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    Posted May 1, 2008

It's a Gypsy "Jukebox Jamboree"
Lisa Gajda Garners Gypsy Robe In

Cry Baby Choreo Rob Ashford, Lisa Gajda
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

Recreating a time-honored tradition that began more than 50 years ago, Equity's coveted Gypsy Robe was presented to chorus member Lisa Gajda at the opening night of CRY-BABY, THE MUSICAL, on Thursday April 24, 2008 at the Marquis Theatre.

Exquisitely decorated with appliqués from other Broadway musicals, the Gypsy Robe is given to the chorus member with the most Broadway chorus credits. Ms. Gajda previously received the robe in THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN' and TABOO. CRY-BABY is her tenth Broadway musical !

The Gypsy Robe ceremony began as the cast and crew gathered onstage just 90 minutes before curtain and formed a large circle. Equity's National Chorus Business Representative David Westphal welcomed everyone and introduced Equity Executive Director John P. Connolly, First Vice President Paige Price, Second VP Jean-Paul Richard, and Third VP Ira Mont. Mr. Westphal then asked company members who were making their Broadway debut to come forward and six cast members exuberantly posed for the cameras !

Next, Gypsy Robe volunteer Terry Marone invited past recipients of the robe to be acknowledged, including, Adrian Bailey, Eileen Casey, Pi Douglass, David Eggers, Ms. Gajda, Steve Konopelski, Bill Nable, Megan Sikora, Jennifer Smith, and Patrick Wetzel. She then introduced Laura Griffith, who received the robe in SOUTH PACIFIC and LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA.

Ms. Griffith recited the robe's illustrious history and the rules for the ceremony: each new recipient must circle the stage three times counter-clockwise and visit everyone's dressing room to receive the robe's blessing. She then proclaimed the winner: Lisa Gajda!

Filled with excitement, Ms. Gajda donned the robe and circled the stage as everyone "reached out and touched" the iconic garment.

"The robe means a lot to me is because I feel the history of the chorus person in the tradition. It also means a lot to me because being in the chorus is exactly where I want to be. It's not a stepping stone, it's my dream realized. So a tradition recognizing the chorus person is very meaningful to me. It's a true honor." - Lisa Gajda.

Jean-Paul Richard, Paige Price, Laura Griffith, Ira Mont
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

Elizabeth Stanley, John P. Connolly, Lisa Gajda, James Snyder
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

Lisa circles the stage
Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

More Gypsy Robe info...

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