Free Events in NYC This Week: ‘Broadway in Bryant Park’ and ‘Broadway Barks’

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Along with the heat and humidity of summer in the city comes the return of two popular annual events that will make you forget all about the weather. You can catch your favorite Broadway and Off-Broadway stars and samples of songs from their shows in outdoor performances that are free to the public at two midtown landmarks.

Broadway in Bryant Park begins its 2018 season on Thursday, July 12, from 12:30pm–1:30pm, on The Lawn (behind the New York Public Library). Hosted by DJs from radio station 106.7 LiteFM, the six-week lunch-time series features special guest co-hosts and musical numbers from hit shows presented by members of the current casts. This week’s program, which includes performances from Chicago, SpongeBob SquarePants, Stomp, and Waitress, is hosted by Helen Little, joined by Catherine Russell and the cast of Perfect Crime (the longest-running play in NYC history). On upcoming Thursdays, through August 16, you can get a taste of The Band’s Visit, Smokey Joe’s Café, Gettin’ the Band Back Together, Disney on Broadway, and a whole lot more (schedule is subject to change), so if you can’t decide which shows you’d like to get tickets for, both on and off Broadway, or if you want to enjoy a selection of numbers from some of your favorites again, grab your sunscreen, water, sunglasses, and a fan, and head on over to Bryant Park. Food and beverages are available for sale in the park, or you can bring your own, so why not make it a weekly picnic, while watching the best in musical-theater entertainment?

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Broadway Barks, co-founded by Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, and produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, promises to be another star-studded event that benefits animal rescue groups in NYC and promotes the adoption of lovable cats and dogs in need of forever homes. Staged in Shubert Alley on Saturday, July 14, beginning at 3 pm, the program is hosted by Peters and Victor Garber – co-stars in the Tony Award-winning revival of Hello, Dolly!and features a special opening performance of “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” by the cast of the show, followed by a “Meet-and-Greet” with available rescues from 28 participating shelters in the New York metropolitan area. Then, from 5-6:30, the adopted pets make their Broadway debuts, as they are presented on stage by a roster of more than 80 celebrities (Melissa Benoist, Jenn Colella, Robert Creighton, Renée Fleming, Marilu Henner, Hailey Kilgore, Katrina Lenk, Katharine McPhee, Lindsay Mendez, Jessie Mueller, Alex Newell, and Zachary Quinto, among many other favorites) using their star power for the good of our furry friends. Over the past two decades, approximately 85% of the 2,000+ cats and dogs offered for adoption in Broadway Barks have been successfully placed; you can help make this another banner year for pets in the spotlight!

Broadway in Bryant Park plays on Thursdays, July 12-August 16, 2018, performing at Bryant Park – located between 40th and 42nd Streets, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, NYC.

Design by Hillary Knight.

Broadway Barks plays on Saturday, July 14, 2018, 3:00-6:30 pm, at Shubert Alley – located between 44th and 45th Streets, between Broadway and Eighth Avenues, NYC.

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