By Dave Crawley

WEXFORD (KDKA) — North Allegheny students with Broadway dreams share billing with a chihuahua who’s been there, done that.

Roxie starred in the musical version of “Legally Blonde,” which is being performed at the school auditorium this weekend.

New York actress and dog handler Lara Hayhurst helps sophomore student-actress Emma Hackworth bond with her four legged co-star.

“Roxie has been trained and owned by my boss, Bill Berloni, a Tony award-winning dog trainer,” says Roxie’s handler. “All of the animals he uses are rescued. So Roxie was rescued from Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans.”

Kara’s husband, off-Broadway director Trey Compton, says he and his wife met at this very school.

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“They reached out to me, and all the dates lined up, and here I am back at North Allegheny again, not as a student but as a director, doing what I love to do!”

District music chairman Bob Tozier says the school doesn’t skimp on equipment or training.

“We’ve been doing musicals at this level for 17 years.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette theater critic Chris Rawson says Allegheny County schools selected for CLO Gene Kelly Awards perform at the Benedum each year in May.

“It is like a football team getting to the state playoffs or something. So they started paying some money to hire a director, and so on. And the level of high school musicals has grown tremendously.”

Finalists will move on to a stage in New York. But “Legally Blonde” Roxie has already been here.

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