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6 Unforgettable Animals on Broadway in 2014

Rats, cats, and turtles were among the nonhuman stars in this year's slate of productions.

From dogs to rats to that fish Hugh Jackman cooks in The River, the animal population was very well represented onstage in 2014. Here, we count down our favorite nonhuman cast members to grace Broadway over the past 12 months.

6. Mr. Woofles
Amid the tap-dancing gangsters, soft-shoeing hot dogs, and reconstituted period songs of Woody Allen and Susan Stroman's Bullets Over Broadway was the fetching Pomeranian Trixie. Trixie had perhaps the hardest role in the show, a gender-confused character called Mr. Woofles, the neurotic companion of Karen Ziemba's daffy character Eden Brent. She pulled it off with aplomb.

Karen Ziemba and Trixie in Bullets Over Broadway at the St. James Theatre.
(© Paul Kolnik)

5. Toby
Rats are gross. But Toby, the gorgeous snow-white rodent companion of Christopher Boone (played by Alex Sharp) in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, actually made us believe that we'd want one of our very own. She's that good. (And yes, she's a lady rat.)

Alex Sharp and Toby in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Barrymore Theatre.
(© Joan Marcus)

4. Rocky Balboa's Turtles
Every time Andy Karl walked into his apartment onstage in the short-lived musical Rocky, he had one greeting: "Yo, turtles!" Who knew if there actually were turtles on that massive set? As TheaterMania found out, there were, albeit in ceramic form.

Rocky Balboa's turtles in Rocky at the Winter Garden Theatre.
(© David Gordon)

3. Groucho and Harpo
A bit of controversy erupted when You Can't Take It With You held auditions for a pair of cats, and we felt that the right performers didn't get cast. However, the show rotates its felines, which are placed up for adoption when they leave the company, so it's all nice and fair, and they all get a good home.

The cast of You Can't Take it With You auditions cats for a role in the comedy at the Longacre Theatre.
(© David Gordon)

2. Candy's Dog
It's hard to steal scenes from the likes of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd, and Jim Norton, but Violet did just that in Of Mice and Men. As the unnamed canine companion of Norton's character Candy, the wide-eyed Violet broke our hearts just as much as Norton did, and we haven't been the same since.

James Franco, Jim Norton, and Violet in Of Mice and Men at the Longacre Theatre.
(© Richard Phibbs)

1. Pepe
When you're onstage opposite Audra McDonald, you stay out of the way. Unless you're a dog. Fortunately for Roxie, who played Billie Holiday's dog Pepe in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, the Tony winner was happy to share (and even potentially cede) the spotlight whenever Roxie took the stage. Read what Roxie had to say about this experience.

Roxie and Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill at the Circle in the Square Theatre.
(© Joan Marcus)