Posted May 2, 2016
AEA’s GYPSY ROBE®
A Historic 65-Year Backstage Tradition on Broadway
Arbender Robinson earns his fourth Gypsy Robe with Shuffle Along
“I love the Gypsy Robe ceremony because we first get to celebrate all those making their Broadway debut. There is so much happening on opening night — this is one way that we don't forget the wonderful joy for the people making their debut.
We all know how the Gypsy Robe recipient is decided. It was a surprise because I really thought it was going to another cast member. I was there to say ‘surprise’ however the surprise was on me.”
Name: Arbender Robinson
Show: Shuffle Along
Opening Night: April 28, 2016
Hometown: Crest Hill, Illinois
Broadway Debut: Hairspray (2005) – “ I still remember being terrified.”
Professional Training: Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin: BA in theater. But I do feel that life has been the best training school. And I still take classes now.
Year Joined AEA: 1999
How I Got My Equity Card: “Finally, I was hired as a vocalist for the Walt Disney Organization. I started with the EMC program prior, but Disney said, ‘Hey, this gig will get you your card; you wanna sing for us?’ Of course I said yes. Next thing, I was singing with the Voices of Liberty in Orlando Florida.”
Broadway Chorus Credits: “Holy cow, I've done 10 shows. I’m freaking out now.”
Fun Fact: “So I am obsessed with bowties (I have about 200 now), and I'm obsessed with cool, crazy socks and wild colored underwear. Every day, between the three, I'm a walking explosion of color.
Moments from the Gypsy Robe® Ceremony
Arbender Robinson does the ceremonial three laps around the stage.
Arbender Robinson with the cast members of Shuffle Along.