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    Posted December 11, 2006

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Paul Castree Receives Legendary Gypsy Robe in HIGH FIDELITY

Castree circles the stage as cast member Will Chase touches the robe Photo by Walter McBride/Retna

Paul Castree is the newest recipient of Equity's legendary Gypsy Robe, for HIGH FIDELITY. The colorful garment was presented to Mr. Castree backstage at the Imperial Theatre on the opening night of HIGH FIDELITY (Thursday, December 7, 2006) recreating the 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 with the most chorus credits. Paul has performed as Chorus in three Broadway musicals, including ALL SHOOK UP, FOOTLOOSE and THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, as well as Principal Broadway roles in GREASE!, MOVIN' OUT, and SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER.

Equity Chorus Councillor Tom Miller began the ceremony by introducing several former recipients, including: Bill Nabel (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, MOST HAPPY FELLA); Pi Douglass (Selling of the President, The Wiz); and James Dybas (PACIFIC OVERTURES), who had previously worked with Castree and HIGH FIDELITY Stage Manager Steve Beckler in THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL.

The most recent recipient, Rommy Sandhu (MARY POPPINS, BOMBAY DREAMS) took center stage to tell about the genesis of the robe ceremony before passing the robe along to Castree. Paul circled the stage three times in accordance with the ceremony, as each cast member touched the robe to receive its "blessing."

Commenting on receiving the robe, Castree said: " The High Fidelity opening was a great night and receiving the Gypsy Robe was a definite highlight for me. That little robe packs a lot of joy and goodwill. It's amazing how the ceremony really makes you feel a connection to Broadway actors stretching all the way back to the 1950s. So many kids come to New York dreaming of being in the original company of a Broadway musical and of course I was no exception. To have that experience even once is little bit of a miracle. I know how fortunate I've been to have stood several times in that circle backstage before the curtain goes up on opening night. Putting on the gypsy robe for the first time last night was a lot like most family traditions - fun, kind of silly, sentimental and thrilling all at the same time. It is an honor I will always remember and I look forward to passing it on to the next actor in our Broadway musical family. "

Also participating in the ceremony were Equity Communications Director David Lotz, and robe historian Gloria Rosenthal.

Paul Castree and and James Dybas
Photo by Walter McBride/Retna

Proud to be a Gypsy
Photo by Walter McBride/Retna

Jenn Colella, Paul Castree, Will Chase
Photo by Walter McBride/Retna

Former robe recipients Pi Douglass, Bill Nabel, and James Dybas with Jenn Colella
Photo by Walter McBride/Retna

Rommy Sandhu, who received the robe in MARY POPPINS and BOMBAY DREAMS
Photo by Walter McBride/Retna

Click here for more Gypsy Robe information

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