Broadway stars greet dozens of admirers daily at the stage door, but sometimes their biggest fans are waiting at home: their dogs! In honor of the annual Broadway Barks dog and cat adoption event (on July 13 in Shubert Alley), we reached out to some of our favorite pet-owning performers and asked them to spill about their loyal four-legged friends. Today, Matilda scene-stealer Lesli Margherita reveals which raunchy TV character inspired the name of her pooch, where Doggie Disneyland is located and why her "Jack Russell Terror" might need to go to AA meetings.
LESLI MARGHERITA (Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda)
What is your pet's name and breed?
Stewie. He is a Jack Russell Terror. You read that correctly.
How did your pet get its name?
My last Jack Russell (I'm a little Mariah Carey-ish with the Jack Russell thing) was named Bob Barker. It was gonna be hard to top that. But I love Family Guy, and when we met him, he was so so frighteningly smart, it was like...yup. Stewie.
What is your pet's favorite pastime?
Non. Stop. Ball. He is rarely without a tennis ball, ready to drop it in your lap to throw. He also loves going on the "cart ride" at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Now I have to go to the store just to take him around in the doggie carts they have and go up and down on the elevator. I call it Doggie Disneyland.
Does your pet know any tricks?
He knows all the basics, and will do the "bang bang" shoot and fall over thing if there are treats involved. His greatest trick, though, has to be his incredible acting skills. When I get home, if I find he has accidentally left me a "package" and scream "Stewart!" (his name when I'm mad), he will literally run over, look between me and "it" in utter shock, and then start looking around the room for the perpetrator. He is very convincing. I don't know his process, but he seems determined to master his craft until I fully believe him.
What's the funniest thing your pet has done?
Whenever we go to the "toy store" (Petco), he walks up and down the aisles, pulling things down and trying to put them in the basket, as if he is saying "I need this...and this...oh yeah, and this..." They say dogs take after their owners...
What's the naughtiest thing your pet has done?
He has a drinking problem. One night my husband was having a beer, and left for a minute. We came back to Stewie holding the bottle in his paws, guzzling it down. I'm trying to at least get him to switch to Champagne.
Do you look like your pet?
Oh yeah. Same nose, big eyes, pin head. He doesn't have hair extensions, though. Or if he does, it's a terrible job, because I'm always vacuuming them up after falling out.