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Photo Flash: Grasan Kingsberry Earns the Gypsy Robe for ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

On Sunday, December 3, the company of Once On This Island gathered in the lobby of Circle in the Square to celebrate the opening of the show and the passing of the Gypsy Robe to Grasan Kingsberry.

Once on This Island marks Kingsberry's eleventh Broadway production. He recently appeared in the Grammy and Tony Award winning Best Revival The Color Purple. Favorite Broadway credits include: Motown, Leap of Faith, Catch Me If You Can, Finian's Rainbow, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Aida. Regional: One Night In Miami (Sam Cooke, Center Stage), Dreamgirls (Curtis, North Shore). TV/film: "Mozart In The Jungle," "Royal Pains," "Smash," I Am Legend. BFA, Juilliard.

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 the 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.

Photo Credit: Michael Kushner

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