The black-hearted soul who dumped hundreds of domesticated rats onto the West Side Highway last summer unwittingly threw away a Broadway star. Today the Times reveals that one of those albino rats, named Rose, now plays the role of the protagonist’s pet rat in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

After we published the tip about the abandoned rats, the rat-rescue community converged on the elevated patch of grass next to 12th Avenue near 57th Street to rescue as many as they could. Video confirmed that many of the rats met a grisly fate.

Of the rats who were saved, three were adopted by Lydia DesRoche, the trainer for the rat in the play.

The Times reports that she “fed them corn and peas and edamame and yogurt and avocado sushi and bits of dark chocolate” and nursed them back to health. Rose became the strongest and boldest of the three, so when the rat starring in the play fell ill, and her understudy became overworked, DesRoche decided it was Rose’s turn.

It was love at first sight. Ms. DesRoche began bringing Rose every day, wearing her in a carrier around her neck as she made her rounds before the show and backstage for Tulip’s entrances and exits.

On Jan. 14, Rose accompanied Ms. DesRoche to the Ethel Barrymore Theater and stopped in the green room for some social time with Tyler Lea and Benjamin Wheelwright, the two young actors who play the lead character.

Rose crawled across Mr. Wheelwright’s arm, down his shirt, over to Mr. Lea. She sat calmly in Mr. Lea’s hand — the first time she had let him hold her. He stroked her back. And then Rose did something special. She bruxed, and she boggled.

If you're unfamiliar with the term “bruxing and boggling,” the Times helpfully provided an example.

Rose's debut performance was yesterday.


The mystery of who dumped Rose and her kin onto the West Side Highway remains. Maybe they'll show up to the theater with a dozen roses and an apology, and Rose will have the pleasure of summoning security.