The Garden Theatre features the Central Florida premiere of"Legally Blonde: The Musical." However, many in the audience might argue thatthe star of the show isn't Kristen Cheola as "Elle Woods" but the Chihuahua"Bruiser."
"Youjust prepare your actors, the real actors, for whatever [the dog] couldpossibly do on stage," explains the show's director Scott Cook. "Youhope your actor can cover. We have a plan A, a plan B, a plan C, and sometimesthat doesn't even work!"
Toensure things run as smoothly as possible on-stage, Cook and the show'sproducers cast two Chihuahuas in the role of "Bruiser." That means the team atPinky's Dog Training has twice the work!
"Training a dog for stage is just like training a dogto do anything," says Kyle Kittleson, the lead trainer with Pinky's. "Exceptwhen [the dog] is on stage, it has that one chance to get it right, so that'swhere the pressure comes in."
One of the dogs cast as "Bruiser" came from a localanimal shelter, so it didn't have a home; but, during show preparations, atrainer with Pinky's fostered the dog until it did find a permanent home – withone of the cast members from Legally Blonde.
"Regardless of this show and what Bruiser does,what I'm most passionate about and what means the most to me is making surethese dogs have great homes outside of the theater," added Kittleson.
Now, thanks to this musical, both "Bruisers" do havegood homes.
TheTheatreWorks Florida production of "Legally Blonde: The Musical" runs throughOctober 28th at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden. For moreinformation and tickets, visit the Garden Theatre website.
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