Broadway Grinch

11 11 2007

It is the little people who barely make much that support the juggernaut that is Broadway, euphemism for the New York theater and performing arts industry. Stage hands are back stage workers who install and operate lights, sets and properties – they have been working sans contract since July 2007, and bitter negotiations have broken down intermittently. Yesterday the stage hands striked and shut down 28 shows, the first one being “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” which just opened yesterday, whose principal entertained little disappointed children in Times Square with a little ditty but wisely refrained from joining or crossing the picket line. Les Miserables, Lion King, Curtains, Little Mermaid, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera and Hairspray are all dark. Eight shows (including the Young Frankenstein and Mary Poppins) continue to play with unexpired contracts. Broadways repercussions will be felt in the travel (taxi cab, airline), hospitality (hotels, restaurant) and other allied industry, estimated at approximately US$17 million per day, more at the week end. Entire families plan their holidays around this. With the writer’s strike on the left coast and the property man calling curtains for Curtains, we are stuck watching Seinfeld reruns. Or we could enjoy everything else that New York City has to offer, and I assure you that is quite a bit. If you are headed out, please check with the box office for refund policies.

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