The theater department is presenting Legally Blonde at the end of the year, and they have some very special guest performers. Gertie and Maude, two Chihuahuas rescued from a commercial breeder by Columbia Second Chance animal shelter, will be appearing as Bruiser, Elle Woods furry sidekick.
For those who haven’t seen the popular movie, Elle Woods starts her journey as a spoiled Sorority girl who gets into Harvard Law School in order to recapture the attention of her ex boyfriend. Bruiser is her loyal Chihuahua who follows her through thick and thin. In the musical adaptation, these dogs will be expected to bark on command, jump into the arms of specific actors, move to certain areas of the stage at specific moments and other various tricks.
Senior theater student Allison Frisch has been appointed to train and house the dogs until the performances. “It’s been a little hectic,” Frisch said, “but it’s fun. I think they’ll be ready by the time the show opens.”
Frisch has started a blog following the pups’ progress and their adjustment to life outside their home with the commercial breeder. It can be followed at arf.hubpages.com.
The theater department hopes that Gertie and Maude will find homes through this experience.
“I think it’s great the theater department is helping the dogs to find a home,” Leslie Hudson, senior theater student, said. “I hope this encourages other students on campus to look at local shelters when adopting pets.”
The dogs have made some appearances at the theatre, as Frisch is trying to socialize them. This is so Gertie and Maude won’t be frightened when faced with a stage full of singing and dancing actors.
“We want to play with them, but we don’t want to undo their training,” Olivia Romeo, senior theater student, said. “We have to show a lot of restraint,” she said jokingly.
If you are interested in adopting Gertie or Maude, applications are online at www.columbia2ndchance.org.