Sunday, November 11, 2007
Reality is setting in with scores of audiences who traveled to New York only to find their Broadway shows cancelled due to the stagehands' strike.
Yesterday, Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.) took the action for the first time in its 121 year history against The League of American Theatres and Producers. Hat tip to Esther at Gratuitous Violins for offering a solid round-up of the audience reaction.
The only Broadway shows not impacted by the strike are:
Cymbeline at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre (Lincoln Center, review not posted)
Mary Poppins at the New Amsterdam Theatre (click here for The SOB Review)
Mauritius at the Biltmore Theatre (click here for The SOB Review)
Pygmalion at the American Airlines TheatreStudio 54 (click here for The SOB Review)
The Ritz at Studio 54 (click here for The SOB Review)
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Circle In The Square Theatre (Click here for The SOB Review of the Chicago production)
Xanadu at the Helen Hayes Theatre (click here for The SOB Review)
Young Frankenstein at the Hilton Theatre (click here for The SOB Preview from Seattle)
Also, don't forget that there's a wide selection of Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway shows you may wish to consider.
Yesterday, The League announced ticket refund procedures, and it's enough to leave me nothing less than outraged.
You see, you are due a full refund back on the face value of your tickets, but if you purchased your tickets through Ticketmaster, you will not receive a refund for the company's $3.10 per ticket "processing fee" or ticketFast, which enables you to download your ticket so you can print it out. The other major ticket company for Broadway -- Telecharge -- will offer a full refund, including on all fees.
If you've purchased tickets through Ticketmaster, do what I have done in the past when a show has been cancelled -- call and politely demand all fees back. If you are told they cannot, politely ask to speak with a supervisor. It's important not to lose your temper! If they refuse, contact your credit card company and set up a dispute with them. There is absolutely no reason why Ticketmaster should withhold any fees when you, as the audience member are not at fault.
For a full rundown on the ticket refund policies, click here.
If you're looking for more on the perspectives of each side in this labor dispute, you may want to check out the blogs from stagehands themselves -- The Humble Nailbanger and OneNYC Stagehand -- as well as the site operated by The League, complete with statements by its Executive Director Charlotte St. Martin.
I'm hoping that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will insert himself into the strike, as he did four and a half years ago when Broadway's musicians took to the picket lines. I've seen estimates on the cost to New York City's businesses in lost revenues ranging from $5 million to $17 million per day.
As I said before, my heart goes out, not only to all the people who have traveled from throughout the world to enjoy Broadway only to have their hopes dashed at considerable expense, but especially to the hardworking men and women who work in all the businesses relying on the traffic from Broadway for their livelihoods. Through no fault of their own, they face the most daunting time of all.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
STRIKE! (November 9, 2007)
A Broadway Stagehands Strike Appears Imminent (November 9, 2007)
Roll Up Your Sleeves And Get To Work! (November 7, 2007)
Now That The Union Has Spoken... (October 22, 2007)
It's Unanimous! (October 20, 2007)
D-Day Indeed (October 21, 2007)
$5 Million Per Day (October 19, 2007)
Nederlanders: On Their Own Again? (October 18, 2007)
The Broadway Theatres Not Impacted By Labor Dispute (October 17, 2007)
Bloomberg Appears Ready To Step Into Fray (October 16, 2007)
If You're Holding Tix For Broadway This Week, You're Safe (October 15, 2007)
Stagehands To Vote On Strike...October 21 (October 12, 2007)
The Shows Must Go On...At Least Over Weekend (October 12, 2007)
Still No Lockout (October 12, 2007)
No Lockout Tonight (October 11, 2007)
Lockout Likely (October 10, 2007)
Is This The One For One? (October 9, 2007)
Stagehands' Union Concedes Key Point (October 5, 2007)
Stagehands Talks To Continue This Afternoon (October 5, 2007)
No Monday Lockout (September 29, 2007)
Before The Holidays Strike? (September 25, 2007)
Thanks, Mel! (July 6, 2007)