Bravo Bell, Off-Broadway Theatre Dog, Celebrates National Dog Day at the Players Theatre
Bravo Bell, Off-Broadway Theatre Dog, Celebrates National Dog Day at the Players Theatre.
Nothing has been the same at The Players Theatre since December 1, 2009 when resident producer, Brenda Bell, walked through the front door with a rescue puppy in her arms. "It was the first stop we made after the adoption papers where signed and he has been here with me ever since". The puppy was appropriately named Bravo and serves as the theatre's Guest Relations Manager.
Bravo is a hard working pup who greets the many artists who pass through the Players Theatre on a daily basis. "Everyone looks forward to seeing him when they arrive, in fact, they get upset with me if he's not here" said theatre manager, Courtney Hansen. What does the job description of a canine Guest Relations Manager entail? Well, tail wagging and belly rubs top the list. Stop by any Tuesday afternoon and you will see Bravo surrounded by a gaggle of tiny ballerinas, clad in pink tutus, who are offering the finest group belly-rub hugs in NYC
Bravo has definitely had a PAWSative effect on the Players Theatre. "Performers can get tense before an audition or rehearsal, but Bravo calms everyone down" commented theatre manager, Dan Moldovan. Once an actor had an anxiety attack during a rehearsal at the theatre; the actor pleaded to see Bravo who was happy to assist. After about fifteen minutes of sitting on the floor with Bravo, the actor felt relaxed and was able to return to his rehearsal.
Bravo is a hit with everyone who enters the theatre, no bones about it; but regular renters are particularly fond of him. "Bravo is the face of The Players Theatre Family. Every time I see him I smile ear to ear. Even when he's eating my sandwich" mused Alan Gordon of Alan Gordon Studio.
You would think with all the time Bravo spends at the theatre that he would embark on a stage career of his own. Fur the most part he is content to work his magic behind the scenes but every year he agrees to strut his stuff in the theatre's annual holiday show: A Christmas Carol - the musical. Bravo plays the role of "the dog" in the opening number. While Bravo has never missed a performance he sometimes gets the urge to improvise. As part of the gig he was taught to lick the actor playing Ebenezer Scrooge; but every once in a while he decides to ad lib. "I always know when he is going to try something - he gets a twinkle in his eye" joked Eric Fletcher who plays Scrooge. Even if he yawns instead of giving a kiss the audience always howls with laughter right on cue.
While nearly perfect, this theatre mutt does have his obsessions. For Bravo, it is known by the name of PIZZA; the staple of any starving artist. You can't enter the building with a slice without Bravo sniffing it out. But he is happy to wait patiently for a bit of crust. "I always save a piece of my crust for Bravo" said theatre owner, Michael Sgouros "I don't mind that at all. What bothers me is he steals all my belly rubs!"
In these dog days of summer it is refreshing to know you can count on Bravo, the actors best friend, to keep things cool!
You can meet Bravo Bell this December at the Players Theatre while he is appearing in A Christmas Carol - the musical or just stop by any time and ask for him.
For tickets or more information visit: ScroogeintheVillage.com.