Itís raining cats and dogs at theaters. Mostly dogs.

December 4, 2017

TWIN CITIES, Minn. ó Itís raining cats and dogs at some area theaters. Mostly dogs. Live animals have been a part of the theater world since its beginnings in the Greek festival of Dionysus, in which animals were ripped limb-from-limb in an orgiastic frenzy. That doesnít happen anymore, fortunately, but there are an awful lot of dogs on stage these days, including, coincidentally, two canine Sandys who currently are adding a little havoc to productions of "Annie" and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time."


The role: Sandy.

Where it came from: Having played Sandy in the Jamie Foxx film version of "Annie," chow/golden retriever Marti is a stage and screen veteran, taught by famed showbiz trainer Bill Berloni.

Why itís on stage: Because he is Annieís constant companion.

The poop situation: Marti has a tough act to follow. Her predecessor in "Annie" productions across the country racked up 1,400 performances without an accident.

(Dec. 7-31 at Ordway Center)

"Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley"

The role: Unnamed.

Where it came from: Actor Sun Mee Chomet suggested her friendís dog, a Maltese Yorkie named Lily Bee, for the part. And a star is born.

Why itís on stage: To illustrate that owner Anne de Bourgh wants a lapdog, not a husband.

The poop situation: Heís actually supposed to disgrace himself on stage but ó at least on opening night ó the actors just pretended he did.

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time"

The role: Sandy.

Where it came from: Mixed Blood staffer Madilynn Garciaís mutt, Felix Garcia, snagged the cameo role.

Why itís on stage: To show the main characterís warmer side and to balance out the show, which starts with a dead dog on stage.

The poop situation: Felixís record was impeccable, although there were a few rogue barks.

"Lady Day at Emersonís Bar and Grill"

The role: Pepe.

Where it came from: This role (in real life, a chihuahua) has not yet been cast but artistic director Sarah Rasmussen is on the lookout.

Why itís on stage: To emphasize the loneliness of Billie Holiday at the end of her life.

The poop situation: Itís a very brief role, so Billie (Thomasina Petrus) ó who holds the dog while singing ó should be safe.

"Two Gentlemen of Verona"

The role: Crab.

Where it came from: The black lab (real name: Bear) is owned by actor George Keller, with whom he performed in the show.

Why itís on stage: Youíll have to ask William Shakespeare, who wrote Crab into the play.

The poop situation: Bear was a complete gentleman.



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