By Andy Smith
Celebrating its 7th successful year, Broadway Barks – produced by BC/EFA – has become almost as much of a Shubert Alley tradition as our Annual Flea Market and Grand Auction.
This year’s Barks – held July 30 from 3:30 to 6:30 – brought out Barks Founders and Executive Producers Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, along with some of the hottest stars from Broadway, Off-Broadway and daytime to present animals up for adoption. Traditionally this event results in new homes for 90 percent of the animals in attendance.
“In appreciation for the theatre community’s unprecedented commitment to over 17 years of fundraising, BC/EFA is happy to support other cause-related services particularly dear to those in our community who make our support for AIDS-related services possible,” said BC/EFA Executive Director Tom Viola, explaining the organization’s commitment to this event.
“Mary and I are delighted that Broadway Barks! continues to be such a popular event, and we are deeply moved by the enthusiasm and support from the legions of fans and animal lovers who attend every year,” said Peters.
Moore added that the message behind the event – the importance of spaying and neutering – is having a positive impact.
“We are especially pleased to report that the euthanasia rate in New York has dropped 26 percent since 2003,” she said. “That’s a very encouraging statistic. It means that people are rescuing thousands of New York City dogs and cats each year by spaying and neutering or by adopting pets through shelters participating in events such as Broadway Barks!”
A long list of celebrity presenters
As always, the celebrities who took time out from their busy schedules to drop by Shubert Alley to present animals for adoption (and show off their own prize pets) drew enthusiastic crowds.
This year’s presenters included Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza); Rue McClanahan (Wicked); Maureen McGovern (Little Women); Denis O’Hare (Sweet Charity); Brad Oscar (The Producers); David Hyde Pierce and Christopher Sieber (Spamalot); Joanna Gleason and Gregory Jbara (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels); Harvey Fierstein and Andrea Martin (Fiddler on the Roof), as well as Erin Dilly, Marc Kudisch, and Jan Maxwell (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).
Also presenting were Mireille Enos, David Harbour, and Bill Irwin (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?); Billy Crudup, Jeff Goldblum, and Madeline Martin (The Pillowman); Cheyenne Jackson and Alix Korey (All Shook Up); Ryan Duncan (Altar Boyz); Christine Ebersole, Ginifer King, Marsha Mason and Frances Sternhagen (Steel Magnolias); Jesse Tyler Ferguson (25 th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee); John Glover (The Paris Letter); Michael Mulheren (La Cage Aux Folles); Jeffrey Tambor (Glengarry Glen Ross); Shuler Hensley (The Great American Trailer Park Musical); and Crystal Hunt from TV’sGuiding Light.
A Successful Silent Auction
The event included a silent auction featuring 40 packages of mostly celebrity-autographed memorabilia with proceeds benefiting area shelters. Both Peters and Moore donated packages to the auction; Moore’s package included a signed script from the acclaimed Mary Tyler Moore Show episode “Chuckles Bites the Dust.”
John Lithgow donated a package, which included an original Lithgow sketch of a scene from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Shirley MacLaine gave a signed copy of her book Out on a Leash, and the cast of Spamalot all signed an attractive cookie jar decorated by Barks volunteer Tom Bernagozzi.
Helping Worthy Agencies and Shelters
Broadway Barks 7! featured adoptable cats and dogs from animal shelters and adoption agencies from around the New York City area, including: A Cause for Paws, ACC, Adopt A Boxer Rescue, Animal Haven, ASPCA, BARC Shelter, Bide-A-Wee, Bobby and the Strays, City Critters, The Humane Society of New York, Husky House, JRTCA Russell Rescue, Kitty Kind, Long Island Greyhound Transfer, Loving Touch, Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue, Metropolitan Maltese Rescue, Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League, Pet-I-Care, PLUTO Rescue, Siamese Rescue, SICAW, Stray From the Heart, and The Tigger Foundation.
This year’s sponsors included Animal Planet, Dogsters, The New York Times, Loews Hotels, and Sherpa.
To make a donation or learn more about adopting a shelter animal, visit www.broadwaybarks.com