Broadway Continues Going to the Dogs with Porridge in ‘Pippin’

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porridge-pippinWhat’s with animals on Broadway this season?  Not only do we have a cat in Breakfast at Tiffany‘s and a dog in Annie, but another pooch has taken the stage in the revival of Pippin.  However, Porridge the dog isn’t some superstar stage dog.  In fact, the poodle-mix is owned and trained by Matthew James Thomas, who also stars in Pippin at the Music Box Theatre.

Thomas, a UK actor who debuted on Broadway in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark as the alternate Spider-Man (performing in two shows per week), bought Porridge from a rundown pet store after moving to New York City.  He explains to The New York Post, “Through the window, I saw a little black dog curled up in a cage, and he just looked at me.”  Though he took a brief trip to Starbucks to convince himself to stick to his original plan of adopting a puppy from the Human Society, he couldn’t help himself and returned to buy Porridge, whom he named after a family dog that had once saved the life of Thomas’ mother.

While Thomas was rehearsing for Pippin after leaving Spider-Man, he brought Porridge to a rehearsal.  The dog’s focused behavior intrigued director Diane Paulus, and she decided to cast Porridge in the play in a small role that has become a hit with audiences.

So how did Thomas become a dog trainer during the demanding hours of a Broadway actor?  Though Porridge is well-trained, Thomas admits the training wasn’t actually difficult.  “Sometimes I just take away his favorite toy,” he explains.  

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About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...)For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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