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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH 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, it was just presented to LEAP OF FAITH "gypsy" Dennis Stowe.

At the song and dance ceremony, cast members who were making their Broadway debuts were acknowledged at the center of the stage.

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.

Broadway’s LEAP OF FAITH is based on the motion picture Leap of Faith, produced by Paramount Pictures Corporation and written by Janus Cercone. Directed by Tony Award nominee Christopher Ashley with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, LEAP OF FAITH features music by Academy and Grammy Award-winner Alan Menken, a book by Janus Cercone and Tony Award-winner Warren Leight, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and music supervision by Michael Kosarin. The design will feature scenery by Robin Wagner, costumes by William Ivey Long, lighting by Don Holder, sound by John Shivers, wigs & hair design by Paul Huntley, and make up by Angelina Avallone. The music will feature orchestrations by Michael Starobin and Joseph Joubert, vocal & incidental music arrangements by Michael Kosarin, dance music arrangements by Zane Mark, and music direction by Brent-Alan Huffman. Tickets are available through www.telecharge.com, (212) 239-6200 and range from $47 - $137. For more information, visit www.leapoffaithbroadway.com.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Cast Members making their Broadway Debut

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Dennis Stowe

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Dennis Stowe & Cameron Adams Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!

Dennis Stowe

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Dennis Stowe with Talon Ackerman, Louis Hobson, Michelle Duffy, Raul Esparza & Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Talon Ackerman, Louis Hobson, Michelle Duffy, Raul Esparza & Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Dennis Stowe with Talon Ackerman, Louis Hobson, Michelle Duffy, Raul Esparza & Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Dennis Stowe with Talon Ackerman, Louis Hobson, Michelle Duffy, Raul Esparza & Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Dennis Stowe with Talon Ackerman, Louis Hobson, Michelle Duffy, Raul Esparza & Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Ira Mont, David Westphal, Paige Price & Dennis Stowe

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
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Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Dennis Stowe with Raul Esparza, Talon Ackerman, Michelle Duffy & Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Dennis Stowe with Raul Esparza, Eliseo Roman, Talon Ackerman, Michelle Duffy, Jessica Phillips & Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH Gypsy Robe Ceremony!
Dennis Stowe with Raul Esparza, Eliseo Roman, Talon Ackerman, Michelle Duffy, Jessica Phillips & Company

Photo Coverage: Inside the LEAP OF FAITH 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.