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    Posted October 26, 2009

MEMPHIS' John Jellison receives the Gypsy Robe

David Westphal helps MEMPHIS Gypsy Robe Recipient John Jellison into the Robe
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

The cast of the Broadway Production of MEMPHIS arrived on stage at the Shubert Theater 2 hours before show time for the Gypsy Robe Ceremony, Monday, October 19, 2009.

This Opening Night tradition began with Business Rep David Westphal entering the circle made up of the cast, crew, production team, staff members and friends who were eager to hear who the recipient of the coveted Gypsy Robe would be.

The Actors who were making their Broadway debut proudly stepped forward dancing their way into the center of the circle of their peers. The floor was shaking from pounding feet and booming applause.

Mr. Westphal then introduced Terry Marone, who invited prior robe recipients to come centerstage, including Jack Dabdoub and Pi Douglass.

The most recent recipient, Paula Leggett Chase, who just donned the Robe for the first time on October 15th at the opening night of BYE BYE BIRDIE, read the tradition behind the 50 year old Gypsy Robe tradition (click here for more Gypsy Robe info...) and described how the recipient must circle the stage three times counter-clockwise and visit each dressing room so the show receives the robe's blessing. She also pointed out that she made her first Broadway debut on that very stage in A CHORUS LINE almost 20 years earlier.

Ms. Leggett Chase then announced that John Jellison was the next recipient of the Gypsy Robe. The Robe was then passed onto him and he began the traditional run around the circle. His fellow cast members rubbed the gown for good luck and patted him on the back while chanting his name as he passed. MEMPHIS marks Mr. Jellison's 18th Broadway Show. He has received the Robe in the past for CAPEMAN.

MEMPHIS Cast Members making their Broadway Debut
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

Gypsy Robe recipient John Jellison circles the stage three times
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

Gypsy Robe recipient John Jellison circles the stage three times
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

The Gypsy Robe Ceremony gets ready to take place at Shubert Theatre
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

More Gypsy Robe info...

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