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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Nine Year-Old Chihuahua Worried She’s Aging Out of Chance to Play Bruiser Woods

by Amanda Sylvia. @missamandasylvia.

SAN FRANCISCO - Bay Area Chihuahua and regional theatre favorite, Sheiba, created cause for concern after her sudden disappearance following a callback for Bruiser Woods in San Francisco Playhouse’s upcoming production of Legally Blonde: The Musical. Sheiba, exhausted and distraught, was retrieved in a nearby bar by her owner shortly thereafter.

“That callback was super frustrating,” Sheiba admitted while struggling to sit on her barstool. “Bruiser has always been a dream role of mine. I’ve done Toto U/S in The Wizard of Oz, Chowsie in Gypsy, Cheeky in Anything Goes - but Bruiser is the pinnacle for every Chihuahua in musical theatre. But, like...I’m nine. I’ve put on a little weight, my tricks are rusty, and I just don’t have the energy anymore. Bruiser is a very demanding role. Did you see Chico’s performance in the OBC? He was fire.”

Michael Rodriguez, Sheiba’s adoptive owner and fellow thespian, shared his thoughts regarding Sheiba’s callback and subsequent meltdown.

“I saw Sheiba’s performance at the callback,” dished Rodriguez, who also had a callback for the role of Nikos Argitakos. “It wasn’t her best. She had fierce competition. Bella Marie had just finished the role at Woodminster Summer Musicals, and she was on top of her game. I couldn’t even focus on my callback because I had to chase her down all the way to Martuni’s. I found her sulking over a Tequila Sunrise in a dish. I didn’t even know she drank.”

Colby Washington was bartending at Martuni’s that evening. According to Washington, it’s not unusual for self-pitying, out-of-work performers to share their struggles with him.

“I hear about their try-outs all the time,” noted Washington, “I try to be supportive, but I have never been asked to give a patron belly rubs before. I mean, I know this is San Francisco, but still.”

When asked why she hasn’t already played Bruiser, Sheiba offered that regional theatres are allotted a certain number of Equity contracts per show. She accepted her Equity card two years ago, following an acclaimed run as Nana in Peter Pan, and hasn’t worked much since. Sheiba wonders if joining the Union was a mistake.

When reached for comment, Kate Shindle, President of Actors’ Equity Association and original Vivienne in Legally Blonde: The Musical, assured us that Sheiba was not a member of the Union as it only accepts humans, but wishes her the best.


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