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Posted December 2, 2005

JC Montgomery Garners Legendary Gypsy Robe in THE COLOR PURPLE

JC Montgomery
All Photos by Walter McBride

JC Montgomery, a chorus member in THE COLOR PURPLE, is the latest chorus member to garner Equity’s legendary Gypsy Robe. The colorful garment was presented to Mr. Montgomery during a backstage ceremony at the Broadway Theatre on the opening night of THE COLOR PURPLE (Thursday, December 1, 2005) 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. JC’s Broadway chorus credits include THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, PARADE, SOUTH PACIFIC and THOU SHALT NOT.

JC Montgomery with LaChanze

Equity Robe Director Terry Marone kicked off the ceremony by introducing former robe recipients, including Brynn Williams (IN MY LIFE), Michelle Kittrell (URBAN COWBOY, ALL SHOOK UP), Tom Titone (FIDDLER ON THE ROOF), Bill Nable (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, MOST HAPPY FELLA), Dylis Croman (SWEET CHARITY), Adrian Bailey (LEGS DIAMOND, PRINCE OF CENTRAL PARK, JELLY’S LAST JAM), and Elena Shaddow, who received the robe for THE WOMAN IN WHITE.

JC Montgomery (Gypsy Winner for THE COLOR PURPLE) with Elisabeth Withers-Mendes and the cast Attending the Opening Night Gypsy Robe Ceremony of the New Musical THE COLOR PURPLE at the Broadway Theatre in New York City

Ms. Marone also introduced Equity Executive Director Alan Eisenberg, National Communications Director David Lotz, and Robe Historian Gloria Rosenthal. Also participating were Equity Chorus Councillors Tom Miller and Joanne Borts, and Communications Assistant Nicole Yanolatos.

Elena described the colorful history of the Gypsy Robe before announcing the newest recipient. JC beamed with surprise and joy as he circled the stage three times while everyone in the cast touched the robe to receive its “blessing,” according to the tradition. Later, he visited everyone backstage.

Pictured (L-R) Previous robe recipients Elena Shaddow, Brynn Williams, Judine Somerville, Adrian Bailey, JC Montgomery, with LaChanze, Equity Executive Director Alan Eisenberg, and robe recipients Dylis Croman, Michelle Kittrell

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.

Click here for more information about the Gypsy Robe...

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