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Exclusive Photo Coverage: Marty Lawson Receives the Legacy Robe for KING KONG!

KING KONG officially opened last night, Thursday November 8, at the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway). Before the curtain went up, the company took a moment to celebrate the recipient of the Legacy Robe- Marty Lawson!

Lawson's other Broadway credits include: How to Succeed..., Promises Promises, Shrek, Cry-Baby, The Times...Changin', Movin? Out (Eddie). TV: "Blue Bloods," "Law and Order SVU," "Smash," "Peter Pan Live," "The Sound of Music Live," Tonys, Emmys, Oscars. Film: Across the Universe, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Ted 2. Princess Grace Award winner.

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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