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    Posted May 2, 2016


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 CreditsHoly 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.

View the full gallery of photos here!

Click here for more Gypsy Robe® information...

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