Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Seventh Game, Ninth Inning

Seventh Game, Ninth Inning

Unless it's Damn Yankees or Take Me Out, baseball metaphors are rarely in vogue on Broadway. But that doesn't faze Bruce Cohen of Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.), who likens the current state of negotiations with The League of American Theatres and Producers to:

...the ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series
In other words, we should soon have an outcome to the 18-day old Broadway stagehands strike that continues to grip all but eight Rialto shows. Although talks broke down...again...earlier this morning, The League has issued the following statement:

The League of American Theatres and Producers and Local One talked through the night and were unable to reach an agreement. Talks will resume tomorrow (Wednesday, November 28) at 10 a.m. Performances are canceled through Wednesday's matinees.
Does the fact that Wednesday evening's performances have not yet been cancelled signal the possibility that a settlement may be reached sometime tomorrow?

Meanwhile, Local One has issued its own statement:

Please be advised that negotiations with The League of American Theatres and Producers broke off early this morning, Tuesday November 27th at 7:30 a.m. We have made progress and believe that we are closer to making a deal. Talks will resume tomorrow morning, Wednesday November 28th at 10:00 a.m.

Please consult the Local One Hotline at 646-459-1916 or the Local One Web site for any additional updates.

The Local One Negotiating Committee remains committed to achieving a fair and equitable contract.

Thank you for your support and understanding.
That certainly has me hoping that we are indeed beyond the 7th inning stretch. Now if only the two sides play ball fair and square, maybe we'll see the lights of the Great White Way turned back on sooner than later.

In the meantime, since 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, I hope you'll join with me in donating directly to the organization by clicking here. It's estimated that every week the strike goes on, BC/EFA loses approximately $350,000 in donations it would normally have received by direct appeals from the stage:

At an average loss of over $350,000 per week, BC/EFA will not be able to award the usual annual grants to six programs at The Actors' Fund - including The AIDS INITIATIVE; The Phyllis Newman WOMEN'S HEALTH INITIATIVE, The Al Hirschfeld FREE HEALTH CLINIC and more, which include the food pantries, meal delivery programs, housing initiative and health clinics of over 400 AIDS and family service providers across the country.
BC/EFA Executive Director Tom Viola joins those of us in the audience hoping that both sides resolve the strike soon.

Finally, ticketholders to Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! can rest easy that their show will go on. According to Campbell Robertson of The New York Times:
Officials from the Jujamcyn theater chain, the owners of the St. James, appealed the decision and had initially sought to stay the injunction. But on Sunday, they told the producers of The Grinch that they would not seek a stay, and that the show could remain open for its entire scheduled run through the holidays.
To round out the baseball metaphors, score another one for the audience.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 27 November, 2007, Anonymous DeckSound said...

Well I guess Tomorrow is Top Of the Ninth.

At 27 November, 2007, Anonymous AutoFly said...

You can pretty much write off tomorrow evening performance.
The way the prouducers have been behaving.
And you need to activate Staff.
Fire up all the electronics
Sound / Moving lights / Automation
You know how touchy Computers can be.
The Smoke machines need to be drained and flushed.
otherwise Toxic Smoke gets cast sick
And you know the piano needs to be moved
3weeks of dirt needs to be mopped off the show deck
Fresh batteries need to be checked out and put in all the equiptment
Let alone get Wardrobe ready

At 27 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now Now
you really need to do all that?
The audience won’t be able to tell?
You guys try to make it so complicated

Besides your cutting into my profite..
I mean health of the industry

At 27 November, 2007, Anonymous loss of good will said...

Local One, IATSE stagehands, are on strike. Starting November 10, there will be no performances at many Broadway theatres until the strike is settled. I have no idea how long this strike will last. Initially I would have said this would end quickly, but now I don't think so. The dispute is between The League of American Theaters and Producers and the IATSE stagehands. The stagehands claim that theatre owners and producers are demanding a 38% cut in jobs and wages. The League is saying that the Union wants to keep extravagent extras in the contract. Both sides are have been preparing for this strike. The League has amassed $20 million to cover the cost of lost revenue to theater owners. But will it be enough to cover the loss of good will?
Maria Knapp,

At 27 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Stagehands will feel cheated.
Producers like the didnt steal enough.
Actors Know they are the next targets.
802 is still licking the wounds from a few years ago
What was once a BACKSTAGE FAMILY
is now torn by Divorce

At 28 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Batter up!

At 28 November, 2007, Anonymous propgal said...

Don't forget,
times is a proud sponcer of the league

At 28 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you have a Chauffer and a black Cadillac escalade you don’t meet panhandlers

At 28 November, 2007, Anonymous SpotOne said...

What is the cost of living
after your contract is gutted...

At 28 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well on days your job is cut.
You can Go to Prosker Rose building and panhandle

At 28 November, 2007, Anonymous RocketRon said...

When unions were strong so were the middle class. When union's lose their power, the middle class shrinks. Do unions have faults? They sure do. But if you want to see real disparity between the working class and the rich, do away with unions altogether

At 28 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soon the producers will start using illegals like everyone else. Maybe that is why the NY Gov was trying to get driver licenses for licenses.
Than they can drive Charlottes Limo

At 28 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Sorry bout the collective Pessimism.
But Those Working in This “Sic” Industry Have heard about the concessions.
That have been made
It’s Not Good!
We are being pressured to take what looks like a 20% cut in pay and man power.
So my $86,000 Goes Down to less than Charlotts Chauffer.
And I went to College for this!!

At 28 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it boils down to money, always the final issue in contract talks, and the stagehands union is still holding out for some kind of "salary compensation" in exchange for work-rule concessions. The gap that existed between the two sides is still very much there according to both sides.


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