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    Posted November 20, 2012

AEA's Gypsy Robe® !

Carlos L. Encinias Receives AEA's Iconic Gypsy Robe® for SCANDALOUS

Following back-to-back openings for ANNIE and THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Carlos L. Encinias is the latest Broadway chorus performer to receive iconic AEA's Gypsy Robe® for SCANDALOUS. The colorful garment was presented to Carlos on opening night, Thursday November 15, at the Neil Simon Theatre.

ERD Thomas Carpenter, Eastern VP Melissa Robinette, Carlos L. Encinias, AEA 2nd VP Rebecca Kim Jordan, President Nick Wyman
Photo: Walter McBride

Equity's National Chorus Business Representative David Westphal welcomed everyone and invited company members to form a large circle to begin the ceremony. He then introduced AEA President Nick Wyman, 2nd VP Rebecca Kim Jordan, Eastern Regional Vice President Melissa Robinette, and Eastern Regional Director Thomas Carpenter.

Westphal invited the three cast members who were making their Broadway debut to come to the center of the stage for a photo. He then asked former Gypsy Robe® recipients to come forward, including: Adrian Bailey, Bjarne Buchtrup, Eileen Casey, Grasan Kingsberry, Lauren Latarro, Rommy Sandhu, Megan Sikora, Sara Schmidt, Jennifer Smith, JD Webster, Betsy Wolfe, and Eric Sciotto, who just received the robe for THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD.

Eric recited the robe's illustrious history and then announced the newest recipient: Carlos L. Encinias! The stage burst into applause as Carlos donned the robe and circled the stage three times while everyone reached out and touched the garment to receive its blessing.

Carolee Carmellol George Hearn, Carlos L. Encinias
Photo: Walter McBride

Carlos has appeared in three Broadway musicals, including LES MISERABLES, MAMMA MIA! and GOOD VIBRATIONS.

"I was truly honored and thrilled to receive the robe," Carlos said, after the ceremony. "I've always aspired to being a part of such an incredible tradition. It really is an honor."

The Gypsy Robe® began in 1950, when Bill Bradley, in the chorus of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, borrowed a dressing gown from Chorus member Florence Baum and sent it to a friend in CALL ME MADAM on opening night (Oct 12, 1950) saying it was worn by all the Ziegfeld beauties and would "bless" the show. A cabbage rose from Ethel Merman's gown was added and the robe was passed along to next Broadway musical on opening night. The tradition evolved so that the robe is now presented to the "gypsy" who has performed the most Broadway musicals on a chorus contract. Along the way, the robe is decorated, painted, patched, stitched, and signed by everyone in the show, becoming a fanciful patchwork for an entire Broadway season.

Recognizing their cultural and historic value, Gypsy Robes® can now be viewed at three of Equity's Offices. The National Headquarters in New York now houses two of the historic Robes. The second floor Audition Center's case displays the Robe from the 1982-1983 season. The 2007-2008 Robe, dedicated to Broadway veteran Adrian Bailey, can be viewed on the fourteenth floor Council lobby.

The Robe from the 2003-2004 season is now housed in the Orlando office and members can stop by to view the Robe during business hours. A robe from the 2005-2006 season is on display in the Chicago office.

Periodically, the Robes will be rotated so members may have the chance to see various Robes. Robes are also on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, The Museum of the City of New York and the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.

Carlos L. Encinias
Photo: Walter McBride

Click here for more Gypsy Robe® information...

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