James Dybas, a stage veteran who plays the Executioner in The Scarlet Pimpernel, agreed to keep a diary of the experience for Playbill On-Line's readers. Here is his diary of the weeks leading up to the opening. Watch for his posts throughout the day as he shares his opening night with you.
Sunday November 9, 1997 - 5:30 PM It was 5:15 pm and the cast gathered on stage as Terry Marone (now retired from her Actors Equity Assn. staff position, but still active, carrying on the Gypsy Robe Opening Night Ceremony, introduced Darlene Wilson from Side Show and told us the history of the robe.
Then she said, "And tonight, the Gypsy robe goes to -- James Dybas!
I can't believe this is happening! What an honor!
The first time I received the robe, it was from Donna McKechnie (the recipient from A Chorus Line), who brought it over to the Winter Garden when we opened Pacific Overtures there in 1976. I passed it on to JoAnn Ogawa when she opened in Rockabye Hamlet at . . . Oh my God, . . . this theatre (the Minskoff).
I moved to Los Angeles the next year and have done all kinds of theatre, film and TV out there . I came back to NY to do the last 10 months of Sunset Blvd at this same theatre (the Minskoff). It closed, I auditioned for this show ( The Scarlet Pimpernel) and here I am back on the old boards, getting the robe again. Life is full of surprises!
It's extraordinary, after having lived in LA for 20 years, to come back to New York City, open in a new show and be the recipient of this historic robe. I'm surprised delighted and the thrilled!