A white rat named Rose exited stage right tragically this week. She was a Broadway star who came from nothing, a self-made rat who died tragically young at a mere eight months. But oh, oh, how she lived.
The Curious Incident Of The Rat In The Play-Time
“It was just a horrible freak accident,” said trainer Lydia DesRoche.
Tragedy struck Rose, literally, as a metal door on a shelf she was on came off its hinges and smushed the young starlet. It was reported in The New York Times, which might seem ridiculous to some. OR WOULD IT? Rose the Rat is no mere rat! In fact, all this happened while she was on stage, four days into her Broadway career as a supporting actress in the cast of the hit show The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Rose was supposed to come free of her cage and give the lead character Christopher (played by human Tyler Lea) a kiss. Rose, like other flustered newcomers to the great white way, wasn’t perfect just yet.
“She was really getting into the kiss,” Her trainer said. “She was just starting to open up.”
Rats To Riches
Rose was one of a strange group of street albino rats inauspiciously dumped on the West Side Highway near 57th Street last year. Unlike other rats, who would go slightly north and east to find shelter in Central Park, or perhaps go down 34th to Macy’s and do some light shopping, Rose was in the group of over 500 rescued.
The city tried to poison the whole group, but Rose’s trainer, Lydia, and other like-minded individuals, would not let the mass of little white rats meet a fate so cruel, especially after beating the odds of ending up as snake food in a pet store or spending their lifespan trying to get their one-rat show seen deep in the heart of Queens, in a venue that’s half-bar, half-pool tables with a stage-ish area and only reachable via the Q.
Suspected Foul Play?
No, the police haven’t done any investigative reporting. But we can, here, in our minds. Oooh. I bet it was that other albino rat, the one who watched on from the wings, night after night – the one who has Tyler’s coffee every day during rehearsals. HOLD ON, HOT HEAD. Oh, it’s our mental police captain. YOU CAN’T JUST JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS LIKE THAT. I’LL HAVE YOUR BADGE IF YOU TREAT THIS LIKE THE OWL CASE – YOU KNOW THAT OWL DIDN’T EAT YOUR SANDWICH. I’m sorry, Sarge. SORRY DOESN’T BRING BACK THAT POLICE CRUISER. I’M GETTING TOO OLD FOR THIS.
Famous Friends Say Goodbye
Another Manhattanite rodent, Pizza Rat, had this to say:
“Squeak squeak squeak. Squeak squeak squeak.”
Truly, a thing.
DesRoche has great memories of moments shared with the rat: “She was always on those shelves. She would run up and down them and dangle from them. She’s just a feisty, agile, fearless precocious rat, and she loved adventure.”
Ironically, if only she’d followed her mom and dad’s advice to go back to school, maybe get her master’s in cooking, she could have been the lead of her own movie and taught us all about alternating slices of squash, tomatoes, and clever wordplay – yes, ratatouille. But Rose, like many other Broadway-bound babies, wouldn’t let a conventional life hold her back from her dreams.
To quote Oscar Wilde – another Broadway alum, “We are all of us in the gutters, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Only one star on Broadway literally knew what that was like. Rest in peace, Rose. We’ll all squint for a hot minute, and the lights on Broadway will dim for you.