Photo by Aubrey Reuben
The March 1987 to Nov. 1989 Gypsy Robe features an American and Soviet flag sewn atop a chess board (Chess), a teddy bear in a three piece suit, moustace and glasses (Teddy and Alice), a tricolor mural of scenes from Les Miserables and a purple and green diamond-shaped hood (Leg Diamond), as well as memorabilia from Starlight Express, Late Nite Comic, Cabaret, The Phantom of the Opera, Mail, Carrie, Jerome Robbins Broadway, Chu Chem, Dangerous Games, Meet Me in St. Louis and The Threepenny Opera. Three gypsy robes —1987-1989, 1994-1995 and 1998-2000 — were donated to the Theatre Collection of the Museum of the City of New York on April 9.
One of the theatre's most enduring traditions, the passing of the Gypsy Robe dates back over 50 years. Dancing and singing chorus members — known as "gypsies" because they move from show to show — pass along a robe from show to show on each production's opening night. The chorus member who has appeared in the most Broadway musicals receives the robe and takes ownership until the next Broadway opening. Along the way, the robe is decorated and signed by everyone in the show becoming a fanciful patchwork for at least one theatre season.
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— By Christine Ehren