“Growing up in this wonderful community, I experienced the Robe ceremony quite a few times. I have always felt it to be the perfect beginning to the festivities on opening night. It invites both veterans and those who are making their Broadway debut to celebrate the history of this unique tradition. That's one of my favorite things about it. Knowing that I'm amongst such a wonderful group of people and artists who have received the Robe is a true honor. I'm in very good company without question. Receiving the Robe for Carousel was an amazing feeling. Being able to represent this incredible ensemble is a gift that I will always treasure. Also, receiving the Gypsy Robe from my fellow Newsie, Brendon Stimson was pretty cool too. From one Newsie to another!”
Name: Jess LeProtto
Hometown: Little Falls, NJ
First Broadway Credit: The Boy From Oz in 2004. I was the vacation standby for Young Peter Allen.
Professional Training: PACE University BFA Musical Theater Program (current part-time student); For Dancers Only: Dance Training (Little Falls, NJ)
Year Joined Equity: 2006.
How I Got My Equity Card: I was a part of the ensemble in How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The show opened at the Hilton Theater in November 2006.
Number of Broadway Chorus Contract Credits: Eight. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (2006), How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (2007), Bye Bye Birdie (2009), Newsies (2012), On the Town (2014, Robe Recipient), Cats (2016), Hello, Dolly! (2017), Carousel (2018, Robe Recipient).)
Fun Fact: I fell into the orchestra pit in the production of Newsies. Thankfully, I managed to climb out of the pit and back onstage just in time for the ending pose of the number.
View the full gallery of photos
Watch the video of the ceremony