Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dogs Who Became Showbiz Superstars (Paperback)

Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dogs Who Became Showbiz Superstars

By Bill Berloni, Hanrahan Jim, William Berloni

Lyons Press, 9780762783083, 256pp.

Publication Date: September 4, 2012



The sun always comes out tomorrow for the shelter animals Bill Berloni rescues sometimes from death's door and then trains to meet the demands of the stage. Berloni was a nineteen-year-old theater apprentice more then three decades ago when he was offered his first big break: find and train a dog to appear in the original production of the Broadway hit Annie. Defying the odds, he rescued a down-on-his-luck dog from a local shelter and, together, they redefined what animal performers could do. Since then Berloni and his trainers have provided animals for hundreds of films, commercials, and television shows as well as live theater, including productions of The Wizard of Oz and Winn-Dixie, all over North America. In this heartwarming book, he tells the true stories of "throw-away" animals who came back to work with some of entertainment's biggest names, names like Bernadette Peters, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mike Nichols, the New York City Ballet, and many more. This updated edition includes an account of Berloni's search for the newest Sandy to star with everyone's favorite red-headed orphan.

About the Author

In 2011, William Berloni received the Tony Honor for Excellence in Theater, the first ever given to an animal trainer. Berloni began his animal training career in 1976 by rescuing a dog from an animal shelter. That dog was the original Sandy in the Broadway musical, Annie, who performed for seven years - the longest for any animal in Broadway history! Sandy was the first animal to play a major character in theater whose actions influenced the outcome of the story. Before that, no-one had been able to train an animal in that capacity for live theater. That breakthrough ultimately led to Mr. Berloni's "star-stuuded" career and continued success as Broadway's premier animal trainer. Since that time, he and his trainers have provided animals for hundreds of films, commercials, television shows and printwork as well as live theater all over North America. When not working, his animals live in humane, loving conditions and while on set, they are handled by caring, professional people who are highly skilled in animal behavior. Regarded as an expert in canine behavior, Mr. Berloni has a BFA in theater and has written Doga (Chronicle Books, 2003). He lives in Middlesex county, Connecticut with his wife Dorothy. Jim Hanrahan is a writer and Berloni's brother-in law

Praise For Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dogs Who Became Showbiz Superstars

“[Bill] can do anything you ask, has enormous love for and control of the animals, is kind to them and to humans. He is the best. The one and only.”—Mike Nichols 

“Bill Berloni is a master of his profession. His experience and patience are welcome in any rehearsal room.” —Susan Stroman “[A] treat for animal lovers and theater fiends” — "A canine critique would insist it’s ‘four paws up’ for Broadway Tails.” —Houston Chronicle 

Both animal and theater lovers are likely to be amused and moved by Berloni’s memoir of his work over three decades as the pre-eminent animal trainer for Broadway shows. Berloni put his love of animals to professional use when he was asked to find the right dog to play Sandy in the original production of Annie. Berloni does an excellent job of explaining how he did his job, even with animals as seemingly intractable as cats, pigs, and rats. His repeated rescues of abused animals are touching, and there’s no shortage of funny stories. —Publisher's Weekly


“Bill’s genuine love and respect for animals has always been foremost in my thoughts of him. He is guided by compassion, empathy, and kindness for all beings, qualities too rarely seen.” —Virginia Chipurnoi, President, Humane Society of New York