A guest star appearing in the Gainesville Theatre Alliance production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” has more experience than any other actor in the country.
Frankie has racked up performance after performance in the country — an impressive feat for an actor who stands only about a foot high.
What: Gainesville Theatre Alliance’s musical adaptation of the 2001 movie, “Legally Blonde.”
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5-9 and 12-16, and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 9, 10, and 16.
Where: 429 Academy St. NE, Gainesville.
More info: UNG Box Office, 678-717-3624
How much: $28-$30 for adults, $26-$28 for seniors and $18-$20 for students
This musical adaptation of the popular 2001 movie will feature a canine guest star, Frankie the Chihuahua, and the Gainesville Theatre Alliance will host the opening night of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” on Nov. 5 at Brenau University's Hosch Theatre.
Frankie was rescued in 2008 from the Meriden Humane Society in Meriden, Connecticut then went on the first ever national tour of “Legally Blonde” after being trained.
Bill Berloni of The William Berloni Theatrical Animal Agency rescued Frankie in 2008 specifically for the role of Bruiser, according to Keri McClain, spokeswoman for the Gainesville Theatre Alliance.
Frankie, 11, starred in the original Broadway showing, and has been in more performances of Legally Blonde than any other actor — human or canine.
“Berloni trains animals for stage and film, but he only ever uses rescue animals,” McClain said.
Frankie plays Bruiser, Elle Woods’ sidekick who helps her navigate Harvard Law School, as her faithful companion.
“Frankie even has a few lines, he barks on stage a few times, and it’s really cute,” McClain said.
David Rosetti, GTA director and choreographer, was a key element in getting Frankie to Gainesville, McClain said. Rosetti is married to Dustin Harder, Frankie’s handler. The two met on a national tour of “Annie,” and when Rosetti came to GTA this year, the timing was perfect.
A contract was set up for Frankie, including his own dressing room.
Gainesville Theatre Alliance is partnering with The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia for the duration of the show. During the performances, The Humane Society will have a display in the Hosch Theatre lobby, called “Friends of Frankie,” featuring 24 dogs that will be available for adoption.
On Nov. 10, The Humane Society will have a table set up in the lobby before the matinee showing, accepting donations and giving out information about the shelter, according to Dominique Bartolo, spokeswoman for the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia.
“We will have headshots of 24 adoptable adult dog rescues set up in the lobby. Hopefully people will walk in and fall in love and adopt, but any type of exposure like this is going to be a positive impact,” Bartolo said.