“Sweet Spot,” by Mike Sugerman
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Who’s a good boy? Chico, that’s who. And he’s a star.
“Chico played the role of Bruiser in ‘Legally Blonde the Musical’ on Broadway,” Bill Berloni tells me.
Berloni is Broadway’s dog whisperer and American’s top theatrical animal trainer.
“I made up the term theatrical animal trainer. There was no one before me,” he says. “Basically what I’ve done is I’ve trained animals that will appear in Broadway shows and any live theatrical event.”
That’s 27 Broadway shows, including “Annie,” which went through 30 dogs in its run. Dozens of movies and TV shows as well.
Do you have a dog you think is a star? Berloni will be the one to let you know.
“I get calls all the time with people saying, ‘I’ve got the greatest dog, I can’t walk down the street without being stopped,’” he says.
But he’ll tell you that doesn’t mean your dog will be a showstopper.
“My first question is: Is it trained? And they’ll go, ‘No, it’s just so beautiful.’ And when you think about it, nobody could be an actor without some sort of training. So why people think their animals could be stars without any training is mindboggling,” he says.
Sit, stay, come – that’s a good start. But just that.
That dog better be on a short leash.
“It’s a very strenuous field, and there’s a lot of variables, and dogs have to be super dogs to be performers and stars,” says Berloni.
Good-looking dog? Get in line. Otherwise you’re barking up the wrong tree.