Last night, December 16th, Kearran Giovanni was honored with the traditional Gypsy Robe! The Ceremony is a long-standing “theatrical ritual” that started back in 1950, and now involves celebrating a cast member’s achievements by bringing them to the center of the stage and allowing other company members to dance around them. A robe decorated by Broadway seasons is also involved. Here’s what Broadway World had to say on the history:
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.
Kearran – who was seen in Broadway’s Catch Me If You Can earlier this year – is currently starring in Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway. It was no surprise, then, that was Hugh was at the event to help honor one of his show’s girls. Pictures from the Gypsy Robe Ceremony have been added to the gallery.