Massive yet gentle Great Danes, palm-sized feisty kittens and every variety dog and cat in between joined Broadway stars and enthusiastic fans on July 14, 2018, at the 20th edition of Broadway Barks, the annual pet adoption event founded by Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters.
This year’s event was hosted by Peters and her Hello, Dolly! co-star Victor Garber. NYC’s Shubert Alley was filled a menagerie of adoptable cats and dogs from 28 shelters and area rescue organizations, eager to find their human companions.
As always, the most anticipated part of the afternoon was the parade of pets led by Broadway stars. The performers, with darling dogs and cherished cats in tow, introduced the available animals and urged attendees to fill out adoption applications.
The kitten in Broadway legend Bebe Neuwirth’s hands meowed directly into the microphone. “She’s asking you to adopt her,” Neuwirth said. “Will you give this baby her forever home?” Neuwirth has three adopted cats and is a longtime supporter of Broadway Barks.
Over the last 20 years, more than 2,000 cats and dogs have found their forever homes thanks to the generosity of Broadway Barks attendees who’ve opened their homes to a newfound friend.
And this generosity expands beyond the stage to those backstage and in the audience, as well. Talent agent Frankie Moran and producer Justin Weatherby adopted their dog, Trudy, from Bideawee animal rescue at Broadway Barks in 2012. Although they’re not looking for a sibling for Trudy, they return each year. “We love to come by and see the dogs get their forever homes,” Moran said. “I knew Trudy was the one as soon as we saw her, and I love watching other people have that special moment with the dogs.”
This year’s lineup of celebrity guests also included Christy Altomare, Major Attaway, Kate Baldwin, Samantha Barks, Melissa Benoist, Etai Benson, Erich Bergen, Matt Bomer, Petrina Bromley, Will Burton, John Cariani, Stephen Carlile, Charlie Carver, Sam Clemmett, Jenn Colella, Margaret Colin, Justin Collette, Lilli Cooper, Allan Corduner, Robert Creighton, Laura Dreyfuss, Bongi Duma, Noma Dumezweni, Mark Edwards, Ali Ewoldt, Renée Fleming, J. Harrison Ghee, Bradley Gibson, Conner John Gillooly, Mandy Gonzalez, Molly Griggs, Marilu Henner, Erika Henningsen, Greg Hildreth, Brian Hutchison, James Monroe Iglehart, Arielle Jacobs, Cory Jeacoma, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Rachel Bay Jones, Adam Kantor, Isabel Keating, Hailey Kilgore, Chad Kimball, Analisa Leaming, Gavin Lee, Telly Leung, Kevin Ligon, Lori Eve Marinacci, Alli Mauzey, Lindsay Mendez, Orfeh, Poppy Miller, Melanie Moore, Jessie Mueller, Patti Murin, Mary Beth Peil, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, John Riddle, Kate Rockwell, Danny Skinner, Paul Thornley, Evan Todd, Taylor Trensch, Michael Urie, Max von Essen, Michael Benjamin Washington, Tuc Watkins, Barrett Wilbert Weed and Sam Wolf.
The event opened with Tony Award winner Gavin Creel and Charlie Stemp leading a precious rendition of Hello, Dolly!‘s “Put On Your Sunday Clothes.” The company of Hello, Dolly! emerged on the outdoor stage with a puppy in one hand and a parasol in the other.
Broadway Barks featured adorable cats and dogs from 1 Love 4 Animals; Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Inc; Animal Care Centers of New York City; Adopt a Boxer Rescue; Animal Haven; Anjellicle Cats Rescue; Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons; ASPCA; BARC Shelter; Bideawee; Bobbi & the Strays; City Critters; Francis’s Friends Inc; The Humane Society of New York; Husky House Inc; Linda’s Cat Assistance; Little Shelter; Long Island Bulldog Rescue; Loving Touch; Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue; Metropolitan Maltese Rescue; Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League; Pet-I-Care; Pet ResQ Inc.; SaveKitty Foundation; Sean Casey Animal Rescue; SPCA of Westchester and Urban Cat League.
In honor of the event’s inimitable co-founder who passed away in 2017, the Mary Tyler Moore Award is presented to an individual or group who has changed the lives of homeless animals in a way that encourages others to do the same. This year’s award was presented to BARC Shelter, one of the original eight shelters participating in the first Broadway Barks in 1998. BARC’s mission is to provide a safe haven for abandoned animals and to find permanent loving homes for them.
Broadway Barks was sponsored The New York Times. The event’s producers were Richard Hester, Patty Saccente and Scott T. Stevens.
Photos by Allison Stock