Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Broadway Strike: Day Eleven

Broadway Strike: Day Eleven

Today, the Broadway stagehands strike moves into its 11th day after 25 hours of weekend negotiations between The League of American Theatres and Producers and Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.) failed to even produce a contingency plan for getting the Great White Way all lit up in time for Thanksgiving week, traditionally the second busiest of the entire year.

Instead of continuing at the table, The League abruptly left and quickly cancelled each of the shows already impacted by the strike through this Sunday.

Tonight was the night that Tracy Letts' August: Osage County -- hands-down the best play I've seen in the last five years -- was due to open on Broadway. But since it is drydocked at the struck Imperial Theatre, it instead becomes the third show to indefinitely postpone its opening. Sadder still, it's a transfer from Chicago's not-for-profit Steppenwolf; ironically, of the eight Broadway shows left open for the flock of tourists headed to the Big Apple, exactly half are able to continue precisely because they're playing in houses run by New York not-for-profit theatre companies.

The following eight Broadway shows continue to perform during the strike because they are either in said non-profit houses or are covered by other contracts:
Mary Poppins
The Ritz
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Young Frankenstein

If you're holding tickets through Sunday for any of the other Broadway shows listed below, (click here for ticket exchange policies), your show will not be performing:
A Bronx Tale
A Chorus Line
August: Osage County
Avenue Q
Cyrano de Bergerac
Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Is He Dead?
Jersey Boys
Legally Blonde
Les Misérables
Mamma Mia!
Monty Python's Spamalot
Rock 'N' Roll
Spring Awakening
The Color Purple
The Drowsy Chaperone
The Farnsworth Invention
The Lion King
The Little Mermaid
The Phantom Of The Opera
The Seafarer

New York City is going all out not to let the businesses in the Theatre District implode from lack of traffic. One of the best bets for the week (with the exception of Thanksgiving Day itself) is an offer in which you can receive 15% off a dine-in lunch or dinner at wide array of the Theatre District's dining establishments via their Dining in the District campaign.

Also, since this is the week of Thanksgiving, please do what you can to remember those with AIDS or HIV-related illnesses. Since you'll be saving money on both your meals and the no-shows, please remember that this is the time of year when castmembers of Broadway shows typically make their appeal to audiences on behalf of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. To donate directly to the organization, click here.

Also, please don't forget that there are just three more days to enter the SOB Contest for a free DVD copy of "ShowBusiness: The Road To Broadway." Click here for more details on how to enter.

Finally, keep your comments coming. Over the next few days, I'll be online a bit more sporadically than usual, but I hope to bring you the latest updates.

I appreciate your readership. Despite the ongoing situation on Broadway, you have given me so much to be thankful for. Here's wishing you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 20 November, 2007, Anonymous AutoFly said...

Off Walking the line today.
Stop by... Say Hi............... We love Theatre too.
Lets get the league back to the table

Ohhh that evil grinch and the Grinchette

At 20 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THEATER; The Broadway Producer Baby ...http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B04EEDE1238F937A35754C0A9629C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print

At 20 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you really need to cut costs when one of your producers is Universal Pictures?

At 20 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for Local One relenting for "Grinch," a producer and league member who requested anonymity said: "Why should this show be given special treatment? 'Cyrano' is a limited engagement. 'The Seafarer' is a limited engagement.

"Because of the unique nature of this limited engagement, particularly its inability to extend beyond the holiday season, Local One supports 'The Grinch' in its efforts to open its doors," Claffey said in a news release. "Our members are ready and willing to go back to work at the St. James Theatre."

Asked why the union struck "Grinch" at all, Local One spokesman Bruce Cohen said, "We had instructions to strike to Nederlander, Jujamcyn, and Shubert theaters. After the recent round of negotiations, we came to the conclusion that producers of 'The Grinch' are not part of the $20 million fund used to attack the stagehands. They did not implement horrendous work rules when they could have."

The league has a $20 million strike fund, but Sanna said he and his partners were not receiving any money from it. He said his losses so far were significant, though he did not specify them.

At 20 November, 2007, Anonymous SpotOne said...

Get a bunch of lawyers together and....
"'The Grinch' will not reopen until the union signs agreements and ends the strike at all theaters and all the other shows that have been closed by their strikes reopen on Broadway," the theater chain said.

Producers now say they'll sue.

At 20 November, 2007, Blogger SarahB said...

I thought Marian Seldes might start crying when she expressed her distress over August: Osage County missing it's opening night.

At 20 November, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Autofly, If I knew which show you were with I would certainly drop by!

At 20 November, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Second Anonymous, I have no idea what you're talking about with respect to "you" and "Universal Pictures." I'm not affiliated with any part of the entertainment industry at all....

Third Anonymous, appreciate the great insights on Grinch.

At 20 November, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Sarah B., Marian is not the only heartbroken one... August: Osage County was going to be my very first opening night on Broadway. Oh well.

At 20 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After word leaked in the morning that "Grinch" would reopen, Jay Libin, producing director for Jujamcyn, sent a news release in the afternoon stating that the show "would not reopen until the union signs agreements and ends the strike at all theatres."
Jay Libin.. No Relation to Paul Libin Vice President of the league,
Part owner of the Jujamycn theatre chain


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