The four cutest dogs starring in Broadway shows right now

Broadway is going to the dogs, and we couldn’t be happier about it. Here’s our roundup of the best pooches currently making cuddly cameos on the Great White Way and beyond.



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Ever since Shakespeare stuck a pug on the boards for Two Gentleman of Verona, theater folk have known that four-footed thespians add spice to the show. This season has an especially strong canine vibe. Bill Berloni of Theatrical Animals has been working overtime to find shelter pooches easy to train who will bond with actors. You need a special dog who can keep calm and follow commands in a sometimes hectic atmosphere. Let's give these hard-working mutts a bark of appreciation.

Audra McDonald and Roxie in Lady Day

Audra McDonald and Roxie in Lady Day Photograph: Evgenia Eliseeva

Name: Roxie
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill

What's her story? Getting cuddled eight times a week by Tony-winning diva Audra McDonald—that's one lucky pup! In this cabaret-type play about the last days of Billie Holiday, Roxie plays the legendary singer's constant companion, the only creature she can trust. Word is that Roxie may be a survivor of Hurricane Katrina. Before Lady Day, she had a bigger role as Elle's pet in Legally Blonde. Let's hope Roxie doesn't get the stage bug too bad and start howling during one of Audra's sets!

Karen Ziemba and Trixie in Bullets Over Broadway

Karen Ziemba and Trixie in Bullets Over Broadway Photograph: Paul Kolnik

Name: Trixie
Bullets Over Broadway
Mister Woofles

What's her story? Some dogs are onstage to be cute; others are there to be sight gags. Trixie is a little of both. The unflappable Pomeranian is the furry accessory of theatrical trouper Eden Brent, played by Broadway stalwart Karen Ziemba in Woody Allen's jazzy musical Bullets Over Broadway. Mister Woofles gets carted around by the ditsy, plucky Brent—and whisked away on some fast-moving scenery—but never loses her composure.

Violet appears in Of Mice and Men

Violet appears in Of Mice and Men Photograph: Richard Phibbs

Name: Violet
Of Mice and Men
Candy's dog

What's her story? In John Steinbeck's script, he describes the pooch as "an ancient drag-footed blind sheepdog." Violet is no spring chicken (she might be about 15 years old), but she's not so badly off. The show's publicists say the aged pit bull "had been brought in to a shelter as a stray. The Brooklyn shelter called the family listed on her microchip, who informed them that they did not want her back." Sounds a little like the migrant workers in Steinbeck's tale: drifters without a home. But there's a happy ending (unlike the play): "A family came in and showed interest in Violet, and the dog left the shelter with her new family that day."

Romeo and Michael Park in The Threepenny Opera

Romeo and Michael Park in The Threepenny Opera Photograph: Laura Osnes

Name: Romeo
Show: The Threepenny Opera
Role: Queen Victoria

What's his story? And then there's the edgy upstart—Off Broadway, of course. We don't know if Bertolt Brecht would approve, but this Atlantic Theater Company production of the epochal 1928 musical is nearly stolen by a cute-as-hell bulldog who plays Queen Victoria. His Playbill bio reads: "Romeo was adopted by trainer-guardian William Berloni in 2012 from the Associated Humane Society in Newark, NJ. He was part of a cruelty case where he was rescued from a life as a junkyard dog. He made his theatrical debut February of 2013 as Rufus in Legally Blonde and loves being an actor. He wishes to thank Martha Clarke for giving him his first serious role."

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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