In a show of solidarity with their union brothers and sisters, Actors' Equity Association performers in the national tour of 42nd Street will not sing and dance as scheduled Oct. 4-6 at the Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore.
The Council of Actors' Equity has instructed the cast of the first national tour of 42nd Street to honor the local IATSE strike and picket line at the Mechanic in Baltimore, Equity announced Oct. 4.
Since Oct. 1, the cast had been performing a "stripped down" version of the show that did not include set changes because stagehands and other crew refused to cross the picket lines.
The "no show" order means that there will be no performances of the Tony Award-winning musical on Friday, Saturday or Sunday at the Maryland touring house, "barring any further developments." The tour's engagement there was to end Oct. 6 before moving to Pittsburgh.
IA Local 868, Treasurers and Ticket Sellers, is currently on strike against Theatre Management Group, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Entertainment, which operates the historic theatre. The dispute revolves around wage and contract issues, Equity said. Producers of the national tour of 42nd Street released this statement Oct. 4: "The touring production of 42nd Street, currently in Baltimore, is an innocent victim caught in a labor dispute between IATSE Local 868 ticket sellers at the Mechanic Theatre and the local theatre operator. There are no disputes of any kind with the touring production of 42nd Street. The production stands ready to perform subject to a resolution of the local labor dispute."
The Council was "extremely concerned" about safety issues for the large cast musical, which has been performed without scenery and costume changes since Tuesday. "The tour's stagehands, who provide essential support backstage, have not crossed Local 868's picket lines, potentially endangering cast members who performed a 'stripped down' version for the past three nights," according to an Equity statement.
AEA executive director Alan Eisenberg said that "the Council is firm and forthright in its show of support. The show will not go on at the Mechanic until there is an indication that management will respect the needs of these strikers and the show can proceed safely with its full staff."