Best in Show, a spotlight on Broadway stars and their animal companions, continues with two-time Tony-winning Fun Home star Michael Cerveris and his dog Evangeline. Cerveris will be part of the 18th edition of Broadway Barks, the celebrity-filled dog and cat adoption event co-founded by Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, July 30 in Shubert Alley.
What is your pet’s name, and is there a story behind it?
Michael Cerveris: Evangeline (though she gets called Evie a lot).
Evangeline is associated with Louisiana Cajun culture (which I love) via Longfellow’s poem of the same name. It’s a love story of Evangeline and Gabriel (which happens to be my confirmation name). Evie was rescued near the Louisiana/Mississippi border, so Evangeline seemed like the perfect name for this little scruffy southern belle.
Evangeline also means “Bringer of Good News,” which is pretty true every day.
MC: She’s half Brittany Spaniel and half a whole bunch of stuff (including Alaskan Malamute, according to the DNA test...makes you wonder).
How did you find your pet?
MC: My only successful online dating experience. I had been scrolling through Petfinders.com and Adopt-A-Pet.com websites for awhile after looking for the right companion at last year’s Broadway Barks. Then I saw her photo and description and contacted her rescuers at Southern Paws Inc., a terrific group who saves dogs from southern kill shelters and brings them north to find homes.
What is the one thing your pet has eaten that she shouldn’t have?
MC: Ah, if only it were just one thing. Being a puppy and a hunter, she’s very....curious. She does seem to have a particular death-wish with grapes, which are now banned from the house (unless safely bottled).
What person, living or dead, does your pet remind you of and why?
MC: Emma Stone...I think it’s the freckles and the eyes.
Where does your pet sleep?
MC: In her crate for the first year or so, now pretty much wherever she wants.
Is this your first pet? If not, elaborate?
MC: My previous dog, Gibson, was a veteran of numerous Broadway Barks and a fixture in my dressing room for most of her 16-and-a-half years.
Do you use a groomer, no groomer?
MC: No groomer. She’s a country girl, and bath time is an adventure. For both of us.
Do you dress your pet? If so, what is her favorite or least favorite thing to wear?
MC: Only for the weather.... She has a little green hunter’s jacket for when it gets too cold for a southern girl. She especially likes her snow boots.
Best Halloween costume?
MC: Missed last year—we’ll have to start working on that and Mardi Gras for this year.
Best trip with your pet?
MC: A father/daughter first birthday trip to the Catskills on Memorial Day—hiking, swimming in a lake and having the run of a little cabin. She wore herself happily out every day being a dog.
MC: Her stuffed alligator—I think it reminds her of her roots.
Does your pet do tricks/commands?
MC: Yes, my pet does commands. And, yes, I obey.
If you could talk to your pet for five minutes, what would you ask her?
MC: Seriously, what’s the thing with birds?
Does your pet have a best friend?
MC: Besides me, I hope? Evie is extremely social, so she’s made great friends with everyone at the theatre (the kids LOVE her) and is apparently a hit with dogs and staff alike at her daycare place when she goes there.
Is there a pet product you swear by that you can’t live without?
MC: I bought a maze food bowl that makes her slow down her ravenous eating habits, which I think is much healthier for her. She eats like she did hard time and was always afraid the other inmates were going to steal her food.
If your pet was a character in a Broadway show, who would that character be?
MC: Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird
If there was one thing you would want people to know about your pet, what would it be?
MC: The suspicion you have that she knows your secrets but will never betray them is probably right.
You and your pet go on a talk show. What is your anecdote about her or hers about you?
MC: I shudder to think what her anecdotes about me are.
Most embarrassing thing your pet has ever done in public or when guests are over.
MC: Evie is a perfect Southern Lady and exhibits exemplary southern behavior. When she wants to. Which is also perfect Southern Lady behavior.