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City Beat: Vito Vincent the cat heads from Hollywood to Broadway

Remember Vito Vincent, the tabby cat who came out west to try to make his way in Hollywood?

I wrote about his quest for acting gigs in a front-page story last March.

In reporting the story, I dined with Vito Vincent and his owner, Michael LeCrichia, at an outdoor cafe at the Grove -- and throughout the meal, as music played and hundreds of people passed by, the cat sat perfectly calmly all by himself in a chair.

Citybeat

At the Grove, he moved with assurance on a leash, walking in and out of stores -- and in the process turning so many heads, he even attracted his own paparazzo.

The story -- and accompanying video -- of the supremely calm cat got Vito Vincent a lot of attention, but, alas, no TV or movie offers. So he and LeCrichia eventually headed back home to the East Coast.

Last year, Vito Vincent nabbed a campaign for an online card company as well as a Target ad. (You might see him soon on billboards, says LeCrichia. Look for the cat in the yellow slicker.)

This year, he got his first big break -- on Broadway.

Vito Vincent has just been chosen to play Cat in a new production of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," starring Emilia Clarke (of "Game of Thrones" fame) and now in previews at the Cort Theatre.

In the play, he appears in two scenes -- at the beginning and at the end -- as well as in Clarke's arms for the curtain call. He stays calm at the sound of thunder and in front of a live audience, and exits the stage on cue, LeCrichia says. While the cat's playing his part, of course, LeCrichia stands in the wings at the ready.

Other cats will be trained for the part so Vito Vincent can have a day off when needed, said LeCrichia. But so far, he's the only one ready -- so he's played each performance since previews began Monday. He has a dressing room -- in which he prefers to perch on a shelf -- and the pay apparently is good enough for cat and trainer to pay the bills.

Vito Vincent's audition attracted the attention of the New York Times this week. 

On Monday, as he made his first stage exit, the audience applauded, LeCrichia said.

On stage at one point, he stops and gives the audience a good look.

"He's quite the ham," said LeCrichia.

-- Nita Lelyveld

Follow City Beat on Twitter at @latimescitybeat and on Facebook. Send ideas for City Beat dispatches to [email protected]

 
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