4-legged actors will add to the fun at BGSU

Tader Shipley, who plays lead character Elle Woods in Bowling Green State University’s production of ‘Legally Blonde,’ with Nugget, who plays Elle’s dog Bruiser, and Kit, who plays Rufus, Elle’s friend Pauline’s dog.
Tader Shipley, who plays lead character Elle Woods in Bowling Green State University’s production of ‘Legally Blonde,’ with Nugget, who plays Elle’s dog Bruiser, and Kit, who plays Rufus, Elle’s friend Pauline’s dog.

Elle Woods, sorority girl extraordinaire, won’t be the only star when Legally Blonde: The Musical opens today at Bowling Green State University.

Elle, portrayed by Tader Shipley, a BGSU junior, will share the stage with Nugget, a Yorkshire terrier playing Elle’s dog Bruiser; and Kit, a Pomeranian playing beautician Paulette’s dog Rufus. Nugget is owned by Erica Pax, a BGSU graduate student, and Kit’s owner is Devon Holbrook, a bachelor of fine arts major. The two dogs have understudies, too: Bruiser’s is a Maltese named Poco, and the understudy for Rufus is a mixed breed named Pluto; both are owned by Nikki Badman of Bowling Green. The pooches are being trained for their theatrical appearance by Calla Ramsey, so the dogs will be able to bark and leap on cue.

The BGSU Department of Theatre and Film wants to stress the responsibility actors and producers have toward their animal performers, so it is working with Planned Pethood and Cutie’s Fund to raise awareness about animal cruelty. Cutie’s Fund helps dogs with high-cost medical needs at the Lucas County Canine Care & Control office, and its namesake will be on hand for “paw-to-graphs” at 7 p.m. today and Saturday in the lobby of the theater in the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the BGSU campus, where Legally Blonde will be staged in the Donnell Theatre. Informational displays will be set up too.

The Legally Blonde story begins when Elle’s plans to marry Warner Huntington III are destroyed when he breaks up with her one night, saying he needs someone more “serious” — he is on his way to Harvard to study law. After some sulking, Elle decides to leave California with Bruiser and chase Warner to Harvard to win him back. Roadblocks to her law school and social success are everywhere, but she eventually triumphs — of course — in some surprising ways.

“Legally Blonde is a terrific show for our department because it’s very fun and has a number of great women’s roles,” director Michael Ellison, an associate professor of theater and film, said in press materials. “We have a lot of powerful female performers in the department and we are excited to get to feature so many of them.”

“Legally Blonde” will be performed at 8 p.m.today, Friday, and Sunday, and at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday in Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the BGSU campus. Tickets ordered at bgsu.edu/​arts are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and non-BGSU students, and $1.75 for BGSU students. Tickets purchased by calling 419-372-8171 or at the BGSU Arts box office are $12 for adults, $7 for everyone else. 

‘On Golden Pond’

The comedy/​drama On Golden Pond, Oregon Community Theatre’s spring show, opens Friday at Fassett Auditorium. The play, by Ernest Thompson, won a Drama Desk Award for best play in 1979. Thompson also wrote the screenplay for the hit 1981 film that starred Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, and Jane Fonda.

The plot deals with Ethel and Norman Thayer, a long-married couple who are facing the difficulties of aging and are spending another summer at their lakeside home at Golden Pond. Their daughter, Chelsea, who had a rocky relationship with her father growing up, arrives with her fiance, Bill Ray, and his 13-year-old son, Billy Ray, Jr. Chelsea and Bill take off for Europe, leaving Billy behind, and Norman and Billy find they have more in common than they might have thought.

The Oregon production is directed by Dawn Yard and produced by Tim Yard. The cast includes John Henry as Norman, Cheryl Tanner as Ethel, Amy Carpenter as Chelsea, Eric Collier as Bill, Noah Hagedorn as Billy Ray, Jr., Reed Steele as postman Charlie Martin, and Lori Bee as the operator.

“On Golden Pond” will be performed Friday, Saturday, and May 2 and 3 at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Fassett Auditorium, 3025 Starr Ave. in Oregon. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, from 419-691-1398 or oregoncommunitytheatre.org

‘Before I Let Go’

Before I Let Go, a play presented by Toledoans James and Bonita Adams as part of the national Urban Playwrights United network, will be staged at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Maumee Indoor Theatre, 601 Conant St., Maumee. The drama deals with an attorney who is faced with helping his wife overcome drug addiction while protecting his career and political ambitions. The play is written by Detroit area resident RonSher T. Brooks.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and $18 for groups of five or more, and can be purchased at Jack’s Menswear, the theater, or by calling 419-897-8902. 

Rep seeks directors

The Toledo Repertoire Theatre is looking for Mainstage and Edgy Rep production directors for the 2014-2015 season. There will be six Mainstage plays, two Edgy Rep Readings, and one Valentine’s Day weekend special event.

A schedule and synopses of the nine plays and a PDF of the production director application form are available at toledorep.org. Hard copies of the application form and the list of productions are available at The Rep’s office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Candidates must submit a production director application form, resume of theatrical/​directorial experience, and a cover letter indicating the productions he or she is interested in directing. Information may be submitted via email to ehillenbrand@netzero.com, faxed to ATTN: Eric Hillenbrand, artistic director, at 419-725-1930, or mailed to Toledo Repertoire Theatre, 16 Tenth St., Toledo, OH 43604.

Applications must be received by 4 p.m. May 9. Selected candidates will be scheduled for interviews beginning May 10. For more information, contact The Rep at 419-243-9277 or go to toledorep.org.

Send theater items two weeks in advance to Sue Brickey at sbrickey@theblade.com.