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March 18, 2005

Emily Hsu Receives Gypsy Robe for SPAMALOT

Emily Hsu is the latest recipient of Equity's famous "Gypsy Robe,” in SPAMALOT at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway. The colorful robe was presented to the Chorus member at a special backstage ceremony on opening night, March 17, 2005, recreating an historic, theatrical ritual that began on Broadway over 50 years ago.

Ms. Hsu has appeared in nine Broadway shows, including FLOWER DRUM SONG, THE BOY FROM OZ, THOU SHALT NOT, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, SIDE SHOW, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, CATS and MISS SAIGON. She previously garnered the robe in BELLS ARE RINGING in 2001.

Roxane Barlow, who received the robe in DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, made the presentation on the packed Shubert stage with dozens of excited cast members, stars and VIPs looking on. Kicking off the ceremony, Gypsy Robe Director Terry Marone introduced Robe Historian Gloria Rosenthal, and previous robe winners including: SPAMALOT choreographer Casey Nicholaw (who received the robe in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE); Darlene Wilson (SIDE SHOW); Harvey Evans (OKLAHOMA! and SCARLET PIMPERNEL); Robin Haynes (BLOOD BROTHERS); Austin Colyer (SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN); Tom Titone (FIDDLER ON THE ROOF); Lisa Gajda (TABOO), and Bill Nable (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST). Marone also introduced Equity Executive Director Alan Eisenberg before turning over the proceedings to Ms. Barlow, who explained the robe’s history and ritual and announced the newest recipient: Emily Hsu

Beaming with joy and surprise, Ms. Hsu donned the colorful garment and circled the stage three times as the crowd applauded and touched the robe in accordance with tradition. Among those in the circle were FIDDLER star Harvey Fierstein; and SPAMALOT stars Hank Azaria, Tim Curry, and David Hyde Pierce, with numerous other cast members and guests. Also participating in the ceremony were: Equity’s Second Vice President, Jean-Paul Richard; Chorus Councillor Thomas Jay Miller; Communications Director David Lotz; Business Representative Louise Foisy; and Assistant to the President, Anne Fortuno.

SPAMALOT cast members touch the robe
Photo by Walter McBride

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