Theater
On stage
"Legally Blonde:
The Musical"

Produced by: Palo Alto Players
Book by Heather Hach; music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin; based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the MGM motion picture
Directed by: Dan Demers
Featuring: Franklin the French bulldog, Courtney Hatcher, David Saber, Adam Cotugno, Calia Johnson, Lyn Mehe'ula, Brigitte Losey, Sasha Motalygo, Cheryl Ringman, Christina Murdock, Cameron Weston, Jacquie McCarley, Lauren Rhodes, Catrina Manahan, Rebecca Mayfield, Arielle Rothman, Ernestine Balisi, Mylissa Malley, Jon Nowakawski, James Giusti, Meg Fisher, Cassie Blake, Amanda Ross, Jeff Swan, Aaron Wimmer, Joshua Williams
When: September 8 through September 23, 2012
Where: Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, California Tickets: $20-$29. Visit paplayers.org or call 650-329-0891

Read an interview with director Dan Demers.

Read John Orr's review of "Legally Blonde: The Musical."

Read Joanne Englehardt's excellent review of "Legally Blonde: The Musical" in The Daily News.

Franklin
Photo by Angelina Cardona
Franklin the French bulldog is a complete scene-stealer in "Legally Blonde: The Musical" at Palo Alto Players, September 8 through September 23, 2012.
Scene stealer identified
Somebody call the Palo Alto cops: Franklin the French bulldog almost walks off with 'Legally Blonde: The Musical'
September 18, 2012

It's all part of Elle's awakening awareness in "Legally Blonde: The Musical," when she learns that she can use the law to help people.

Her hairdresser and friend Paulette misses her dog, who was taken by her ex-boyfriend.

Elle figures out that the ex is actually a former common-law husband, and therefore, what was his is hers (or somesuch), and she is able to get the dog away from the mullet-headed ex.

When the dog and Paulette are exiting stage left, the dog licks Paulette's face, and the entire audience erupts in applause.

It's a nice moment.

Anyway, that was the charming scene in that musical as staged by the Palo Alto Players at the Lucie Stern Theatre, and a moment I remarked upon in my review.

I thought the dog in that scene might be a pug, but I was wrong, as a letter-writer noted. Franklin — the scene-stealer — is a French bulldog.

All little more looking around revealed Franklin's Facebook page, which is completely charming.

A little more digging revealed that Franklin was "named after that prez FDR because he was pretty cool."

Frankline and Angelina
Photo by Rachel Hamburg
Franklin the French bulldog, right, with his mom, Angelina Cardona. Franklin is a complete scene-stealer in "Legally Blonde: The Musical."

Franklin's "mom," aka Angelina Cardona, responded to a query.

"I am Franklin's mom and I am Angelina Cardona!" she said.

"Franklin is a little over 8 months old, born January 3, 2012. I've had him since he was 8 weeks old. We live in Redwood City with five other Stanford grads and my bunny, Bella.

"Franklin got involved with the musical because I'm roommates and best friends with Lyn Mehe'ula, who plays Serena in 'Legally Blonde.' She got the role and when she found out that they needed a bulldog she thought Franklin would be a perfect fit for the role of Rufus. When the director [Dan Demers] met him, he thought Franklin would be perfect too, and Franklin got the role! The cast absolutely adores Franklin. He loves being on stage and all of the attention that comes with it. You could say he is addicted to the lime light. I'm one very proud dog mom! "I adopted Franklin because I always wanted a dog of my own. (I love animals almost as much as I love people, which is saying a lot!) When I was researching the personalities of different breeds, French Bulldogs were often described as 'instant best friends to everyone, humans and pets alike.' I wanted a dog who was as social as me and who loved to be loved, and Franklin fit the bill perfectly. :)"

Ms. Cardona graduated from Stanford with a degree in international relations in 2011, and now works there. It's easy to see how someone with such a degree might be a fan of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was, indeed, a "pretty cool" president.

Ms. Cardona herself was a president — of the student body at Stanford.

I met Franklin in the lobby at the Lucie Stern Theatre after the curtain on opening night. He seemed a little anxious about my shillelagh walking stick, but after sniffing my fingers seemed to decide I was OK, and gave me a lick. I confess I didn't bother to look at the other end of Franklin's leash, so I don't know who was holding it. Ms. Mehe'ula? Ms. Cardona? I just don't know.

I urge y'all to go look at Franklin's Facebook page. Lots of cute stuff there.



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