Photo Coverage: Inside the Legacy Robe Ceremony for HEAD OVER HEELS
Head Over Heels had its Legacy Robe ceremony last week before its opening night performance. The robe was given to Justin Prescott. Check out photos from the ceremony below!
Prescott's Broadway credits include: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Paramour, Gigi, After Midnight, Motown, Fela!. New York: Hey, Look Me Over!, American Dance Machine. Tour: Memphis (first national), Scottsboro Boys (Ahmanson Theater). TV: "Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris" and NBC's "Smash."
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
Michael Mayer with cast
Broadway Debut cast members