From the scruffy mutt in "Annie" to the spoiled chihuahua in "Legally Blonde," a new pack of four-legged talent is taking the stage.
Canine counterparts to the stars are finding a new life under the spotlight. Hoping for little more than unconditional love, these famed canines were not always the well-groomed actors they are today. Homeless, abused and shelter bound, Broadway's underdogs came from humble beginnings.
Without so much as a dance lesson, these talented pups successfully stole the show (and our hearts) and paved the way for aspiring canine thespians.
Orphan Annie isn't the only homeless darling in theaters. Headline-stealing mutt Sandy, played by Sunny, knows the role of a destitute dog all too well. Living in a kill shelter with only a mere 48 hours to live, Sunny was miraculously rescued by Tony-honored animal trainer William Berloni.
The famed stage-dog guru has a knack for taking strays from wags to riches. Accredited for rescuing the original Sandy in 1976 just hours before the dog was to be euthanized, Berloni has since partnered with Pedigree Dog Food to launch "Sandy's Rescue Pal's." The adoption program hosts weekly in-theater adoption events to raise awareness and save innocent lives.
'Legally Blonde - The Musical'
Sorority queen and Harvard hopeful Elle Woods takes on law school against all odds. Along for the ride, her sophisticated pal Bruiser, played by Frankie the Chihuahua, joins her for moral support and an occasional mani-pedi. It's hard to believe this pampered pup went from starving artist to Broadway star.
Found at a Connecticut animal shelter, the 2-year-old stray was given a second chance in the spotlight. The musical may be over for now but you can still treat your pet to a spaw party. For "mommy and me" manicure's, try Pet Head's line of puppy polish that's safe for dogs and humans.
Now on tour, critics are raving about this Tony-winning revival. Perhaps it's the breathtaking acrobatics, exuberant jazz-hands or maybe it's the unscripted cameo appearance of one fluffy cast member fans can't get enough of.
Matthew James Thomas, the star of the show, was on a mission to rescue a new companion from the Humane Society when he passed by a run down pet store. Through the pet store window a helpless pup caught his eye. Despite his intentions to rescue from a shelter, the actor saved his new friend, Porridge, from another day in misery. Curious to see what Porridge brings to the table in this classic revival? Get tickets to this Broadway favorite from Telecharge.
'A Christmas Story - The Musical'
Lucky dogs Pete and Lily get more than a starring role on the main stage. Foul play is encouraged and rewarded in this holiday favorite. Cast as the Bumpus Hounds, these former shelter pups are classically trained to table surf. Although normally well-behaved, the dynamic duo nail their roles by obeying strict orders to steal the Parkers' holiday turkey in the classic dinner scene.
Discovered in Canada at Ontario Bloodhound Rescue, the two now live with famed animal trainer William Berloni at his Connecticut ranch.
Guest post by writer, pet lover and volunteer Helen Cole.