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Exclusive Photo Coverage: Bahiyah Hibah Takes Home the Legacy Robe for MOULIN ROUGE!

On Thursday night, July 25, Moulin Rouge celebrated opening night at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, and following in the great Broadway tradition, ensemble member Bahiyah Hibah was awarded the Legacy Robe from Beetlejuice recipient Jill Abramovitz.

Bahiyah's Broadway credits include: The Color Purple, Pal Joey, Rock of Ages, Memphis, Evita, Chicago, After Midnight. Off-Broadway: Trip of Love, Cabin in the Sky (Encores!). Film: The Eyes, Early Mourning, Auggie, Barely Adults. TV: "Luke Cage," "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert," "Fosse/Verdon," "The Affair."

Following the tradition, the Robe recipient circles the stage three times while cast members reach out and touch the Robe for good luck. The recipient of the Robe then visits each dressing room to "bless" the show. A decorative panel representing their show is then sewn onto the Robe, which is passed on to a recipient in the next chorus musical that opens.

This ritual began in 1950 when Bill Bradley, a Chorus member of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, persuaded fellow Chorus member Florence Baum to give him her dressing gown. As a lark, he sent it to a friend, Arthur Partington, a Call Me Madam Chorus member, on opening night, telling him it had been worn by all the Ziegfeld beauties. Arthur added a rose from star Ethel Merman's gown and sent it to a chorus member on the next opening night of Guys and Dolls.

It was then passed from show to show and was often presented to a friend of the previous recipient or awarded to a chorus member based on popularity. Through the decades, the passing of the Robe became a specific ceremony with official rules stating how it is to be presented, worn and paraded on stage. Three retired Robes are at the Lincoln Center Library of the Performing Arts; there are also Robes at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, and at the Museum of the City of New York. All others are with Actors' Equity.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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From This Author Walter McBride