Mick Potter, Wig and Hair Designer Richard Mawbey, Projection Designer Zachary Borovay, and Music Supervisor/Director Kristen Blodgette. Orchestrations are by Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Cullen, and dance arrangements are by David ChaseMichael Grandage directs and Rob Ashford will choreographs the first new Broadway production of the musical since it debuted on Broadway over 30 years ago.

Read more about EVITA's opening night here, and check out full coverage of the Gypsy Robe ceremony below!

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Elena Roger with Michael Cerveris & Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Producer Hal Luftig with Elena Roger, Michael Cerveris & Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Grandage & Rob Ashford

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Cerveris, Elena Roger & Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Cerveris, Elena Roger & Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Cerveris, Elena Roger & Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Grandage & Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Grandage & Rob Ashford

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Elena Roger with cast members all making their Broadway debut

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Recipient Aaron J. Albano in 'Newsies - The Musical' with Ricky Martin, Michael Cerveris & Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Ricky Martin capturing the moment

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Cerveris & Ricky Martin with the Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Elena Roger, Michael Grandage & Rob Ashford

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall with Recipient Aaron J. Albano in 'Newsies - The Musical'

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall with Recipient Aaron J. Albano

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall & Company



Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall & Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall with Elena Roger, Michael Grandage, Rob Ashford, Max von Essen & Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall & Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall with Elena Roger & Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall & Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall with Elena Roger, Max von Essen & Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Elena Roger & Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall & Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall with Ricky Martin, Michael Cerveris and Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Producer Hal Luftig with Ricky Martin, Michael Cerveris and Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall & Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Ricky Martin & Michael Cerveris with Company

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Grandage, Elena Roger, Matt Wall, Rob Ashford, Michael Cerveris & Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Grandage, Elena Roger, Matt Wall, Rob Ashford, Michael Cerveris & Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Grandage, Elena Roger, Matt Wall, Rob Ashford, Michael Cerveris & Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Rob Ashford, Michael Cerveris & Ricky Martin

 

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall, Rob Ashford, Michael Cerveris & Ricky Martin

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall & Max von Essen

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall & Max von Essen

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jennie Ford & Matt Wall

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Rachel Porter & Matt Wall

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Rachel Potter & Matt Wall

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Michael Grandage, Matt Wall & Rob Ashford

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Matt Wall

Photo Coverage Exclusive: EVITA's 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.