|Small Poodle, Big Star|
|The Shubert Theater's production of Gypsy in New York includes a star poodle named Coco. Her stage name is Chowsie, and because she weighs a little more than two pounds, she is easily tossed into the arms of co-star Bernadette Peters.
Coco shares the spotlight with an animal colleague, a pure white lamb. Both animals share a dressing room constructed especially for them below the stage.
Coco was discovered after an Internet search by animal trainer Bill Berloni. He reports he trained the 5-month-old dog not to be upset or frightened by all the people, and of course, by the applause. Berloni has also trained a sheep dog for a revival of "Camelot," and Asta, a wire-haired terrier in "Nick and Nora," a musical based on "The Thin Man."
Berloni and Peters both love animals. As a co-founder of Broadway Barks, which each year seeks to get homeless animals adopted into good homes, Peters is an animal activist and Berloni works with the Humane Society of New York where he is director of animal behavior.