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Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON 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 receipient was BRING IT ON cast member Rod Harrelson at The St. James Theatre. BroadwayWorld was there and brings you photos from the ceremony 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.

Direct from a 13-city National Tour, Bring It On: The Musical, which began previews on Broadway on July 12, opened on August 1, 2012 at The St. James Theatre for a 12-week limited engagement through Sunday, October 7, 2012.

Uniting some of the freshest and funniest creative minds on Broadway, Bring It On: The Musical features a libretto by Tony Award winner Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q), music and lyrics by Tony Award-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), music by Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), lyrics by Broadway lyricist Amanda Green (High Fidelity) and music supervision by Tony and Grammy Award winner Alex Lacamoire (Wicked). The production is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights).

The new musical comedy Bring It On: The Musical tells the story of the challenges and unexpected bonds formed through the thrill of extreme competition. With a colorful crew of characters, an exciting fresh sound and explosive dance with aerial stunts, this hilariously universal story is sure to be everything you hoped for and nothing like you expected.

Photo credit: Walter McBride

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
The Ensemble forms a 'Spirit Circle'

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
The Ensemble forms a 'Spirit Circle'

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Lin-Manuel Miranda

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Broadway history! A record-breaking 30 cast members making their Broadway debuts.

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Broadway history! A record-breaking 30 cast members making their Broadway debuts.

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient) and Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
David Westphal (Actor's Equity), Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient) and Dennis Stowe (Gypsy Robe Recipient - LEAP OF FAITH)

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
David Westphal (Actor's Equity), Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient) and Dennis Stowe (Gypsy Robe Recipient - LEAP OF FAITH)

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient) and Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Amanda Green

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient) and Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient) and Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient) with Amanda Green, Jordan Roth and Lin-Manuel Miranda

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Creative Team: Alex Lacamoire, Amanda Green, Tom Kitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jordan Roth and Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient) and Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient) and Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Creative Team: Alex Lacamoire, Amanda Green, Tom Kitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jordan Roth and Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient) with Andy Blankenbuehler, Tom Kitt, Amanda Green, Jordan Roth and Lin-Manuel Miranda

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient)

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient) and Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Gregory Haney and Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient)

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Lacamoire, Amanda Green, Tom Kitt, Jeff Whitty, Lin-Manuel Miranda with Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient)

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Lacamoire, Amanda Green, Tom Kitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeff Whitty with Rod Harrelson (Gypsy Robe Recipient)

Photo Coverage: Inside the BRING IT ON 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.