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    Posted April 21, 2015


A Historic 60-Year Backstage Tradition on Broadway

For ‘Broadway Baby’ Lainie Sakakura, Receiving the Famed Gypsy Robe is a True Family Affair

"The Gypsy Robe ceremony not only celebrates the individual chorus performer, but is also an acknowledgement of the hard-working ensemble. Receiving the robe is the highest of honors as a Broadway chorus performer. When my name was announced, I was overwhelmed and filled with so much joy. Looking back on that moment, I am so grateful to have finally received the robe 21 years after making my Broadway debut." – Lainie Sakakura


Lainie Sakakura

photo: Walter McBride


Name Lainie Sakakura
Show The King and I
Theater Beaumont at Lincoln Center Theater
Opening Night April 16, 2015


About Lainie

Hometown Oakland, CA
Broadway Debut The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public (1994)
Professional Training Duane Dance Academy in Hayward, CA (led by Coralene Kerr, an ex-Vaudeville tapper); San Francisco Ballet (nine years). Other teachers include: Finis Jung, Madame Gabriela Darvash and Broadway choreographer Christopher Chadman.
Year Joined AEA 1991
How I Got My Equity Card “A national tour of Song & Dance with Robert Longbottom at the helm as director and choreographer.”
Broadway Chorus Credits 6
Fun Fact “My husband Alex Sanchez has also received the Gypsy Robe - twice! We met back in 1994 playing husband and wife in Carousel at Lincoln Center Theater. Fell in love during Fosse. Eloped during my one-week vacation from Flower Drum Song and now we have two "gypsy" children, Avelina (10) and Isabela (7). When we performed together in Chita Rivera: A Dancer's Life, our oldest was just a one-year-old, and we'd run off stage and kiss our baby girl between numbers! My husband and girls will join me at the ceremony when I pass off the robe to Doctor Zhivago.”

Moments from the Gypsy Robe® Ceremony

The company give the ceremonial blessing of the Robe®.

Lainie Sakakura with her husband Alex Sanchez (two-time Gypsy Robe honoree) and her daughters Avelina (10) and Isabela (7).

The cast of The King and I

(Photos by Walter McBride)

View the full gallery of photos here!

Click here for more Gypsy Robe® information...

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