Broadway Stagehands to Begin Strike Nov. 10

By Andrew Gans
and Adam Hetrick
November 9, 2007

Local One, the Broadway stagehands union, will go on strike beginning Nov. 10, the Associated Press reports.

The union has called a meeting for 9 AM ET, according to Local One's official website. The strike, AP reports, will begin at 11 AM, in time to close an early matinee of the return engagement of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at the St. James Theatre.

The stagehands union has been working without a contract since July 31. To date, talks between the union and the League of American Theatres and Producers have been unfruitful. In fact, when the League and the union reconvened earlier this week, the outcome was the authorization of a strike by I.A.T.S.E president Thomas C. Short.

Neither the League nor the union has released an official statement. Lisa Linden, a spokesperson for the League told AP, "We have not heard from Local One regarding a strike and it would be shocking if they would hurt the theatergoing public by shutting down Broadway without notice."

Most Broadway productions will be affected by the strike; that is, the shows will not go on for August: Osage County, Avenue Q, A Bronx Tale, Chicago, A Chorus Line, The Color Purple, Curtains, Cyrano de Bergerac, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Farnsworth Invention, Grease, Hairspray, Is He Dead?, Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde, Les Miserables, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Mamma Mia!, Spamalot, The Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Rock 'n' Roll, The Seafarer, Spring Awakening, and Wicked.

The only Broadway productions still running will be Xanadu, The Ritz, Mauritius, Cymbeline, Pygmalion, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Young Frankenstein and Mary Poppins. These productions are either presented by Broadway's nonprofit sector or are housed in theatres whose contracts with Local One are separate.

Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the League of American Theatres and Producers, released a statement Nov. 9 that said, "In the event a strike is called, please be assured that all affected ticket holders can receive an exchange or full refund."

Playbill.com will provide further information as it is made available.