Broadway Plays Benefit as Labor Strike Closes Most Musicals

News   Broadway Plays Benefit as Labor Strike Closes Most Musicals Broadway's plays, which suddenly found themselves without the usual competition of splashy musicals, did brisk business the night of Friday March 7.

Seven plays and one musical, Cabaret, were the only Broadway shows unaffected by a strike called by Local 802 of the musicians union, and honored by Actors' Equity and Local One of the stagehands union.

The walkout—the result of rancorous negotiations between Local 802 and the League of American Theatres and Producers—silenced 18 musicals for the weekend, including such popular hits as Hairspray, The Producers, Movin' Out and La Boheme.

A spokesman for Terrence McNally's Frankie and Johnny, which is set to close this weekend, said the show sold out Friday night, selling more than 300 tickets between 7 PM and 8 PM.

Take Me Out, Richard Greenberg's acclaimed new drama, almost sold out and is "strong through the weekend" and Def Jam Poetry, an evening of modern, urban verse, "had a great audience last night, obviously helped by the fact that it is only one of a handful of shows open on Broadway right now," a show spokesman said.

Vincent in Brixton, the new London import, also sold out Friday night. As for Cabaret at Studio 54—which works under a different contract with Local 802 and thus remained open for business—the long-running revival was also sold out, with a waiting line of roughly thirty people waiting for return tickets.

The other productions that are unaffected by the strike are Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Say Goodnight Gracie, The Play What I Wrote and Vincent in Brixton.