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December 12, 2002

Dance of the Vampires' Jenny-Lynn Suckling is Sixth Gypsy Robe Winner in the 2002-03 Season
Jenny-Lynn Suckling, Rene Auberjonois and cast
Photo by Sabrina Gordin

Jenny-Lynn Suckling, Max Von Essen
Photo by Walter McBride/Retna

Jenny-Lynn Suckling, an ensemble actress who portrays a blood-thirsty vampire as Marie Antoinette, as well as a fearful, garlic-eating villager in lower Belabartokovitch, Transylvania, is the latest winner of Equity's coveted Gypsy Robe for DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES. She received the robe on opening night, Monday, December 9th at the Minskoff Theatre.

The coveted Gypsy Robe was passed on to her as part of a theatrical tradition that was started over 50 years ago during the original run of CALL ME MADAM. Austin Colyer was assisted by fellow Equity Councillor and ACCA member Joanne Borts at the presentation, along with Terry Marone

DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES is the new Broadway musical starring Michael Crawford as Count Von Krolock, a 19th century vampire whose passion is to win the soul and body of a beautiful young woman. Count Von Krolock's un-deadly intentions are upset by the arrival of the vampire killer, Professor Abronsius and his assistant Alfred, who also has fallen madly in love with Sarah, the object of the Count's affections. Set against Jim Steinman's blood-pumping music, DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES turns the horror genre on its ear, while keeping a tongue planted firmly in its cheek.

So far this year, the robe has traveled to six musicals, staring with HAIRSPRAY (Judine Richard), then to THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE (Elizabeth Mills), FLOWER DRUM SONG (Marc Oka), MOVIN' OUT (Pascal Faye) MAN OF LA MANCHA (Gregory Mitchell) and now, DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES (Jenny-Lynn Suckling).

Jenny-Lynn has appeared on Broadway in SIDE SHOW, ANNIE GET OUR GUN, FOSSE, and CHICAGO, and has numerous NY and regional credits. She was "totally surprised" to receive the robe and said "I really thought my 'pseudo-soul brother' Tim Warmen was going to receive the robe." During the backstage ceremony, the cast, crew and visitors circle around the winner and touch the robe for good luck. Equity's Executive Director Alan Eisenberg was unable to attend the event, but sent best wishes.

Recognizing their cultural and historic value, Actors' Equity recently donated two robes into permanent collections at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of American History. Three robes are on permanent loan to the Museum of the City of New York. Seven "elderly" robes are still maintained by the Union at its national headquarters on West 46th Street, and one is always on display in the Equity Audition Center. The entire robe collection is also on view in the Gypsy Robe section of actorsequity.org.