By PHILIP CHANDLER
Let the bonding begin.
Two dogs have been selected to play Bruiser Woods in Showbiz Queenstown’s production of Legally Blonde The Musical, hitting the boards in May.
They’re chihuahua, Chico, with his new ‘master’, Pearly McGrath, who plays lead character Elle Woods, and Jack Russell, Maggie.
On stage they’ll also belong to Elle’s sister Margot, played by Kim Shipley.
Chico’s owned by Adam Stockwell — in the movie version, starring Reese Witherspoon, Bruiser is also a chihua hua — and Maggie, who turned up for auditions in a pink tutu, is owned by Fiona Brabant.
Showbiz spokeswoman Zelia Horrell says having two dogs play Bruiser means they don’t have to do so many shows, ‘‘and if one of them ends up not being comfortable with the live theatre/audience environment, there will be back-up’’.
Helping out at the auditions was Remarkable Dogs’ Flip Collins, who’ll also provide ‘‘general dog welfare support’’ throughout the rehearsal/show period.
Horrell says audition tasks included ‘‘simple things like ‘sit’ and ‘stay’, but with the added stimulus of loud music and clapping and cheering, seeing if the dogs would come to the name ‘Bruiser’, checking whether they gelled with Kim and Pearly and, of course, ‘the handbag test’’’.
Legally Blonde runs at Queenstown Memorial Centre from May 20 to 29.