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Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony

Last week on April 8, 2010, Actor's Equity's 2nd Vice President Rebecca Kim Jordan hosted the famed Gypsy Robe Ceremony for company members of THE ADDAMS FAMILY at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. 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, COME FLY AWAY chorus member Kristine Bendul turned over the robe to ADDAMS FAMILY cast member Jim Borstelmann. 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. Observing the ceremony was Acting AEA President Paige Price, Third VP Ira Mont, and Acting Executive Director Carol Waaser.

Ms. Jordan then introduced Gypsy Robe volunteer Terry Marone, who invited prior robe recipients to come center stage, including Pi Douglass, Austin Colyer, Roger Preston Smith, Eileen Casey, Merwyn Foard, Andre Ward, Megan Sikora, Lorin Latarro, David Eggers, Eric Sciotto, Ritchie Mastascusa and Tommar Wilson.

Ms. Marone then introduced Kristine Bendul (who received the robe in COME FLY AWAY) to explain the robe's history and announce Jim Borstelmann as the newest recipient. Jim has several Broadway shows to his credit, including: CHICAGO, THE PRODUCERS, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN and JEROME ROBBIN'S BROADWAY.

Bursting with excitement, Jim donned the robe and circled the stage, as company members reached out to touch the robe to receive its "blessing." A few minutes later, in accordance with the robe tradition, he visited everyone's dressing room and THE ADDAMS 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.

For tickets and more information on THE ADDAMS FAMILY, visit www.theaddamsfamilymusical.com.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kristine Bendul Getting Robed by AEA VP Rebecca Kim Jordan

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kristine Bendul

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
ADDAMS FAMILY Cast Members

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
ADDAMS FAMILY Cast Members

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
AEA VP Rebecca Kim Jordan

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
AEA VP Rebecca Kim Jordan

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
AEA VP Rebecca Kim Jordan

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kristine Bendul

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Zachary James, Jim Borstelmann and Krista Rodriguez

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Zachary James, Jim Borstelmann and Krista Rodriguez

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
ADDAMS FAMILY Company, Jim Borstelmann, Zachary James and Krista Rodriguez

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann and ADDAMS FAMILY Company

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kristine Bendul and Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kristine Bendul and Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kristine Bendul Passes the Robe to Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kristine Bendul and Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kristine Bendul and Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kristine Bendul and Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Bebe Neuwirth and Carolee Carmello

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Bebe Neuwirth and Carolee Carmello

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Bebe Neuwirth

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Bebe Neuwirth

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
AEA Acting President Paige Price

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Bebe Neuwirth, Carolee Carmello and ADDAMS FAMILY Company

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann and ADDAMS FAMILY Company

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Bebe Neuwirth, Carolee Carmello, Jim Borstelmann and ADDAMS FAMILY Company

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Bebe Neuwirth, Carolee CarmelloJim Borstelmann and ADDAMS FAMILY Company

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Carolee CarmelloJim Borstelmann and ADDAMS FAMILY Company

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Bebe Neuwirth, Carolee Carmello, Jim Borstelmann and ADDAMS FAMILY Company

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Bebe Neuwirth, Carolee Carmello, Jim Borstelmann and ADDAMS FAMILY Company

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Bebe Neuwirth, Carolee Carmello, Jim Borstelmann and ADDAMS FAMILY Company

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann and Bebe Neuwirth

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann and Bebe Neuwirth

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann, Bebe Neuwirth and Carolee Carmello

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Wesley Taylor and Krysta Rodriguez

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Wesley Taylor and Krysta Rodriguez

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Wesley Taylor and Krysta Rodriguez

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann and Bebe Neuwirth

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann, Bebe Neuwirth and Carolee Carmello

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann, Bebe Neuwirth and Carolee Carmello

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann with AEA 2nd VP Rebecca Kim Jordan, AEA Acting President Paige Price and 3rd AEA VP Ira Mont

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann with AEA 2nd VP Rebecca Kim Jordan, AEA Acting President Paige Price and 3rd AEA VP Ira Mont

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Nathan Lane and Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Nathan Lane and Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Nathan Lane and Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Krysta RodriguezJim Borstelmann and Wesley Taylor

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Krysta Rodriguez, Jim Borstelmann and Wesley Taylor

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Krysta Rodriguez, Jim Borstelmann and Wesley Taylor

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Krysta Rodriguez, Jim Borstelmann and Wesley Taylor

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Krysta Rodriguez, Jim Borstelmann and Wesley Taylor

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Sergio Trujillo and Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Sergio Trujillo and Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jim Borstelmann

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
THE ADDAMS FAMILY Company

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
THE ADDAMS FAMILY Company

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Gypsy Robe Ceremony
THE ADDAMS FAMILY Company

Photo Coverage: THE ADDAMS FAMILY 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.