New dog in town

A surprising actor emerges for the upcoming musical


photo by Abigail Halsey

Winston is ready to help make Legally Blonde a great performance from Oct. 6-9. “I wanted Winston in because he’s cute and everybody loves him and I think it’s fun,” Halsey said.

Jacob Hargens, Staff Reporter

As fall activities get started, the fall musical also gets started, “Legally Blonde.” But “Legally Blonde” isn’t your average musical, there will be on special element to it, as a real dog will perform alongside the cast.

While Winston the long hair miniature dotson hasn’t started rehearsing, the entire cast and crew have been preparing for their roles without the dog for the time being. The lead role is the most excited to be working with him.

“So in the musical, I play Elle Woods with my little dog Bruiser Woods, he is my companion throughout the story,” sophomore Madalynn Johnson said. “I have only had one opportunity other than “Legally Blonde” to work with a dog, and from past experience, it’s so much fun.”

But Johnson isn’t the one who actually owns Winnie, as the owner of the dog is senior Abigail Halsey. She has wanted to be in theatre and found having her dog in the musical was a good way to get involved. The choice to have a dog was necessary as there are two dogs that appear throughout the musical.

“There were auditions to get the dog in and they did simple sit, stay, and come directions as well as tricks and narrowed it down from there,” Halsey said. “I start to go to rehearsals at the end of the month and I’ll be told what to do at the end and tell him to get off stage or to go back on stage.”

While Halsey isn’t actually in the play, that didn’t stop the directors of the musical from choosing her dog from a selection of 10 other dogs. All different breeds of dogs were in the pool to be chosen, and while the companion of the main character is supposed to be a chihuahua, the breed didn’t matter that much.

“All that matters is that the dog is cute and can follow directions,” director Brooke Phillips said. “You could do stuffed dogs, but the audience would have expected real dogs.”

Phillips mentions that it might be hard for the cast and crew to stay focused while rehearsing because the dog might bring distractions, but she and everyone else involved in the musical knows it will work out.

“I think that it will start as a difficult process,” Johnson said. “The reason I say that is because I need to learn to gain the dog’s trust so that when we do start to perform they are not scared of me and it will look more natural, but once we have had more than one rehearsal I think we will be great together.”

While the cast and crew works on the musical, they only have a couple more weeks, as “Legally Blonde” will be performing from Oct. 6-9. It will also come with a special system letting you view any school in Omaha’s version of “Legally Blonde” through a pass.