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, the latest recipient was EVITA cast member Matt Wall
at EVITA's opening night, last night, April 5, at the Marquis Theatre.
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.
The company of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's landmark musical EVITA is led by Ricky Martin as Che, Elena Roger in her Broadway debut as Eva Perón and Michael Cerveris as Juan Perón, along with Max von Essen as Migaldi and Rachel Potter as the Mistress.
The creative team includes Scenic and Costume Designer Christopher Oram, Lighting Designer Neil Austin, Sound Designer Mick Potter, Wig and Hair Designer Richard Mawbey, Projection Designer Zachary Borovay, and Music Supervisor/Director Kristen Blodgette. Orchestrations are by Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Cullen, and dance arrangements are by David Chase. Michael Grandage directs and Rob Ashford will choreographs the first new Broadway production of the musical since it debuted on Broadway over 30 years ago.
Read more about EVITA's opening night here, and check out a preview of the Gypsy Robe ceremony below! Full coverage of the event will follow.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos
Michael Cerveris, Elena Roger & Ricky Martin
Michael Grandage, Elena Roger, Matt Wall, Rob Ashford, Michael Cerveris & Ricky Martin