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    Posted November 28, 2008

I've Got A Gypsy Robe To Keep Me Warm!

Ritchie Mastascusa Garners Gypsy Robe In Irving Berlin's White Christmas


Greg Graham (Billy Elliot) and Ritchie
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 Ritchie Mastascusa at the opening night of Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS on Sunday November 24, 2008 at the Marquis Theatre.

Lavishly decorated with appliqués from other Broadway musicals, the Gypsy Robe is given to the chorus member with the most Broadway musical chorus credits. Mr. Mastascusa previously appeared in SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER.

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 introduced Equity Executive Director John P. Connolly and Third VP Ira Mont. Mr. Westphal then asked company members who were making their Broadway debut to come forward, where they exuberantly posed for the cameras!

Next, Gypsy Robe volunteer Terry Marone invited past recipients of the Robe to be acknowledged, including, Pi Douglass, Paul Castree, Austin Colyer, Jennifer Smith, and Bill Nable. She then introduced Greg Graham, who received the robe in BILLY ELLIOT.

Greg recited the Robe's illustrious history (see Equity's website for more info) and the rules for the ceremony: each new recipient must circle the stage three times counter-clockwise and visit everyone's dressing room to receive the Robe's blessing. He then proclaimed the winner: Richie Mastascusa.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Richie donned the Robe and circled the stage as everyone "reached out and touched" the iconic garment to receive its blessing.


Ritchie Mastascusa with cast members Jeffry Denman, Stephan Bogardus, Kerry O'Malley, Meredith Patterson
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.


Ritchie Mastascusa
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.


More Gypsy Robe info...


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