April 23, 2009

High school ‘Oz’ dogs take show on road

A dog trainer said his pair of cairn terriers could join the touring company of The Wizard of Oz if they perform well in a Pennsylvania high school show.

Bill Berloni -- a Connecticut trainer who says he has provided many of Broadway's animal actors for the past 30 years -- said if his dogs, Nigel and Loki, perform well in the Woodland Hills High School production of The Wizard of Oz they will move on to train for the national touring company of the play, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday.

This is their first time on stage, Berloni said.

Berloni and the dogs are charging $1,500 a week for the three weeks of their involvement with the project in California.

Musical director Tom Crone said the money is coming out of the play's $70,000 budget, which comes from box-office and ad revenue. Crone said the musical does not receive school district funds.