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    Posted September 21, 2011

Gypsy Robe

You're Gonna Love…The Gypsy Robe

Jenifer Foote Garners AEA' Gypsy Robe in FOLLIES


Arbender Robinson (HAIR), Jenifer Foote (FOLLIES)
Photo: Walter McBride

Jenifer Foote, a chorus member in FOLLIES, is the third Gypsy Robe recipient for the 2011-2012 Broadway season. The colorful garment was presented to Jenifer on opening night (Monday, September 12, 2011) at the Marquis Theatre. Recreating a time-honored tradition that began more than 60 years ago, the ceremony began as cast members formed a large circle onstage. Equity's National Chorus Business Representative David Westphal welcomed everyone on stage and introduced AEA 1st Vice President Paige Price and 2nd VP Rebecca Kim Jordan. Then, David invited company members who were making their Broadway debuts to come forward, where they exuberantly posed for photos.

Next, Gypsy Robe volunteer Terry Marone invited past recipients of the robe to be acknowledged, including Roger Preston Smith, Richard Korthaze, Jennifer Smith, Dale Hensley, Kevin Ligon, Austin Colyer, Pi Douglass and Harvey Evans - who created the role of "Young Buddy" in the original Broadway production of FOLLIES in 1971.

Arbender Robinson, who received the robe for HAIR, then stepped forward to recite the robe's history and the ritual of passing it along to the Chorus member with the most Broadway musical chorus credits before announcing the newest recipient: Jenifer Foote. Jenifer has previously appeared on Broadway in ROCK OF AGES, A CHORUS LINE, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, DRACULA and ANNIE GET YOUR GUN.

Jenifer donned the robe and circled the stage three times as everyone reached out and touched the robe to receive its blessing.


1st VP Paige Price, Arbender Robinson, Jenifer Foote, 2nd VP Rebecca Kim Jordan
Photo: Walter McBride

"My deepest thanks to you and everyone involved in carrying on the tradition of the Gypsy Robe for bestowing such an honor on me," Jenifer commented. "I was (and continue to be) overwhelmed. Yes, being an actor is my career path that I am quite passionate about, but more than that, at my core, I am quite simply, a FAN. I am a fan of this business. I am a fan of musical theatre. And I am a fan of the amazing traditions that are honored in the Broadway community. There are moments - like when Stage management announces 'it's Saturday night on Broadway' each week; or when the sign-up goes up for the Broadway Show League; or (most of all) the tradition of the Gypsy Robe - that keep me delighted at every turn. I had no idea that I would be the recipient for this production. It was an incredible surprise. The magic of what we do will never be lost on me, and the special-ness of that opening night in counter-clockwise motion will never be forgotten."


L-R: Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Ron Raines, Jenifer Foote, Danny Burstein, Elaine Paige, Terri White
Photo: Walter McBride


L-R: Three Buddies! Harvey Evans, who played 'Young Buddy' in the original production, is flanked by Danny Burstein and Christian Delacroix - the 'Buddies' in the current production.
Photo: Walter McBride


FOLLIES cast members who made their Broadway debuts
Photo: Walter McBride


Jenifer Foote circles the stage
Photo: Walter McBride

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