SMASH Will Pass on the Gypsy Robe in 'Opening Night' Episode!
The "Opening Night" episode of NBC's Broadway drama "SMASH" (airing Saturday, April 20 at 9PM-10PM EST/PST) will include the Actors' Equity Association iconic Gypsy Robe ceremony, an honor bestowed to a member of a Broadway chorus with the most Broadway musical chorus or ensemble show credits. The Gypsy Robe ceremony takes place onstage just before the audience enters the theater on opening night.
The tradition began in 1950 when actor Bill Bradley borrowed a dressing gown from Florence Brooks-Dunay, a chorus girl in Gentleman Prefer Blondes and sent it to his pal Arthur Partington in Call Me Madam saying it would "bless" his show. Arthur sent it to another show and a 60-plus year tradition was born.
When Gypsy Robes are completely embellished with artifacts, souvenirs and sketches, they are retired and a new robe is started. Three retired robes are in the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; two are in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History; three are in the Museum of the City of New York; all others remain with Actors' Equity.
The supervision and guardianship of the Gypsy Robe is maintained by the Actors' Equity Association Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs (ACCA), under the guidance of David Westphal, AEA's National Chorus Business Representative.
It's "Bombshell's" opening night. As Ivy's (Megan Hilty) nerves get the better of her, support comes from an unlikely source. Meanwhile, Tom (Christian Borle) and Julia (Debra Messing) look to their next project. "Bombshell's" success may be in jeopardy as Eileen's (Anjelica Huston) issues with Richard (guest star Jamey Sheridan) come to a head. Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan) finally opens up to Karen (Katharine McPhee) about his past, but is it too little too late? Jack Davenport, Krysta Rodriguez and Andy Mientus also star. Rosie O'Donnell, Bernadette Peters, Jesse L. Martin and Jamey Sheridan guest star.
Actors' Equity Association (AEA) is the oldest performing arts union, representing more than 49,000 professional stage actors and stage managers in the US. AEA will celebrate its 100th anniversary on May 26th of this year. To learn more, visit www.actorsequity.org.