Theater News

Pet Stories

Sam Harris, Cassandra Creech, and Harvey Fierstein have pet stories.

Asking folks about their pets is sort of akin to asking actors about their resumes. I opened up a whole can of peas when I brought up the animal subject to a few rabid dog-lovers. And it ain’t just puppy love! These New York actors have owned everything from boas to vermin and hares. (Oh my.)

Do you have any interesting pet stories?

Emma and Zach
Emma and Zach

I’ve had many, many pets in my day. I had little white mice, a boa constrictor named Joey (who died of pneumonia,) and a pig named Lillian. Did you know that pigs are very affectionate and clean? I did, however, get to say terrible, terrible things to Lillian. When she would misbehave, I’d scream, “You’re a pig!” or “If you don’t calm down, there’ll be bacon in the morning!”

There have always been lots of dogs and cats in my life. My dogs are Zach, a shepherd/Dane mix, and Emma, a basset/diva mix. Emma is resting on her chaise lounge with her head on a pillow as we speak. She has nothing in common with other dogs. She watches TV and absolutely hates certain actors. We decided it was because she was up for their role, and that’s why

Sam Harris, appearing inRevival: The Concert,at Bottom Line, June 5 and 6.
Sam Harris, appearing in
Revival: The Concert,
at Bottom Line, June 5 and 6.

she exhibits such attitude. This running joke turned into: “Spielberg called and offered the part to Emma, but she needs re-writes and Kevyn Aucoin to do her makeup.”

There are some fascinating projects in the works for her, like Emma and the Angry Itch, Saving Emma Ryan, The History of Emma Vep, Emma’s View, Emma Get Your Bone, Emma Joe’s Café, and Forbidden Broadway Cleans Up After Emma. She has a whole fictitious life, which is quite disconcerting. There is absolutely no backlash with Zach. After all, he’s a free-spirited athletic, life-embracing dog. And they’re inseparable. But Emma has needs.

– Sam Harris

We have three dogs and they are a huge part of our family. I call them our “Motley Crew.” My husband, Jonny, had Max , the golden retriever, before we met. Max is the old soul, and keeps everything in our house peaceful. He’s the original feng shui dog. Tiger Lily, a Staffordshire bull terrier, came to us in an interesting way. I walked into a pet store to buy some dog food, and certainly not to get another pet. A homeless man came in hoping to find a good home for his puppy. The dog was very shy,

Cassandra Creech,Denise Maynard onAs The World Turns
Cassandra Creech,
Denise Maynard on
As The World Turns

but came right up to me. What could I do? She really adopted me.

And Woodstock? Well, honey, he’s just for comic relief! He’s kind of a mess–part Lab and part pit-bull, but an unknown quantity, really. He has developed a weird habit of stealing my panties. I’ve lost about 20 pairs to that puppy! (Don’t ask.) I’d love to get into their heads to hear what they say about us. And these dogs are show biz, baby! They get more press than I do. They’ve had several articles in soap magazines, they’ve joined me on a bunch of public appearances, and they’ve been on TV. They’re all so well behaved–much more so than my husband!
– Cassandra Creech

I once had a rabbit as a pet. He lived in my dressing room when I did Torch Song Trilogy. This rabbit was a thoughtful gift from someone who wanted to make sure my life would not be easy. Arnold the rabbit was personally kitty litter-trained by Jack Wrangler, but no one could break him of the habit of eating telephone cords. So I was hard to get a hold of in those years. Arnold also showed a penchant for eating velour. Hence, the many holes in my costume–not to mention the rather seedy couch on which I greeted guests. The most famous incident, let me just say, involved Arnold, a full-length rabbit fur coat, and Barbra Streisand. I am not at liberty to say more.
– Harvey Fierstein, playwright/actor

Click here to visit Jim Caruso’s website.