El Dorado Musical Theatre (EDMT) recently cast 44 local performers aged 12 to 22 in its upcoming production, “Legally Blonde,” as well as two rescue pooches.
The show features Heather Clark as “Elle Woods,” Jonny Cranmer as “Emmett Forrest,” Andrew Wilson as “Warner Huntington III,” and Jillian Curry as “Paulette,” and a deep and talented supporting cast. Two local rescue dogs were cast as “Bruiser” and “Rufus.”
“Legally Blonde” follows sorority star Elle Woods, who doesn’t take “no” for an answer. So when her boyfriend dumps her for someone “serious,” Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books, and sets out to go where no Delta Nu has gone before: Harvard Law. Along the way, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style.
Jagger Minnie, a 9-month-old Chihuahua, was recently cast as “Bruiser,” Elle Woods’ fashionista sidekick. Before being cast as Bruiser, Jagger’s claim to fame was being a littermate to Tiny Beyoncé, who made her worldwide media debut last spring as the world’s tiniest puppy. Jagger was born under the watchful eye of The Grace Foundation in El Dorado Hills, which rescued his mother from an over-crowded shelter.
True to his tiny breed, Jagger tends to be wary of “big” things – noises, people, other dogs, so owner/trainer Kristin Minnie of The Local Bark will focus on acclimating him to bright lights and backstage buzz.
“Fortunately Jagger is extremely treat-motivated, so he seems to be able to forget about those fears if there is a promise of food,” says Minnie.
Stage dogs aren’t new to the Minnie household. Jagger’s packmate Jake, a Labradoodle, appeared as “Sandy” in EDMT’s Annie in 2008.
Kiki King, a 3-year-old Frenglish Bulldog, will play “Rufus,” Paulette’s beloved bulldog. Kiki was rescued by NorCal Bulldog Rescue in Folsom as a stray. She was adopted by Ann King, dog trainer at The Local Bark.
Kiki isn’t exactly the typical stage dog. She’s deaf, so giving her direction with verbal cues is not an option. She must watch for hand signals.
According to King, “Deafness in dogs usually doesn’t present much of an obstacle in their learning. But combine the deafness with the fact that Kiki’s a bulldog? That’s a little more challenging.”
Her performing independently will depend on the actors getting eye contact and Kiki knowing they have treats. She’ll follow anyone for food.
These dogs and their hard-working trainers will show the community that rescue dogs with questionable backgrounds not only make great pets, but like Elle Woods, can surpass expectations.