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    Posted December 7, 2009

"The Best Things Happen When You're…Receiving a Gypsy Robe!"

Joseph Medeiros Garners Gypsy Robe for WHITE CHRISTMAS


Michael X. Martin and Joseph Medeiros
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

One of the classic songs from WHITE CHRISTMAS is "The Best Things Happen When You're Dancing" and that was true for Joseph Medeiros, who became the Gypsy Robe Recipient when the holiday tuner opened on Broadway on November 22, 2009.

In the grand tradition of opening nights for Broadway musicals, the cast and crew of WHITE CHRISTMAS gathered onstage at the Marquis Theatre before the curtain to find out who among the chorus would be named as the Robe's recipient. Some of the cast were already in makeup and wig caps while others were still in their street clothes. Members of the producing general management teams were on hand in their opening night finery. Among the excited gathering were former gypsy robe winners Richard Korthaze (DANCIN' and HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING) and Rommy Sandhu (MARY POPPINS and BOMBAY DREAMS), Equity Councillor Brian Cooper, Equity Business Rep David Westphal, Assitant to the Executive Director Joe Chiplock and Terry Marone.

One person stood out from the rest and that was Michael X. Martin, who received the robe for RAGTIME. Martin stood in the middle of the circle of onlookers wearing the Gypsy Robe, decorated with mementos from shows that had opened last season. In a clear voice tinged with excitement, Martin explained the history of the robe and announced the winner - Joseph Medeiros. Surprised and pleased, Medeiros, who has appeared on Broadway in WEST SIDE STORY, GREASE, BIG and GUYS AND DOLLS, donned the robe and circled the stage three times counterclockwise so that everyone could touch the robe for good luck.

The most memorable moment of the night for Medeiros was when Michael Martin announced his name. "It was a bit surreal to be honest. I only graduated from school a few years ago and it never even crossed my mind that I would have the chance to be a part of this almost 60-year-old tradition so soon. It felt particularly special to me because I had worked and been friends with many of the people in the company prior to starting rehearsals, and so I was not just surrounded by fellow actors, but by people who are my friends. Everyone was so supportive, and of course it's never a bad thing to feel that support aimed in your direction, though I'm sure most of it was for that special piece of muslin that will go on to be the real part of theatre history, regardless of whose shoulders it rested upon."

Medeiros continued the tradition of passing the robe the very next night to Adesola Osakalumi of FELA! "It happened so quickly that I didn't really have much time to think about it. I actually got a little nervous and had to suppress some stage fright as I started reading the Gypsy Robe story that accompanies the ceremony. Unfortunately I did not get to speak with Adesola afterwards, but I hope that he enjoyed the moment in the spotlight and enjoys passing it on to the next recipient."



Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.



Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.


Joseph Medeiros donned the robe and circled the stage three times
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.


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