Posted December 12, 2005
Alex Sanchez Dons Legendary Gypsy Robe CHITA RIVERA: THE DANCER’S LIFE
Chita Rivera and Alex Sanchez
Alex Sanchez, a cast member in CHITA RIVERA: THE DANCER’S LIFE, is the newest recipient of Equity’s legendary Gypsy Robe. The colorful garment was presented to Mr. Sanchez during an exciting backstage ceremony at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on opening night (Sunday, December 11) recreating a time-honored tradition that began over 50 years ago.
Lavishly decorated with mementos from recent Broadway musicals, the robe is given to the cast member who has the most chorus credits. Alex has done nine Broadway shows, including: BIG, CAROUSEL, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, FOLLIES, FOSSE: A CELEBRATION, HARMONY, ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, THE RED SHOES, and WONDERFUL TOWN.
Alex Sanchez garners the robe
Equity Robe Director Terry Marone kicked off the ceremony by introducing a stellar group of former robe recipients, including: Tom Titone (FIDDLER ON THE ROOF), Bill Nabel (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, MOST HAPPY FELLA), Dylis Croman (SWEET CHARITY), Harvey Evans (OKLAHOMA! SUNSET BOULEVARD), Richard Korthaze (HOW TO SUCCEED, DANCIN’), Austin Colyer (SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN), Terry Violino (ILLYA DARLING), Joyce Chittick (SEUSSICAL, CABARET) and James Dybas (PACIFIC OVERTURES, SCARLET PIMPERNEL). Ms. Marone acknowledged several cast members who had received the robe, including Cleve Asbury (HARRIGAN AND HART), Deidre Goodwin (ROCKY HORROR SHOW), and Chita Rivera, for SEVENTH HEAVEN.
Ms. Marone also introduced Equity Executive Director Alan Eisenberg, National Communications Director David Lotz, Robe Historian Gloria Rosenthal and Equity Chorus Councillor Tom Miller.
Cast members (L-R)
Due to their own show schedules, JC Montgomery (robe recipient, THE COLOR PURPLE) and Elena Shaddow WOMAN IN WHITE) could not attend. Therefore, Ms. Marone invited Brynn Williams (IN MY LIFE) into the center of the circle onstage to announce the newest recipient: Alex Sanchez ! Alex beamed with delight as he donned the garment and circled the stage three times according to the tradition. Later, he visited everyone backstage.
A special moment came during the ceremony when producer Joe McGinnis presented a $27,000 check to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in honor of Ms. Rivera. “Since our show wasn’t in town, we couldn’t collect for Gypsy of the Year. Their total came to $2,972,721, so I’m donating $27,279.00 to bring the total up to $3 million. I donate it in your honor, in memory of your friends, my friends and all friends who could not be here with us on your opening night.”
Concluding the ceremony, Ms. Marone explained that robes are now on display at the Smithsonian Institute and the Museum of the City of New York. Another robe is on permanent display at the Equity Audition Center in New York City.
Gypsy Robe Recipients (L-R)
Cleve Asbury, Tom Titone, Bill Nabel, James Dybas, Harvey Evans, Alex
Sanchez, Brynn Williams, Richard Korthaze, Austin Colyer, Terry Violino,
Dylis Croman, and Joyce Chittick