Broadway newcomer Hunter Ryan Herdlicka figures he should play by the rules for now. So when the actor, currently starring in the revival of A Little Night Music, was told that his theater didn’t allow pets backstage, he didn’t bring his new puppy to work with him.
But it seems management may have made an exception for another dog, a rather regal Coton de Tulear named Figaro.
Figaro belongs to Catherine Zeta-Jones, who recently won a Tony for her performance in the Stephen Sondheim musical, and the fluffy white pooch had a reputation of his own.
“Figgy’s a celebrity,” Herdlicka told PEOPLEPets.com at Broadway Barks, his new co-star Bernadette Peters’s annual adoption extravaganza. “He’s very, very sweet, and very gentle, but he won’t climb stairs.”
Due to his no-stairs rule, Figaro was given a special 2-ft.-by-2-ft. landing right near the curtain. “He never moved from that spot. He was always there, greeting everyone,” Herdlicka said.
Mostly, Figaro was on his best behavior, except for one night, during a live performance, when Zeta-Jones was in the middle of singing the landmark number, “Send In the Clowns” – Figgy started barking along! Herdlicka had to run over to the vocal pooch and quiet him down.
Figaro was such a fixture that everyone knew that his arrival meant Zeta-Jones wasn’t far behind. He was the first to come through the door on the way to the dressing room, and the first to exit the theater before Zeta-Jones stepped out to greet fans and sign autographs.
“He’s part of the entourage,” says Herdlicka, whose own entourage includes puppy Quincy, a Yorkshire terrier-Jack Russell mix that he recently adopted from the ASPCA. “Catherine, she can’t do a show without him. She doesn’t go anywhere without him. She loves him so much.”
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