The Inside Track: The Weekend and Week Ahead, July 10-16

Special Features   The Inside Track: The Weekend and Week Ahead, July 10-16 Freebies in NYC are hard to come by. If you've been to Madison Square Park recently, you'll find that you must pay to exit the bathroom. But come summer, the freebies in this town start rolling in!

Whether you're planning an evening out with your honey, your kiddies or if are in the market to adopt a pet, this week is filled with some great free events.

Enjoy your weekend and week ahead!

Blake

Friday, July 10 GO→ The tiny tots of TADA! Youth Theatre perform The Little House of Cookies, based on Eleanor Clymer's book, "The Tiny Little House." (7 PM, 15 W. 28th St., 3rd fl., 212-252-1619 for tickets).

Saturday, July 11

GO (FREE)→ Central Park is an enchanted place come summer. The air is filled with the sounds of frosty trucks and screaming children, bottled water magically becomes $7, and people of all ages, shapes and sizes flaunt a li'l bit too much skin on the Great Lawn. It also becomes a haven for those seeking free entertainment! From Shakespeare in the Park to New York Classical Theatre to SummerStage, don't say you never get anything for free in this town. The latest is for those of you with kids. Life on a Desert Island is a one-man interactive play based on Daniel Defoe's 1719 story of Robinson Crusoe. It bills itself as "an interactive guide to surviving the wilderness." I guess for New Yorkers, Central Park is as close to "the wilderness" as we're gonna get. (4:30 PM, Central Park, enter at Central Park West and 69th Street, www.theatreplayground.com).

GO (FREE)→ Want a side of pooch with your play?! You're in luck! Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore host this year's Broadway Barks adopt-a-thon, an annual event dedicated to finding permanent homes for dozens of pets. In attendance will be David Hyde Pierce, Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, Stephanie J. Block, Audra McDonald, Christine Ebersole, Christopher Sieber, Will Swenson and on and on. (3:30-6:30 PM in Shubert Alley, W. 44th Street and W. 45th Streets between 7th and 8th Avenues. Bernadette will sign her best-selling book, "Broadway Barks," at 1 PM.)

Sunday, July 12

BEFORE IT CLOSES→ If the latest revival of Waiting for Godot has taught us anything (besides the fact that the cast is brilliant and that John Glover produces more saliva than any human being on earth), it is that this Beckett classic has been pronounced wrong by most Americans for the past 50 some-odd years. For the record, it is GOD-oh…not Guh-doh. Silly Americans! Anyway, catch this brilliant production before it closes on Sunday. (Studio 54 Theatre, 254 West 54th Street, tickets).

BEFORE IT CLOSES (FREE)→ Shakespeare in the Park's Twelfth Night plays its last night this Sunday. (Delacorte, Central Park West at 81st Street, for info call 212-539-8750)

Monday, July 13

WATCH→ Those Hair kids are everywhere! Their next stop is "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien." The entire cast will leave for L.A. immediately after their Sunday matinee, perform on Monday and return to work on Tuesday, just in time for their evening performance. Talk about the hardest working cast on Broadway! (11:35 PM, NBC)

GO→ Town Hall kicks off its Summer Broadway Festival with "Broadway Winners," a collection of Tony/Grammy/Oscar award-winning songs. Tovah Feldshuh, Marc Kudisch, James Barbour, Alexander Gemignani and others will perform. (8 PM, The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd Street; for tickets call 212-307-4100).

Tuesday, July 14

GO (FREE)→ Tuesday is a day to work 9 AM to 4:30 PM because the cast of Broadway's 9 to 5 will perform at Barnes and Noble to celebrate the release of their cast album. (4:30 PM, Lincoln Triangle, 1972 Broadway at 66th Street)

Wednesday, July 15

GO→ Lisa Ebersole's new play, Mother, starring the fantastic Holland Taylor, Buck Henry and Ebersol herself, opens this Wednesday. Oh, and this is fun…if you sit on stage, you get a free glass of wine. Free booze makes theatre nights all the more fun! (Through August 1, The Wild Project, 195 East 3rd Street in Manhattan. Tickets, priced $25, are available by calling 212-352-0255)

Thursday, July 16

GO (FREE)→ This week's lineup for "Broadway in Bryant Park" includes The Little Mermaid, 9 to 5 and Off-Broadway's The Toxic Avenger. (12:30-1:30 PM in Bryant Park).