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Last night, December 16th, Kearran Giovanni was honored with the traditional Gypsy Robe! The Ceremony is a long-standing “theatrical ritual” that started back in 1950, and now involves celebrating a cast member’s achievements by bringing them to the center of the stage and allowing other company members to dance around them. A robe decorated by Broadway seasons is also involved. Here’s what Broadway World had to say on the history:

The Gypsy Robe began in 1950, when Bill Bradley, in the chorus of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, borrowed a dressing gown from Chorus member Florence Baum and sent it to a friend in Call Me Madam on opening night Oct 12, 1950 saying it was worn by all the Ziegfeld beauties and would “bless” the show. A cabbage rose from Ethel Merman’s gown was added and the robe was passed along to next Broadway musical on opening night. The tradition evolved so that the robe is now presented to the “gypsy” who has performed the most Broadway musicals on a chorus contract. Along the way, the robe is decorated, painted, patched, stitched, and signed by everyone in the show, becoming a fanciful patchwork for an entire Broadway season.

Kearran – who was seen in Broadway’s Catch Me If You Can earlier this year – is currently starring in Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway. It was no surprise, then, that was Hugh was at the event to help honor one of his show’s girls. Pictures from the Gypsy Robe Ceremony have been added to the gallery.

December 17th, 2011
Kristina

Hugh Leaves the Broadhurst Theatre

December 16th, 2011
Kristina

Hugh Dresses Warmly with a Friend

December 16th, 2011
Kristina

Hugh Arrives Home Happy

December 13th, 2011
Kristina

Hugh Leaves the Broadhurst

The Gypsy Of The Year competition beat records this year, raising $4,895,253! The event was held yesterday and today, December 5th and 6th, and Hugh Jackman was there to help host. During his run on Broadway, Hugh was able to raise an incredible $857,740 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA), making him the “winner” of the competition. In fact, Hugh’s percentage of the total money raised in just three weeks was so high – more than twice as much as the second largest total (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying‘s $325,935) – that “the judges took him out of the competition and gave him a Special Award for the effort” (PLAYBILL).

Bernadette Peters and Daniel Radcliffe were the other two hosts of the evening, helping Hugh hand out awards to the winners. The soon closing Billy Elliot earned the title of Best Onstage Presentation, while a highlight of the evening was a special performance by the original 1972 Broadway cast of Grease. Other musicals that raised an impressive amount for BC/EFA this year include Book of Mormon ($315,968), Wicked ($240,809), Spider-Man ($197,285), and Follies ($186,405). The top raising play was Other Desert Cities with $77,712. Congratulations to all!

Last night, December 5th, Hugh Jackman attended the 10th anniversary of Baby Buggy! It was a special occasion this year, with Jerry Seinfeld “& Friends” – including Jon Stewart and Colin Quinn – performing at Lincoln Center in NYC in an attempt to raise funds for the nonprofit organization. The Baby Buggy is a yearly event in which money is raised to provide families in need with clothing, educational tools, products, and more for children.

When asked by Lil Sugar what Hugh wanted for Christmas this year, he said the following:

“I really feel like I have everything I could ever want. I’m on Broadway, my family’s here, my parents are coming in from Australia. I would want more than one night off a week, so maybe that!”

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