TENOR's 'Mouse-gate:' The Mouse Responds
Last week, cast members of LEND ME A TENOR were joined on stage by an unwanted furry friend, who dashed across the stage during a scene between Tony Shalhoub and Justin Bartha during a hotel scene. After hearing of the incident, PETA offered to help, and sent a letter to Jonathan Shulman, the manager of the theater, requesting the use of only humane mouse-control methods. PETA has sent along humane mouse traps that will allow theater staff to catch any future visitors and release them unharmed in a nearby park.
Click here to read Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman's appeal to Shulman on BroadwayWorld.
Today, "tito the mouse" released his own statement on "Mouse-gate" as a response to PETA.
RE: Mouse-gate 2010
To Ms. Tracy Reiman and the PETA community:
I was disheartened to read your statement to Broadwayworld.com with regard to my debut in Tuesday's performance of Lend Me a Tenor at the Music Box Theatre. To suggest that mice have, as you put it, "No business in show business" is an insult to the accomplishments of my furry forefathers. Moreover, in a week when nominators for the Tonys, Drama Desks, and Rodentias are scrutinizing my performance under the tiniest microscope, you are, bluntly, freaking me out.
Mice have a long, illustrious history in the theatre, as well as in the larger arts community. In the seventy-three years since John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" opened at the Music Box (!), names like Fievel and Mickey have become part of our cultural history. Where would the Mad hatter be without his comical Dormouse? Tom without his Jerry? Nursery rhymes without the three disabled mice? Perhaps you missed their sensational turn in last season's musical Shrek!
As you highlight, "Mice are sensitive individuals with unique and fascinating personalities. They feel pain and fear, and they giggle when they are having fun." As anyone in Tuesday's audience can attest, my chemistry with my co-stars Tony Shalhoub and Justin Bartha was downright palpable. Combining their incredible and impeccable timing with my singular and nuanced scamper, we brought down the house with thunderous laughter and applause. At that moment, a star was born.
No matter how kind your intentions, you are speaking of "humane mouse traps." Where's Actors' Equity?! In short, you are threatening my livelihood, and more importantly, my life! I would prefer if you would refrain from such extreme measures. I've worked my entire career to make it to Broadway. Don't you realize it took us almost twenty years to close CATS?!
cc: The cast and company of Lend me a Tenor