Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!

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The gifts have been opened, the feasts have been eaten and the merriment has been had. As the holiday season comes to a close and we countdown the final days of the year, we're getting ready to ring in 2019 by looking back. Relive the magic of the Broadway Legacy Robe with photos from the 2018 ceremonies below!

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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Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Jess LeProtto during the Actors' Equity Broadway Opening Night Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Jess LeProtto for 'Carousel' at the Imperial Theatre on April 12, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Jess LeProtto with Joshua Henry, Margaret Colin, Jessie Mueller, Lindsay Mendez and Renee Fleming during the Actors' Equity Broadway Opening Night Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Jess LeProtto for 'Carousel' at the Imperial Theatre on April 12, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Jess LeProtto during the Actors' Equity Broadway Opening Night Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Jess LeProtto for 'Carousel' at the Imperial Theatre on April 12, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Ryan Worsing during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe honoring Ryan Worsing for 'The Cher Show' at The Neil Simon Theatre on December 3, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Teal Wicks, Ryan Worsing, Stephanie J. Block, Micaela Diamond during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe honoring Ryan Worsing for 'The Cher Show' at The Neil Simon Theatre on December 3, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Ryan Worsing during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe honoring Ryan Worsing for 'The Cher Show' at The Neil Simon Theatre on December 3, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Ryan Worsing during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe honoring Ryan Worsing for 'The Cher Show' at The Neil Simon Theatre on December 3, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Jeremy Davis during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Jeremy Davis for 'Frozen' at the St. James Theatre on March 22, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Jeremy Davis with the cast during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Jeremy Davis for 'Frozen' at the St. James Theatre on March 22, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Rob Ashford with Jeremy Davis during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Jeremy Davis for 'Frozen' at the St. James Theatre on March 22, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Jeremy Davis during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Jeremy Davis for 'Frozen' at the St. James Theatre on March 22, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Marty Lawson during the Broadway Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe honoring Marty Lawson for "King Kong - Alive On Broadway" at the Broadway Theater on November 8, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
The cast during the Broadway Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe honoring Marty Lawson for "King Kong - Alive On Broadway" at the Broadway Theater on November 8, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Erik Lochtefeld, Marty Lawson and Eric William Morris during the Broadway Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe honoring Marty Lawson for "King Kong - Alive On Broadway" at the Broadway Theater on November 8, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Marty Lawson during the Broadway Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe honoring Marty Lawson for "King Kong - Alive On Broadway" at the Broadway Theater on November 8, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Justin Prescott during the Broadway Opening Night Performance Actors' Equity Legacy Robe honoring Justin Prescott at the Hudson Theatre on July 26, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Kathy Valentine, Charlotte Caffey, Justin Prescott and Jane Wiedlin during the Broadway Opening Night Performance Actors' Equity Legacy Robe honoring Justin Prescott at the Hudson Theatre on July 26, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
during the Broadway Opening Night Performance Actors' Equity Legacy Robe honoring Justin Prescott at the Hudson Theatre on July 26, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Justin Prescott during the Broadway Opening Night Performance Actors' Equity Legacy Robe honoring Justin Prescott at the Hudson Theatre on July 26, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Justin Prescott during the Broadway Opening Night Performance Actors' Equity Legacy Robe honoring Justin Prescott at the Hudson Theatre on July 26, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Matt Allen during the Actors' Equity Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Matt Allen for "Escape To Margaritaville" at The Marquis Theatre on March 15, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Christopher Ashley, Matt Allen and Kelly Devine during the Actors' Equity Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Matt Allen for "Escape To Margaritaville" at The Marquis Theatre on March 15, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Matt Allen during the Actors' Equity Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Matt Allen for "Escape To Margaritaville" at The Marquis Theatre on March 15, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Brendon Stimson during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Brendon Stimson for "Mean Girls" at the August Wilson Theatre Theatre on April 8, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Kyle Selig, Kate Rockwell, Grey Henson, Brendon Stimson, Taylor Louderman, Ashley Parker, Kerry Butler, Cheech Manohar, Rick Younger and Barrett Wilbert Weed during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Brendon Stimson for "Mean Girls" at the August Wilson Theatre Theatre on April 8, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Brendon Stimson during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Brendon Stimson for "Mean Girls" at the August Wilson Theatre Theatre on April 8, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Matt Wall during the Broadway Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Matt Wall for 'My Fair Lady' at the Lincoln Center Theater at The Vivian Beaumont Theatre on April 19, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Matt Wall with Bartlett Sher and the castduring the Broadway Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Matt Wall for 'My Fair Lady' at the Lincoln Center Theater at The Vivian Beaumont Theatre on April 19, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Lauren Ambrose and Matt Wall during the Broadway Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Matt Wall for 'My Fair Lady' at the Lincoln Center Theater at The Vivian Beaumont Theatre on April 19, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Matt Wall during the Broadway Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Matt Wall for 'My Fair Lady' at the Lincoln Center Theater at The Vivian Beaumont Theatre on April 19, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Afra Hines during the Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Afra Hines for 'Summer:The Donna Summer Musical at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 23, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Afra Hines with LaChanze, Storm Lever and Ariana DeBose during the Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Afra Hines for 'Summer:The Donna Summer Musical at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 23, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Afra Hines with LaChanze, Storm Lever and Ariana DeBose during the Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Afra Hines for 'Summer:The Donna Summer Musical at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 23, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Afra Hines with the cast during the Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Afra Hines for 'Summer:The Donna Summer Musical at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 23, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Afra Hines during the Opening Night Actors' Equity Legacy Robe Ceremony honoring Afra Hines for 'Summer:The Donna Summer Musical at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 23, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Vasthy Mompoint During the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe honoring Vasthy Mompoint for "The Prom" at The Longacre Theatre on November 15, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Courtenay Collins, Isabelle McCalla, Beth Leavel, Caitlin Kinnunen, Christopher Sieber, Vasthy Mompoint, Brooks Ashmanskas, Angie Schworer, Josh Lamon and Michael Potts During the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe honoring Vasthy Mompoint for "The Prom" at The Longacre Theatre on November 15, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Director Casey Nicholaw with the cast During the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe honoring Vasthy Mompoint for "The Prom" at The Longacre Theatre on November 15, 2018 in New York City.

Photo Flashback: Inside the 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!
Vasthy Mompoint During the Actors' Equity Opening Night Legacy Robe honoring Vasthy Mompoint for "The Prom" at The Longacre Theatre on November 15, 2018 in New York City.



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From This Author Walter McBride