Feature

Broadway: The show goes on for now

Broadway sprang back to life last week as striking stagehands tentatively agreed to a new contract, said Campbell Robertson in The New York Times. The union won large guaranteed raises for the next five years, while producers will be free to experiment wi

Broadway sprang back to life last week as striking stagehands tentatively agreed to a new contract, said Campbell Robertson in The New York Times. The union won large guaranteed raises for the next five years, while producers will be free to experiment with reduced staffs on certain productions. But there was no clear winner in this battle, which “wiped away millions of dollars of potential ticket sales” and cost New York City at least $40 million. Some 26 Broadway shows were forced to remain dark during one of the busiest parts of the year. Thankfully, wild rumors “that this or that show was about to close” turned out to be unfounded, but several new musicals and much-anticipated plays were forced to delay their openings. The result is a logjam of openings in the next few weeks, said Robert Hughes in The Wall Street Journal. Plays originally scheduled to open weeks apart “suddenly have openings separated by only a day or two, jeopardizing their ability to grab enough attention” to ensure a long run. Stagehands will meet this week to officially ratify the new contract, but many on Broadway are already dreading the next labor tussle. The producers’ contract with Actors’ Equity, “which represents 46,000 stage actors and stage managers around the country, including 17,000 in New York,” will be up in June.

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