Sunday, July 11, 2010

Broadway Barks

By West Village Bill

Shubert Alley was overtaken by pooches and kitties yesterday during the 12th annual Broadway Barks. BB is an event started by Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters to promote animal adoption, and if I didn't already have two woofers of my own, I would almost surely have taken home one of the dogs that were first walked around to meet the public by volunteers from rescue organizations and then introduced onstage by Broadway stars.

My nonanimal companion—hee hee—Tony and I had fun petting on some wonderful dogs. I found myself drawn to the gentle-giant Great Danes from the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League. And also to some adorable mutts, including a shy collie mix named Sam who was chided by Memphis's Chad Kimball for lying too far downstage and facing away from the audience.

Tony liked the beagles from Cascade Beagle Rescue, East, best of all. The CBRE volunteer in the photo at right told us she thought the beagle in her arms had been about ready to fall asleep because she had felt her getting heavier and heavier. Aww.

I was happy to see the BARC shelter in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, well represented at Broadway Barks. I got my terrific and now completely irreplaceable basset hound, Rudy, there a little over three years ago. I told some of the BARC volunteers that I had adopted Lewis—Rudy's name at the time—the basset, and a couple of them said they remembered him. Adopting Rudy was one of the best things I've ever done.

Even though I'm much more of a dog lover, I can't overlook the kitties. There were a half dozen or so trucks from rescue organizations lined up along 45th Street with cats in need of homes. Lisa, a volunteer with NYC Siamese Rescue, told me about Maximo, a Ragdoll/Snowshoe/Siamese mix who fell out of a window and onto the FDR Drive and had to have one of his front legs amputated. Lisa said she has helped foster Maximo, and he's a very sweet cat.

Before I roll out more pictures of dogs and celebrities after the jump, I'm thrilled to report the encouraging statistic that two out of every three animals brought into city shelters now find homes compared with a horrific 74 percent that were euthanized in 2002. Peters and MTM said that reversal was thanks to the efforts of the wonderful groups taking part in BB.

The first photos are snaps I took before the staged presentation, which started about 5.

The Great Danes being walked around Shubert Alley were fitted with saddlebags of sorts into which you could insert cash donations.

The guy walking around this big bruiser called him a mastiff. I thought he might have another breed mixed in because he seemed on the short side.

Wiener dogs in a bag ...

... and a diapered Yorkshire terrier on wheels. Some people brought their dogs to hang out, and I think that was the case with this little guy and the dachshunds. I didn't ask the Yorkie's owner what had happened to him. He was very spry and growled at a big dog that got too close for his comfort while I was hanging around to take his photo.

And now for the Broadway stars:

Tony-nominated actor Kimball introduced dogs available from Bobbi & the Strays. Sam is hiding behind the legs of the woman on the left. And here's a quick QNY wink to the beefcake on the right who was helping to stage manage the production: ;-).

Richard Thomas, who's starring in Race, spoke about the dogs available from ARF of the Hamptons. Tony thought Thomas was several years older than I did. I IMDBed his ass, and ... Tony was right. Holy crap, does time ever fly. John Boy is almost 60.

And to continue the ogling of the rockin' bods of people in the background of these photos: Look at that butt on Bernadette Peters!

And finally, Sean Hayes—the male lead in Promises, Promises and host of this past season's Tony Awards—presented dogs from the ASPCA.

A quick update on July 12:

I was also really taken with Ruby, the shepherd mix in this BARC volunteer's arms who was introduced by Leigh Ann Larkin of A Little Night Music:

... And with Twiggy, a skinny yet extremely energetic little gal who was even skinnier when she came to BARC. That's her on the left looking away from the camera as another dog is introduced by Alexander Hanson, one of the male stars of ALNM shown in this photo:

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