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August 1, 2003

Equity Chorus Councillor Thomas Jay Miller, Carmen Ruby Floyd and cast of AVENUE Q.

Equity Chorus Councillor Thomas Jay Miller (left) and members of the AVENUE Q cast participate in the robe ceremony by touching the Robe, worn by latest recipient Carmen Ruby Floyd (right).
photo by Walter McBride/Retna

Carmen Ruby Floyd and Ann Harada align=

Carmen Ruby Floyd and fellow AVENUE Q cast member Ann Harada (right) and friend.
photo by Walter McBride/Retna

Carmen Ruby Floyd

Carmen Ruby Floyd shows off the Gypsy Robe
photo by Walter McBride/Retna

CARMEN RUBY FLOYD is the second recipient of Actors' Equity's famous "Gypsy Robe" for the 2003-2004 Broadway season. The colorful icon was presented on the opening night (Thursday, July 31, 2003) of AVENUE Q, recreating an historic, theatrical ritual that began on Broadway over 50 years ago. Ms. Floyd's resume includes the original Toronto cast of THE LION KING and the Off Broadway hits, LITTLE HAM and CROWNS among other credits.

Equity Chorus Councillor Thomas Jay Miller started the ceremony at the Golden Theatre by introducing Equity's Eastern Regional Director Carol Waaser, staff members David Lotz and Keith Sklar, Equity Councillor Lynn Archer and Robe Historian Gloria Rosenthal.

Gina Ferrall, the previous robe winner from BIG RIVER , introduced her co-star Michael Arden, who presented the cast with flowers before signing (American Sign Language) the rules and history of the robe as Gina described the robe's illustrious background. Then, they proclaimed the new "winner:" Carmen Ruby Floyd !" With shrieks and applause, Ms. Floyd donned the resplendent costume and circled the stage three times in accordance with the robe tradition to bring "blessings" to the new musical. A special opening night puppet, Christmas Eve, made a surprise appearance.

Described as "the place you live when you can't afford to live anyplace else," AVENUE Q is set on a street in New York City where people and puppets live as neighbors and deal with some of life's most thorny issues: romance, sex, money, career, rent and other matters unmentionable. Featured in the Broadway cast of AVENUE Q are Jennifer Barnhart, Natalie Venetia Belcon, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Jordan Gelber, Ann Harada, Rick Lyon and John Tartaglia, along with their puppet co-horts Princeton, Kate Monster, Nicky, Rod, Trekkie Monster, Lucy T. Slut, Mrs. Thistletwat and the Bad Idea Bears.

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