By PHILIP CHANDLER
Release the hounds.
Showbiz Queenstown’s holding dog auditions this Sunday for a major canine role in its
production of Legally Blonde The Musical, hitting the stage in late May.
The dog, Bruiser Woods, will belong on stage to lead character Elle Woods, played by Pearly McGrath, and her stage sister Margot, played by Kim Shipley, who happens to be a
dog control officer.
In the movie versions, Elle was played by Reese Witherspoon, whose dog was a chihuahua.
McGrath says: ‘‘I don’t think it has to be a chihuahua, we’re just looking for something little
and cute and well behaved.
‘‘I have two dogs, I would love them to be Bruiser, but they are too big.’’
McGrath, best known for singing in bands around town, says she’s never performed on stage with an animal.
‘‘It’s going to be fun — it’s lucky I’m very familiar with dogs.
‘‘Me and Kim, we have quite a few scenes with the doggy, so it has to like me, or pretend to like me.’’
It’s not the first time Showbiz has needed a K9 on stage — both performances of Annie, in 1989 and 2016, needed a pooch treading the boards, as did 2007’s The Wizard of Oz.
Legally Blonde will finally run at Queenstown Memorial Centre from May 20 to 29.
It was originally scheduled last May but became a Covid victim — rehearsals had been underway but the dog part hadn’t been filled.
‘‘We’ve kind of got to the point where everything we do from now on [at rehearsals] is new territory, which is quite exciting.’’
● The dog audition’s this Sunday, March 14, 1-3pm, at Showbiz Queenstown’s Isle Street rooms; pre-register through firstname.lastname@example.org or by messaging the Showbiz Facebook page.