Broadway Barks – Cats for Cats

Dancing on the street with happy New Yorker who just happened by at a street fair. A wonderful town!

I want to Talk about so much, as this is a happening time! Just got back from two weeks in New York City, where I surprised David in big ways. Lots of great Broadway theatre, and heartening memories of Broadway Barks. And speaking of memories, Cats for Cats, a celebrity benefit re-imagining the musical Cats is taking place in L.A., August 6, at the Orpheum Theatre (palace of my childhood). Where to begin?

Cats for Cats: All proceeds from this howling benefit are going to Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats, a local non-profit cat rescue, dedicated to help find every cat a warm lap!

This very different musical includes performances with many favorite stars from TV and film. Celebrity performers include: James Cromwell (Babe), Peter Gallagher (Covert Affairs), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Chyler Leigh (Grey’s Anatomy), Kevin McHale (Glee), Kevin Nealon (Weeds), Hunter Parrish (Weeds), Fred Willard (Best in Show), Mandy Moore and the So You Think You Can Dance dancers! (For info, Google “Kitty Bungalow” or the “Orpheum.”)

Limited After Party tickets are available where you can join the cast and celebrate with the stars, feast on delectable desserts, enjoy an open bar, gift bags, and the most important, knowing that many innocent kitties will find a soft spot to land in these troubled times for critters.

With Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters, backstage before Broadway Barks.

Back to Broadway Barks: The best happening, as we were ending our New York visit, was attending Broadway Barks. This adoption day and animal awareness event is the love child of Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore. For 13 years, they come to Shubert Alley to inspire pet adoptions and bring the greatest Broadway stars to present many of the animals needing homes. We loved the time with Mary and Bernadette while waiting for the event to begin — so dedicated.

Bernadette just finished a brilliant production of Follies at the Kennedy Center in DC, and is opening with the show on Broadway on August 7 (featuring our Susan Watson of Sherman Oaks). What a reason to go back to New York! Mary is adorable, as beautiful as ever. She and her husband came in from their Connecticut home for this important day. She talked fondly of Dick Van Dyke’s book, and of Dick. We are putting our thinking caps on to have a similar event in Hollywood. These good women are magnets to the Broadway stars that, some with their own lucky pets, introduced the homeless and showed their hearts. This was between shows on a Saturday! After exhausting performances, taking time for Broadway Barks before the next show is a testament to all concerned. The crowd was pleasantly surprised to see Bebe Neuwirth take the stage to help out with the cat adoptions. “They call me the cat lady!” she joked while holding a eight-week-old kitten that she and her husband have been fostering, also declaring cats “my favorite household pet.”

“I’m the owner of a rescue dog, and I can tell you firsthand it enhances your life,” Tony Award winner John Larroquette (How to Succeed in Business…) told the crowd as he introduced two sweet, shaggy Maltese pups up for adoption.

“If you have a place in your home and your heart, please rescue a dog,“ Joel Grey said. “My dog is my heart.” The word “heart” was used a lot…

It was very heartening to talk to Nell Newman, who went to the Oakwood school years back when my children were there. So a special shout out to Newman’s Own Organics, who was a sponsor for Broadway Barks, and for their honoring of Out of the Pits Inc., a rescue group that also educates the loving nature of the pit bull by visiting schools with their certified therapy dogs.

This is an annual event benefiting multiple animal shelters and adoption agencies throughout the five boroughs. Shoulder to shoulder and paw to paw, over 500 people and, I hope, potential adopters filled this famed passage in the Manhattan’s Theatre district. Read all about this with lots of pictures and info on Google, Facebook and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. More Big Apple with Lawrence and Lawrence next week.

We’ll Talk…