Canine cuties cast in ‘Legally Blonde’

BOWLING GREEN, O.—The two newest, furriest members of the cast of “Legally Blonde” have been chosen by the Bowling Green State University Department of Theatre and Film.

Bruiser Woods will be played by Nugget, a Yorkshire terrier owned by Erica Pax, a BGSU graduate student in Learning Design from Bowling Green. Rufus, Paulette’s dog, will be played by Kit, a Pomeranian owned by Devon Holbrook, a bachelor of fine arts major in photography from Elmore. The understudy for Bruiser is a Maltese named Poco, and the understudy for Rufus is a mixed breed named Pluto, both of whom are owned by Nikki Badman of Bowling Green. The precocious pooches will be trained by Calla Ramsey as they prepare for their theatrical debut.

When the show premieres on April 24, the dogs will be able to bark and leap on cue. “I love how fun and silly the show can be, but also what a great message it sends to everyone,” said Tader Shipley, cast as Elle Woods. “And I won’t lie, I am also pretty excited that I get to work with a real dog throughout the show.”

The Department of Theatre and Film pounced on the opportunity to help animals in conjunction with “Legally Blonde.”

“Though the show itself does not deal with this issue at all, we hope people will be made more aware that April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month and how important it is to care of pets responsibly,” said director Dr. Michael Ellison, an associate professor of theater and film. “Elle says that ‘Bruiser is family’ and she takes great care of him.”

Ellison has coordinated with Planned Pethood of Toledo and Cutie’s Fund, which raises money to care for dogs in need of medical care, to engage and educate the community.

According to Nikki Morey, executive director of Planned Pethood, “Animal cruelty is a lot more pervasive than people think it is. A lot of people, when we think of words like ‘animal cruelty’ think it’s the horrific pictures we see online, but it’s also neglect and physical abuse. ”

Animal abusers do not treat pets like part of the family. “They’re relegated to the outside or the basement, or the owners are using corporal punishment to control the animal or break its spirit,” she said.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, of media-reported animal cruelty cases, dogs are the most common victims of animal cruelty. In 2007, dog abuse reached 64.5 percent of all animal cruelty reports.

Planned Pethood representatives will be in the lobby before each performance to promote the organization and its educational programs. Representatives of Cutie’s Fund of Lucas County will be in the lobby each night as well, taking donations. Donations can also be made online at: http://lucascountydogs.com/donate/cuties-fund/.

See “Legally Blonde” on the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell stage at 8 p.m. on April 24–27 or at 2 p.m. on April 26. For tickets, call the Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or visit BGSU.edu/arts.