Ever Heard of Broadway’s ‘Gypsy Robe’?

You watched the Tony Awards this month. But do you know which chorus member of your favorite Broadway musical received the “Gypsy Robe”?

CBS correspondent Mo Rocca went behind the scenes to interview more than a dozen of Broadway’s “gypsies,” or the members of Broadway’s ensemble casts who support the lead actors.

The segment aired on CBS Sunday Morning, and those interviews are now online – along with a piece focusing on the legendary Gypsy Robe, a patchwork of mementos given to the chorus line member of a Broadway show who has the most credits on opening night. The storied tradition, captured on video for CBS, has its origins in the 1950 production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

The performers interviewed come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some of them are new to the Broadway stage, while others have been there for decades. One of those performers is Broadway icon Chita Rivera, best known for portraying Anita in Jerome Robbins’s West Side Story.

“I am a fanatic about this gypsy thing,” she said, “because I deeply believe you cannot have the kind of understanding you should have for the theatre if you don’t go through that rank, if you don’t go through that line, if you don’t work with these gypsies, these kids who work so hard.”

Broadway veteran Richard Korthaze, whose credits include Anything Goes, Take Me Along and Chicago, spoke of the camaraderie among Broadway’s gypsies.

“It’s like a family of – I don’t know the term – a family of gypsies,” he said, “who are always, more or less, together in one way or another, either working or taking classes or auditioning.”

When asked if she wanted to be a star, Jessica Bishop, seen in Phantom of the Opera, hesitated. “I want to work,” she said with a laugh. “The goal for me has never been to ‘be a star.’ It’s just to work in this industry.”

Leave a Reply

Linnea Berthelse on Her ‘Stranger Things’ Audition and Keeping Her Role a Secret for a Year
“Sometimes when actors don’t get the part, it’s not always about an actor being a bad actor; it’s about connecting to the material.” – Linnea Berthelsen Stranger Things is back on our screens with its second season, something fans have been waiting for ever since season one arrived on Netflix in 2016. Returning to the […]
Jonathan Groff on Playing King George III in ‘Hamilton’: “I rehearsed for about a day, and then went into the show”
Can you even imagine stepping into a role in one of the biggest Broadway hits of all time with barely any time to prepare?
Lina Esco on Playing the Only Female Officer on ‘S.W.AT.’: “I have to portray her as someone equal to all of the guys on her team”
"The important thing for me when I read scripts is how much respect I have for the character and how far I can take her" - Lina Esco
Sam Rockwell on Typecasting and One of His Worst Auditions
"I’m kind of a workhorse. It takes a toll" - Sam Rockwell
Rachel Bloom: “The way that I learned comedy was not rigid, but this very specific technique taught by the Upright Citizens Brigade”
"I went from being a person who was doing moderately successful videos online and working as a moderately successful TV writer and aspiring to do this to having a Golden Globe." - Rachel Bloom