Photo by Aubrey Reuben
The November 1998 to December 2000 Gypsy Robe features a yellow playbill from Contact, a red, inflated rubber glove and feather boa from The Rocky Horror Show, the Cat in the Hat's hat from Seussical and quite a few trombones from The Music Man, as well as memorabilia from Peter Pan, Parade, Fosse, Annie Get Your Gun, The Civil War, Fascinating Rhythm, Saturday Night Fever, Kiss Me Kate, Marie Christine, Swing, Aida, Contact, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Full Monty and Jane Eyre. 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