Rodeo Drive had an extra special visitor this weekend!
Chico, Broadway’s original Bruiser, made a special appearance at Pretty Woman: The Musical to visit some of his old Legally Blonde castmates.
William Berloni, owner of Berloni Theatrical Animals, and Chico joined current Pretty Woman cast members Orfeh and Andy Karl, who star as the production as Kit De Luca and Edward Lewis, backstage after the show on Sunday for a very special Legally Blonde reunion! Annaleigh Ashford (Legally Blonde’s original Margot), Kate Rockwell (the Margot replacement), and Rockwell’s husband Spencer Howard were also in attendance to round out the gathering. The only person missing from the nostalgic gettogether was Chico’s stage mom, Elle Woods.
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The most glorious @berlonitheatricalanimals paid us #OG #legallyblondethemusical folks a visit with NONE OTHER THAN THE #broadway #Bruiser himself #CHICO‼️💖‼️💖⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ @annaleigh_ashford @katerockwellnyc @andy_karl @horwad & I got to spend some #qualitytime loving up on our #BAE #CHICO‼️💖‼️‼️ #bruiserwhereiselle😜 and yes, he sure did remember his whole routine🤣👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 Thank you Bill, for bringing Chico to #rodeodrivebaby😂👗👛👠👒🎉 @prettywoman 💖🐶 #adoptdontshop
Orfeh shared a snap of the mini-reunion to her Instagram page, writing that even 11 years after the show ended, Chico still remembered his whole Legally Blonde routine. Pretty Woman: The Musical, the world premiere stage production helmed by two-time Tony winner Jerry Mitchell and lead by Samantha Barks, Orfeh and Karl, opened at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre on Aug. 16, 2018. Rockwell can also currently be seen on Broadway starring as Karen Smith in Mean Girls.
Updated on Thursday, March 14 at 10:11 AM: It is with sadness we report that Chico crossed the rainbow bridge on Monday, March 11th. Check out his inspiring life story below.
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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.