Choosing star feline for Broadway revival, like herding cats

Anyone who has seen the classic film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" starring Audrey Hepburn will remember the climactic scene that turns on a cat named Cat.

In a fit of pique, a distraught Holly Golightly tosses Cat by the curb in the pouring rain.

Today the latest generation of Cat is about to make their star turn on Broadway, but just days before previews the director had yet to make his pick of the litter of hopefuls.

As the New York Times pointed out in a recent article, while the role may not be speaking one, it's demanding nonetheless - especially for a breed of animal actor that may have his or her own ideas about how to tplay the part.

 The role requires not only an animal that can handle lights, microphones and an audience, but also one that can cross the stage, sit, stay and exit on cue, the newspaper explained.

Whether it's the donkeys in the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall or the shaggy pooch in "Annie," animals are the bain of any theater director, because you can never be absolutely sure your four-legged players are going to play along on any given night.

Open casting call for Cat did not go so well, the Times reports, when more than 100 star-struck owners turned up with cats who were, well, amateurs. Some fled the stage; others were slow to learn commands.

As animal trainer Bill Beloni put it, having a cat in a play can mean designing the action around it, “as opposed to going, ‘The cat has to walk to center stage and do something,’ because cats don’t do that.".

So the animal pros turned to Vito and Monte, theater veterans who duked it out for star billing.

We'll let the Times take the story from here.

 The revival of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," starring Emilia Clarke, (and a mystery cat) opens March the Cort Theatre.

Photo/New York Times