Rosie Is the Cat in the Hat

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas may be topping the box office, but the Broadway musical Seussical is not a hit with New York audiences, who do not like it, no, not one little bit.

Producers are trying a new trick by hiring a new Cat in the Hat. The bow-tied, top-hatted, rhyming feline will temporarily be played by TV host — and confessed Broadway fanatic — Rosie O'Donnell.

Rosie, who has unofficially announced the end of her talk show, will appear in the role from Jan. 16 to Feb. 10, she announced during the taping of her show yesterday. This is traditionally the slowest period for Broadway, but with Rosie on board, The New York Times predicts that business will triple.

On her daytime talk show, Rosie often encourages audiences to catch Broadway productions and has served as a frequent host of the Tony Awards. She's also trodden the boards herself, in a 1994 revival of Grease (she played bad girl Rizzo).

"I love [Seussical] and I thought the critics did it a disservice with their reviews," Rosie, who said she will donate her salary to charity, tells the Times. "As a parent and a mom and someone who loves the theater, this is one show that should survive."

A film version of The Cat in the Hat, to star Buzz Lightyear voicer Tim Allen, was announced in August.

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