Burbank Shelter Dog Inspires the Awws in ‘Oz'

Pickle will play Toto in The Lythgoe Family Panto's "The Wonderful Winter of Oz," at the Pasadena Civic.

What to Know

  • Lythgoe Family Panto's "The Wonderful Winter of Oz"
  • Pasadena Civic Auditorium
  • Dec. 14-30, 2018

Truth? You could easily and accurately describe 2018 as the Year of the Pickle.

For pickles popped out of jars and into all sorts of unlikely dishes, from desserts to the occasional pricy cocktail. Gifts, too, reflected the trend, and finding a pickle pillow or pickle pajamas nowaways won't, um, send you into a pickle.

But let's just call Pickle the utmost and ultimate star of this pickle-ish year, for his adorable story isn't sour at all.

Rather, it's very, very sweet.

The small-statured fluffster is a former Burbank Animal Shelter resident, but before that, he was spotted while "... out for a stroll in the parking lot at Fry's." 

A change of fate, and some good-hearted volunteers, brought him to the shelter, then to a loving home, then eventually to the Laguna Playhouse, where he first trotted onto the stage, in costume, no less.

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Now Pickle's star is rising even further, for he'll be stepping all four paws into the storied role of Toto in "The Wonderful Winter of Oz."

The Lythgoe Family Panto production, which includes zazzy musical numbers, oodles of humorous moments, and Kermit the Frog as the Wizard of Oz himself, will dance at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium from Dec. 14 through 30, 2018.

But all eyes, and awws, will likely be directed at Pickle C. Irwin, when he is on stage. (Indeed, that's Pickle's full handle, so let's be proper and refer to him, at least once, with his surname.)

After all, consider what a comfort and pal Toto is to Dorothy as she skips down the Yellow Brick Road, helping out her new friends and learning a few life lessons along the way.

You can read more about Pickle's past and bright future at the Lythgoe Family Panto's Facebook page.

And, indeed, you can learn more about the annual panto production, which finds inspiration in the outlandish and not-so-serious yuletide pantos of Great Britain, a favorite pastime with theater-loving families come the Christmas season.

Will this all go to Pickle's head? After playing such a major part, among major stars, on a major Southern California stage?

We think not. After all, edible pickles may be tart and vinegary, but this furry Pickle only engenders thoughts of a cuddly, cute, and highly unsour nature.

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