Chico, the canine star of ‘Legally Blonde — The Musical,’ has died

NEW YORK — Chico, the Chihuahua from “Legally Blonde — The Musical,” has died, his owner said.

The dog was 14.

Chico won hearts as Bruiser, the pet of the main character Elle Woods, during the musical’s 2007-2008 Broadway run. It was based on the popular 2001 Reese Witherspoon movie.

“On Monday, March 11th, our beloved Chico crossed the rainbow bridge,” an Instagram caption with photos of Chico said. “His journey to the Palace Theater, where he originated the role of Bruiser Woods in LEGALLY BLONDE – THE MUSICAL, began at the Associated Humane Society in Newark, NJ when he was mistakenly shown to Bill.”

According to the caption, Chico had been severely abused and was slated to be euthanized when owner William Berloni found him.

 

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On Monday, March 11th, our beloved Chico crossed the rainbow bridge. His journey to the Palace Theater, where he originated the role of Bruiser Woods in LEGALLY BLONDE – THE MUSICAL, began at the Associated Humane Society in Newark, NJ when he was mistakenly shown to Bill. Chico had been severely abused and was actually slated for euthanasia. He “spoke” to Bill that day, however, and despite everyone at the shelter telling him he was the absolute wrong choice, Bill took him…if nothing else to find him the perfect forever home. Destiny intervened at a press event for LEGALLY BLONDE when the show’s director, Jerry Mitchell, fell in love with our little chihuaha and declared “This is our Bruiser!” Original cast members Laura Bell Bundy, Annaleigh Ashford, and Christian Borle worked patiently to help Chico overcome his fears, learn to trust again, and become the first dog ever trusted to open a Broadway show and deliver crucial exposition to Margot and the Delta Nus on the whereabouts of his pink princess Elle Woods. He was a true star and the show literally couldn’t go on without his talents! Chico went on to do the entire Broadway run of LEGALLY BLONDE, followed by the national tour and numerous regional productions before retiring two years ago. Chico often travelled with Bill to do talks and training demonstrations, and starred in an episode of FROM WAGS TO RICHES WITH BILL BERLONI affectionately titled “Bad Chico.” He can be seen on the MTV live taping of his signature show, followed by their reality show THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT ELLE WOODS. He will live on in our hearts and as LEGALLY BLONDE – THE MUSICAL’s official logo. Donations in Chico’s name can be made to THE SANDY FUND at the Humane Society of New York, 306 East 59th Street, NY NY 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 star “Sandy,” the rescue dog that originated the role of Sandy in the musical ANNIE.

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“He ‘spoke’ to Bill that day, however, and despite everyone at the shelter telling him he was the absolute wrong choice, Bill took him … if nothing else to find him the perfect forever home,” the caption said.

“Destiny intervened at a press event for LEGALLY BLONDE when the show’s director, Jerry Mitchell, fell in love with our little (Chihuahua) and declared ‘This is our Bruiser!’”

After his Broadway run, Chico toured in regional productions before retiring from show business two years ago.

He also made appearances on the TV show “From Wags to Riches With Bill Berloni” and the MTV reality show “The Search for the Next Elle Woods.”

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