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    Posted April 9, 2008

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There Is Nothin' Like A ROBE…The Gypsy Robe, That Is!

Laura Griffith Garners AEAs Gypsy Robe for SOUTH PACIFIC

Laura Griffith
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

Recreating a time-honored tradition that began more than 50 years ago, Equity's coveted Gypsy Robe was presented to chorus member Laura Griffith at the opening night of SOUTH PACIFIC on Thursday April 3rd at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center.

Lavishly decorated with appliqués from other Broadway musicals, the Gypsy Robe is given to the chorus member with the most Broadway chorus credits. Ms. Griffith previously won the robe for THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA at the same theatre several seasons ago. She also appeared on Broadway in SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS and OKLAHOMA!

The Gypsy Robe ceremony began as the cast and crew gathered onstage just 90 minutes before curtain and formed a large circle. Equity's National Chorus Business Representative David Westphal welcomed everyone and invited company members who were making their Broadway debut to take a bow for the cameras: seventeen cast members hugged and hi-signed at the center of the circle, including 6 who got their Equity card!

Robe volunteer Terry Marone came forward to introduce past recipients of the robe, including, Austin Colyer, Jack Dabdoub, Pi Douglass, Jennifer Smith, Amber Stone and Dennis Stowe. She then introduced Steve Konopelski, who garnered the robe for GYPSY just last week.

Wearing the robe, Steve recited the robe's illustrious history (click here for more Gypsy Robe info...) and described how the winner must circle the stage three times counter-clockwise and visit each dressing room so the show receives the robe's blessing. He then proclaimed the winner: Laura Griffith! Beaming with excitement, Laura donned the colorful garment with Steve's assistance and started circling the stage, speeding as everyone reached out to receive the robe's blessing.

"I am extremely proud to be a part of this amazing cast of SOUTH PACIFIC," said Ms. Griffith. I want to be the good luck charm who brings the same kind of long and happy run that we had on THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA to this historic revival that we all love so much. This is an opening night I will never forget."

The blessing worked! The show got rave reviews and was officially extended for an open-run. Next stop for the Gypsy Robe is CRY BABY on April 24th.

Laura Griffith and Steve Konopelski
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

Kelli O'Hara, Laura Griffith, Matthew Morrison
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

More Gypsy Robe info...

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