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Broadway Vet & Legally Blonde's "Bruiser" Dies at 14
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:59 am EDT 03/14/19

Chico, the feisty Chihuahua who originated the role of Bruiser in the Broadway production of Legally Blonde-The Musical, passed away on March 11 at home, surrounded by his family, the Tony Award honoree Bill Berloni and producer Dorothy Berloni.

Chico starred in the entire Broadway run of Legally Blonde – The Musical, followed by the national tour and numerous regional productions, before retiring two years ago. His television credits include “From Wags to Riches with Bill Berloni,” MTV’s live taping of Legally Blonde and their reality show “The Search for the Next Elle Woods.” Chico was immortalized when his image was chosen for the official Legally Blonde-The Musical’s official logo.

Chico’s road to stardom was not an easy one. He was on death row when Bill Berloni spotted him at the Associated Humane Society in Newark. He had been severely abused and was frightened and aggressive. “If I didn’t take him, he would have been euthanized,” said Berloni. “Something about him spoke to me, and so we took him and rehabilitated him. The show’s director, Jerry Mitchell, fell in love with him, and with the help and patience of cast members Laura Bell Bundy, Annaleigh Ashford and Christian Borle, he overcame his fears and became an audience favorite, garnering cheers and applause at every performance.”

Chico had the distinction of being the first dog ever trusted to open a Broadway show and deliver crucial exposition, helping to locate his missing, fashion-loving mistress, Elle Woods:

AA: Bruiser, where’s Elle?

Chico: (barks)

AA: She realized she doesn’t have an engagement outfit?

Chico: (barks)

AA: She’s totally freaking out?!

Chico: (barks)

AA: She’s trapped in the old valley mill?!!

Chico: (Barks)

AA: Oh, sorry, the Old Valley Mall.

Donations in Chico’s name can be made to The Sandy Fund at the Humane Society of New York, 306 East 59th Street, New York, New York 10022. The Sandy Fund is an endowment fund to benefit homeless animals created by Bill and Dorothy Berloni in honor of their first canine Broadway start, “Sandy,” the rescue dog that originated the role of Sandy in the musical Annie.
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