The evening started off with an appropriately adapted version of the Prologue from Into the Woods with Broadway Barks co-founder, Mary Tyler Moore, as the narrator: “Once upon a time…in Queens”, she began, referencing Bernadette’s hometown. Bernadette reprised her role as the Witch while simultaneously playing the Baker for "Greens, Greens". She then burst into an impromptu version of the The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song (equipped with the classic toss of the hat by Moore).
The lady of the evening was in rare form, wowing the packed house, which included the likes of Hugh Jackman, Joel Grey, Barbara Walters, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents. Her stunning Botticelli-esque frame swirled around the stage in her signature Bob Mackie glittery gowns, one adorned with 15,000 Swarovski crystals. (“I’ve got 1,000 more in a bag backstage just in case something goes wrong”, she quipped.)
She sang the classics like “Being Alive”, “Some Enchanted Evening”, “Nothin’ Like a Dame”, “Not a Days Goes By”, “No One is Alone” and “Johanna”. As promised, she also tackled new material. (“Sometimes I hear a song and it sticks in my head yelling at me ‘Sing me! Sing me!’” she explained of her new song choices). New tunes included “In Buddy’s Eyes” and “Losing My Mind” from Follies, “Fever”, “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah” sung for the dozen dogs that joined her on stage, all rescues from the Humane Society of New York, a Broadway Barks partner.
She closed the evening with a recreation of two Tony-nominated performances. First, she adopted a shawl and blanket for a rendition of “Children and Art” from Sunday in the Park with George. She then stepped back into the role of Momma Rose, with the addition of heavy black shoes and a dark cardigan, for a rendition of “Rose’s Turn” that had everyone at their feet the moment she let out that last, exasperated, “For me!”
Perhaps the most touching moment of the evening came during the encore, with a sweet rendition of“Kramer’s Song”, a lullaby she penned for her rescued pooch, Kramer, who made a guest starring appearance.
Congratulations are in order to the whole team at BC/EFA who once again pulled out all the stops for this unforgettable evening. For information about Broadway Barks and adopting your own rescue, visit www.broadwaybarks.com.