2 3 Superstitious Saturday Gypsy Robe | Ballet Webb

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Superstitious Saturday Gypsy Robe

Superstitious Saturday Gypsy Robe

A superstition in Broadway circles is that of the Gypsy Robe. In every new season, on opening night, a Gypsy Robe is presented to the chorus member with the most Broadway chorus credits. It is never given to a leading performer – only someone in the chorus. The ritual is believed to have started in 1950 by Bill Bradley and Florence Baum, who performed in the chorus of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

There is a ceremony involved in presenting this robe, and every member of the cast and crew are present, along with a representative from the Actor’s Equity Association. Everyone stands in a circle and after the robe is presented, the recipient walks around the circle three times while the others touch the robe for good luck. After the ceremony ends, the recipient must visit every dressing room to bless the show.

When this robe is passed on to a new performer at the opening of their show, the previous “owner” must add some memento to it and have it signed by everyone in the cast.

Two previous Gypsy Robes are at the Smithsonian, and three are at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Superstitious Secret #197:
“The Gypsy Robe is a Broadway ritual.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“For some of us, the Gypsy years can go on forever… That isn’t such a bad thing. When all is said and done, they’re a lot of fun. The truth is, I liked being a Gypsy. It’s who I was. And it’s still a lot of who I am. Gypsy, it’s a good word.”
- Chita Rivera

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