November 13th, 2007

occult, dark, satanic

Day 4 of the strike...via

Day 4: The Strike, and Eight Shows, Go On
By Andrew Gans
and Robert Simonson
13 Nov 2007

Outside the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, home of the Grease revival.

photo by Andrew Ku

The strike initiated by Local One, the stagehands union, reaches its fourth day Nov. 13. Only eight Broadway shows will offer performances Tuesday evening, while the remaining 27 productions will remain dark.

The third day of the strike (Nov. 12) was marked by a notable silence from either side: Neither the union nor the League of American Theatres and Producers issued a statement or held a press conference. There was also no word as to whether any further negotiations had been scheduled.

The silence was perhaps apropros, as Nov. 12 was the first day since the strike began where Broadway was completely dark. Among the eight still-running shows, none offered Monday-night performances; those few shows that do regularly perform on Mondays were affected by the strike and, therefore, went dark. (The union did allow a previously announced benefit to be held at the Marquis Theatre, the home of The Drowsy Chaperone.)

The effects of the strike have started to be felt by others than those directly involved in the Broadway theatre, including hotels, restaurants, gift shops, bars, taxis, pedicabs, even charitable organizations such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, who all depend on the lights going up eight times a week.

"If you'd walked around the area over the weekend, you'd see how instantaneous the drop-off was," Tim Tompkins, the head of the Times Square Business Improvement District, told "It's absolutely not the same. The thing's that deeper is that a lot of folks come to New York specifically to go to a Broadway show and with this cloud of uncertainty, they postpone or cancel their trips. So that's a double hit."

The one bright spot seems to be the upturn in business for several Off-Broadway productions. Theatregoers and tourists who might normally spend their money on a Broadway show are turning to such Off-Broadway fare as Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn; Die Mommie Die!; and Frankenstein, A New Musical, among others, for their theatre fix. The few Broadway productions that are open — which include Xanadu, The Ritz, Mauritius, Cymbeline, Pygmalion, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Young Frankenstein and Mary Poppins — are also benefiting from the lack of options.

While many Broadway ticketholders were left stranded over the weekend, both the union and the League took their cases to the public by holding dueling press conferences, which were broadcast on local cable channel NY1.

At the League of American Theatres and Producers' press conference on the strike's first day, Nov. 10, executive director Charlotte St. Martin and producers decried the union's absence from the negotiating table Nov. 9 and for not providing any warning about the impending strike. The League also sought to highlight what has come to be the flashpoint of contract negotiations: the issue of employing more union workers than the producers consider necessary, also known as featherbedding.

Largely silent during the three-month period of negotiations leading up to Saturday's strike, the union responded with its own press conference on Nov. 11. Local One president James J. Claffey, Jr. — along with officials of Local 802, the musicians union and Actors' Equity — sought to recharacterize the terms of the dispute as one of the union fighting for its members' families and preserving safety in the theatre.

Claffey said the union is willing to return to the negotiating table but will not do so until "[the producers] give the union more respect." Claffey said the producers' use of the term featherbedding was disrespectful to the union. "As they continue to say featherbedding and they keep [saying] basically that we're thieves," Claffey said, "we're not going back to the table with that lack of respect. . . . We can't negotiate under those circumstances." Although Local One has declined Mayor Michael Bloomberg's offer to mediate a deal, Claffey did say that the union will "come back to the table at some point. Broadway has to continue, and we know that."

The League responded to the union's Nov. 11 press conference with a statement from Charlotte St. Martin, the executive director of the organization. The press statement, said, in part, "[Local One] left the negotiating table and abruptly went on the picket line. They refused to budge on nearly every issue, protecting wasteful, costly and indefensible rules that are embedded like dead weights in contracts so obscure and old that no one truly remembers how, when or why they were introduced. The union wants you to believe they are the victims, the little guys. . . They are professionals and should be well paid, and will remain the best paid in this industry in the world. We simply don't want to be compelled to hire more workers than needed and pay them when there is no work for them to do. . . .These issues can only be resolved at the bargaining table, not on the picket line. We remain prepared to meet 24/7 until we reach an acceptable agreement."

Broadway was last darkened by a musicians strike in 2003, which ended after four days.
occult, dark, satanic

And definately no matinee this Wednesday

Nov. 14 Matinee Performances of Darkened Theatres Canceled
By Andrew Gans
13 Nov 2007

Due to the ongoing stagehands strike, which began Nov. 10, the League of American Theatres and Producers has announced that matinee performances on Wednesday, Nov. 14 have been canceled for the 27 theatres darkened by the strike.

League spokesperson Alan Cohen told the Associates Press, "We will deal with the Wednesday evening performances on Tuesday."

Twenty-seven Broadway shows are currently dark because of the strike. Only eight shows will perform Tuesday evening, Nov. 13 and Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 14. Those shows include Cymbeline, Mary Poppins, Mauritius, Pygmalion, The Ritz, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Xanadu and Young Frankenstein. These productions are housed in theatres whose contracts with Local One are separate.


This whole thing is getting bloody ridiculous. Local 1 stagehands aren't going to make any money if they don't go back to work. The other unions have a strike fund in place, so everyone else will get paid out of their respective unions, although I'm not sure how at this point. I still have to find out where I'm picking up my cheque from last week.

While I am bit upset at this whole thing, I am scheduled for 54 hours at $18/hr at the Manhattan School of Music next week. On top of which, myrddan is working there as well, and he will give me his share of the rent from that, so there is enough money to keep us going for now, and most likely for the rest of the year. So, strike or no strike, I will be okay.
Shockheaded Peter

Legally Blonde, the musical, movie, book, parody script

I saw the Legally Blonde musical, which prompted me to rent the film.
Overall, the musical did an extremely better job than the film, except in one aspect: Victor Garber.
He is amazing as a lawyer character and should've been asked to reprise his role in the stage production, as we all know that he can sing. Otherwise, musical is much better.

But that's not why I'm posting. It's that I also read the Broadway Abridged Script of the musical. It was all right, but the ending of the script was so damn hilarious that I'm going to repost it for you now:


(really just Cookie Monster
trying his best to look like
Alistair Cooke)
So end Legally Blonde. Popular movie about it be legal to be
blonde. Me digress. There you have it. This Alistar
Cookie, saying goodnight for Monsterpiece Theater.

Alistair Cookie eats his pipe, and then
the screen.


N.B. If you've never read a Broadway Abridged Script before, you may not know why this funny, but it is. He gets Cookie Monster to a 'T'.
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