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Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony

 

SISTER ACT began preview performances March 24 and opened on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 to a great set of reviews. A long-standing opening night tradition on the Great White Way, the fabled Gypsy Robe is bestowed upon a veteran Broadway chorus member for each opening production. In what has now become a theatrical ritual, originating on Broadway 60 years ago, SISTER ACT cast member Kevin Ligon received the Gypsy Robe and BroadwayWorld was there for the celebration.

At the song and dance ceremony, cast members who were making their Broadway debuts were acknowledged at the center of the stage. Call then proceeded to circle the room in the robe in celebration with the entire SISTER ACT family.

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.

Recognizing their cultural and historic value, Gypsy Robes can now be viewed at two of Equity's Offices. The National Headquarters in New York now houses two of the historic Robes. The second floor Audition Center's newly designed case displays the Robe from the 2006-2007 season, which was dedicated by the ACCA to the memory of Patrick Quinn. The 2007-2008 Robe, dedicated to Broadway veteran Adrian Bailey, can be viewed on the fourteenth floor Council lobby.

The Robe from the 2003-2004 season is now housed in the Orlando office and members can stop by to view the Robe during business hours. In the coming year, the Los Angeles and new Chicago office will have their own Gypsy Robes for display. Periodically, the Robes will be rotated so members may have the chance to see various Robes. Robes are also on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, The Museum of the City of New York and the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.

Photos by Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.


 

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Victoria Clark, Jerry Zaks & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Victoria Clark, Jerry Zaks & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Victoria Clark, Jerry Zaks & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Douglas Carter Beane, Victoria Clark, Jerry Zaks & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jerry Zaks & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jerry Zakss & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patina Miller & Douglas Carter Beane & Chester Gregory

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Chester Gregory & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Chester Gregory & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Chester Gregory & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Douglas Carter Beane, Victoria Clark, Jerry Zaks & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Caesar Samayoa & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patina Miller & Caesar Samayoa

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patina Miller & Caesar Samayoa

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patina Miller & Alan H. Green

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Jennifer Simard

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Broadway Debuts: Patina Miller with company debut cast members

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Broadway Debuts: Patina Miller with company debut cast members

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Broadway Debuts: Patina Miller with company debut cast members

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Broadway Debuts: Patina Miller with company debut cast members

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
The Company featuring: Victoria Clark, Patina Miller, Sarah Bolt, Chester Gregory, Audrie Neenan

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Grady McLeod Bowman (Gypsy Robe Recipient)

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Victoria Clark, Douglas Carter Beane, Patina Miller, Sarah Bolt & Audrie Neenan

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
David Westphal (Actor's Equity), Kevin Ligon & Grady McLeod Bowman (Recipient 'WONDERLAND')

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
David Westphal (Actor's Equity), Kevin Ligon & Grady McLeod Bowman (Recipient 'WONDERLAND')

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
David Westphal (Actor's Equity), Kevin Ligon & Grady McLeod Bowman (Recipient 'WONDERLAND')

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Victoria Clark, Douglas Carter Beane, Patina Miller, Sarah Bolt & Audrie Neenan

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Victoria Clark, Douglas Carter Beane, Patina Miller, Sarah Bolt & Audrie Neenan

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon & The Company

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Douglas Carter Beane & Victoria Clark & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon with Patina Miller, Sarah Bolt, Chester Gregory, Audrie Neenan & The Company

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Douglas Carter Beane, Victoria Clark & Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon & The Company

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon with The Company

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon with The Company

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon with Douglas Carter Beane, Victoria Clark, Patina Miller, Sarah Bolt, Chester Gregory & The Company

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon with Douglas Carter Beane, Victoria Clark, Patina Miller & The Company

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon with The Company

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon with The Company

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patina Miller, Kevin Ligon & Victoria Clark

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patina Miller, Kevin Ligon & Victoria Clark

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Actors Equity Executive Director of Mary McColl, Kevin Ligon, Ira Mony & Nick Wyman

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Actors Equity Executive Director of Mary McColl, Kevin Ligon, Ira Mony & Nick Wyman

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon with the male cast ensemble

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon & Chester Gregory

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon with Chester Gregory

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon & Sarah Bolt (Blessing her dressing room)

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Sarah Bolt

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Sarah Bolt

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon & Victoria Clark (Blessing her dressing room)

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon & Victoria Clark (Blessing her dressing room)

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon (Blessing Victoria Clarke's dressing room)

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Victoria Clark

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Victoria Clark (Blessing her dressing room)

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Victoria Clark

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Kevin Ligon & Audrie Neenan (Blessing her dressing room)

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Audrie Neenan & Kevin Ligon

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patina Miller & Kevin Ligon (blessing the dressing room)

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony
Patina Miller

Photo Coverage: SISTER ACT's Gypsy Robe Ceremony



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