The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that fears of a strike by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 3, the stagehands union, triggered the decision to cancel the engagement. A strike during the run of the show could have meant that the set — which is transported from city to city — would be stuck in the theatre with no stagehands available to remove it.
Trust spokesperson Veronica Corpuz told the Pittsburgh paper, "It would leave the producers and our patrons in a fix and we don't want to jeopardize the experience for anyone."
IATSE's six-year contract expired last month, and negotiations between the organization and the Trust recently broke down. Although Union members voted to strike, they have yet to walk off the job or set up picket lines. In fact, IATSE members have continued to work at the Benedum Center.
A statement released by the Trust on Sept. 13 states, "The company of Chicago is very disappointed not to have had the opportunity to entertain Pittsburgh audiences, as they were returning to the United States from a wildly successful five-week engagement in Japan. Pittsburgh was the first U.S. stop on the tour. The producers look forward to rescheduling the engagement in the near future."
Those requiring refunds for the Pittsburgh engagement of Chicago should call (412) 456-6666. Chicago will continue its tour in Austin, TX, playing Sept. 20-25 at the Bass Concert Hall. Call (713) 477-6060 for tickets.
Chicago won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 1997 as well as awards for actors Bebe Neuwirth and James Naughton, director Walter Bobbie, lighting designer Ken Billington and choreographer Ann Reinking. The original production was directed and choreographed by the late Bob Fosse. The musical — produced by Barry and Fran Weissler — continues to play Broadway's Ambassador Theatre, located at 215 West 49th Street.