Exclusive Photo Coverage: Inside SHUFFLE ALONG's Gypsy Robe Ceremony!

By: Apr. 29, 2016
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A re-imagined version of the 1921 musical SHUFFLE ALONG, one of the earliest stage hits starring, written and directed by African-Americans, opened just last night, April 28, on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre. This marks the final opening of the 2015-16 theatre season! BroadwayWorld was on hand for the special night, starting with the sacred Gypsy Robe ceremony. Below, check out photos of recipient Arbender Robinson with the company!

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.

Robinson's Broadway credits include: LES MISERABLES, Hairspray, The Little Mermaid, Hair, Ragtime, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. He is also a vocalist with Disney Symphony Pops.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Lisa Gajda from 'Tuck Everlasting'

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Lisa Gajda from 'Tuck Everlasting'

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Brandon Victor Dixon and Audra McDonald

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Brian Stokes Mitchell

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Allyson Stokes Mitchell, Ellington Stokes Mitchell and Brian Stokes Mitchell with family

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Allyson Stokes Mitchell, Ellington Stokes Mitchell and Brian Stokes Mitchell

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Allyson Stokes Mitchell, Ellington Stokes Mitchell and Brian Stokes Mitchell

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Brian Stokes Mitchell and Brandon Victor Dixon

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Audra McDonald and Brandon Victor Dixon

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Audra McDonald and Brandon Victor Dixon

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Billy Porter, Stephanie Pope and Brian Stokes Mitchell

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
George C. Wolfe and Brian Stokes Mitchell

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
George C. Wolfe and Brian Stokes Mitchell

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Joshua Henry

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Joshua Henry

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Brooks Ashmanskas

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Broadway debut cast members

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Broadway debut cast members

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Brooks Ashmanskas

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson and cast

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson and cast

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson and David Westphal

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Lisa Gadja and Arbender Robinson

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Brooks Ashmanskas, Amber Iman, Audra McDonald, Billy Porter and Arbender Robinson with cast

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Amber Iman, Audra McDonald, Billy Porter and Arbender Robinson with cast

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Audra McDonald and Arbender Robinson with cast

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Brooks Ashmanskas, Amber Iman, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Adrrienne Warren and Billy Porter

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Brooks Ashmanskas, Amber Iman, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Adrrienne Warren and Billy Porter

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson with Billy Porter and cast

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Production stage manager Lisa Dawn Cave

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Production stage manager Lisa Dawn Cave

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Production stage manager Lisa Dawn Cave

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Production stage manager Lisa Dawn Cave

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Joshua Henry, Amber Iman, Brooks Ashmanskas, Arbender Robinson, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter and Andrienne Warren

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Joshua Henry, Amber Iman, Brooks Ashmanskas, Arbender Robinson, Brandon Victor Dixon, Audra McDonald, Andrienne Warren, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Joshua Henry, Amber Iman, Brooks Ashmanskas, Arbender Robinson, Brandon Victor Dixon, Audra McDonald, Andrienne Warren, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Joshua Henry, Amber Iman, Brooks Ashmanskas, Arbender Robinson, Brandon Victor Dixon, Audra McDonald, Andrienne Warren, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson with Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Joshua Henry, Brandon Victor Dixon, Billy Porter and company

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson with Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Joshua Henry, Brandon Victor Dixon, Billy Porter and company

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson

Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Arbender Robinson




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