Stage, film and television animal trainer and behaviorist Bill Berloni will talk with arts writer Frank Rizzo about his long career; about choosing, caring for, and living with pets; and the upcoming musical Because of Winn Dixie which will play at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam June 28-September 1.
The talk is part of the Twain House’s new A Little Harmless Fun series, which features the Hartford Courant‘s Frank Rizzo in conversation with members of the theater and culinary communities.
Berloni got his start in animal training when he was an 20-year-old apprentice at Goodspeed in 1976 and was asked to get a dog at the local pound and train it to play Sandy in the world premiere of the musical Annie.
Berloni is the go-to guy when an animal is needed for a Broadway production, or Julia Roberts’ film Ben is Back, or his own reality TV series From Wags to Riches. If the script says, “A wolf walks across the stage,” as it did for Ivo van Hove’s Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, or a sheep is needed for Curse of the Starving Class which will play in New York in April, or animals are needed for Martha Clarke’s theater piece about St. Francis of Assisi, Berloni gets the call.
His Broadway credits include Legally Blonde, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Finding Neverland.
He is the author of Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dogs Who Became Showbiz Superstars. Copies will be available for purchase and signing following the event.