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Photo Coverage: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony

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JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR opened on Broadway on, Thursday, March 22 and BroadwayWorld.com was there to capture show'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 JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR cast member Mark Cassius.

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

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, directed by Des McAnuff began previews March 1 and is now playing at the Neil Simon Theatre. The cast features Paul Nolan as Jesus Christ, Josh Young as Judas Iscariot, Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene, Tom Hewitt as Pontius Pilate, Bruce Dow as King Herod, Marcus Nance as Caiaphas and Aaron Walpole as Annas. Also in the cast: Matt Alfano as Thaddeus, Mary Antonini as Elizabeth, Karen Burthwright as Ruth, Jacqueline Burtney as Mary (Martha’s Sister), Mark Cassius as Matthew, Ryan Gifford as Bartholomew, Kaylee Harwood as Sarah, Jeremy Kushnier as James the Lesser/Priest, Mike Nadajewski as Peter, Melissa O’Neil as Martha/Maid by the Fire, Laurin Padolina as Rachel, Katrina Reynolds as Esther, Jaz Sealey as Thomas, Jason Sermonia as John, Julius Sermonia as James, Lee Siegel as Simon Zealotes, Jonathan Winsby as Phillip, Sandy Winsby as Andrew, and Nick CartellKrista LeisMatthew Rossoff and Matt Stokes as swings.

Photos by Walter McBride / Retna Ltd. 

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Theatre Marquee

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
'On A Clear Day' Patch on the Robe for Actors' Equity Gypsy Robe

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
'FOLLIES' & 'HAIR' Patch on the Robe for Actors' Equity Gypsy Robe

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Cast Members making their Broadway Debut

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Nick Cartell & Paul Nolan

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Josh Young

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Chilina Kennedy

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Paul Nolan

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Chilina Kennedy, Josh Young, Paul Nolan & Company

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
'The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess' Recipient J.D.

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Paul Nolan

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius with Director Des McAnuff & Company

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius, Director Des McAnuff & Company

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
'The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess' Recipient J.D. Webster with Mark Cassius & David Westphal

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
'The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess' Recipient J.D. Webster with Mark Cassius & David Westphal

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
'The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess' Recipient J.D. Webster with Mark Cassius & David Westphal

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
'The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess' Recipient J.D. Webster with Mark Cassius & David Westphal

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius & 'The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess' Recipient J.D. Webster

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius with Jeremy Kushnier & Company

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Josh Young & Chilina Kennedy

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Paul Nolan

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius with Paul Nolan, Tom Hewitt & Company

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius with Josh Young & Company

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius with Paul Nolan, Tom Hewitt & Company

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius with Chilina Kennedy, Josh Young, Paul Nolan, Tom Hewitt & Company

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius & Company

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius with Josh Young, Paul Nolan, Tom Hewitt & Company

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Josh Young, Paul Nolan & Chilina Kennedy

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Josh Young, Paul Nolan & Mark Cassius

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Josh Young, Paul Nolan, Mark Cassius

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Josh Young, Paul Nolan, Mark Cassius & Chilina Kennedy

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Josh Young, Paul Nolan, Mark Cassius & Chilina Kennedy

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius & Matthew Rossoff

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jeremy Kushnier & Mark Cassius

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jeremy Kushnier & Mark Cassius

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius & Director Des McAnuff

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius & Director Des McAnuff attending

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Recipient Mark Cassius & 'The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess' Recipient J.D. Webster

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius & 'The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess' Recipient J.D. Webster

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Mark Cassius

Photo Coverage:  JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - 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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