Starting tomorrow at noon, the massive Bid 2 Beat AIDS auction will begin on eBay, raising money for the HIV/AIDS prevention organization LIFEbeat. In addition to scores of exciting celebrity, TV, and movie memorabilia, there will be lots of Broadway-themed items to bid on. There will be autographed Broadway cast recordings, scripts, posters, and photos, plus other unique items like cards with illustrations by Broadway stars such as Cynthia Nixon, Sutton Foster, and David Hyde Pierce. To find out more about the auction, visit www.Bid2BeatAIDS.com.
In all the joyous hubbub surrounding the end of the Broadway strike, an interesting little bit of news nearly got lost: Beloved Broadway diva Patti Lupone will be hitting the Great White Way in Gypsy early next year. This latest production of Gypsy, which met with much acclaim during a brief engagement at City Center this summer, will open on Broadway on March 27, 2008. Tony winner Lupone has appeared on Broadway numerous times, most notably as the star of the original Broadway production of Evita.
On Day 19 of the strike that temporarily closed 27 Broadway shows, Local One and the League of American Theatres and Producers finally came to an agreement on the union’s contract. Although the union won’t vote to ratify the agreement for another 10 days, the stagehands are going right back to work, with all Broadway shows resuming performances on Thursday, November 29.
This was the first time that Local One went on strike in its entire 121-year history. Although it was hardly an ideal time for Broadway to be closed down (Thanksgiving week is usually a big moneymaker for Broadway shows) and millions of dollars were lost for both the shows and New York City, it doesn’t seem that the strike did as much damage as might have been expected since no shows posted closing notices. However, the full impact of this nearly three week shutdown of Broadway will probably be better understood in the coming days and weeks.
One thing is for sure, though, and that’s that Broadway needs the support of its fans now more than ever. So go get tickets for a show! In fact, why not get some great discount Broadway tickets?
Another day of talks between the stagehands and the producers, and another day with no resolution. However, both parties continue to send out optimistic signals and the buzz among Broadway folk is that the shows will finally go on in another day or so. Apparently the stickiest contract issues have been decided upon, and it’s just a matter of hammering out a few more points. After a long night of negotiating, both sides broke this morning and are scheduled to resume talks tomorrow morning.
After a dark and silent Thanksgiving week, the League of American Theatres and Producers resumed contract negotiations with the Broadway stagehands union on Sunday. When the two parties broke early this morning for a 12-hour rest, word was that things were going in a positive direction. They reconvened this evening, and the Broadway community is hopeful that a resolution is on the horizon. With any luck, there will be some good news to report tomorrow.
As scheduled, the limited-run play Mauritius has its final Broadway performance today. Being that it is produced by the non-profit Manhattan Theatre Club and therefore under a different contract with the stagehands union, Mauritius is one of the shows to continue playing during the Broadway strike. The play benefited from being one of the few options for theatergoers wanting to see a Broadway show — during the last two week of its run, attendance shot up 20%.
Remember that, the stagehands’ strike notwithstanding, Broadway is far from being closed. The re-opening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas makes for a total of nine shows still gracing the theaters of Broadway. Those other eight plays and musicals are The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Cymbeline, Mary Poppins, Mauritius, Pygmalion, The Ritz, Xanadu, and Young Frankenstein. Although Poppins and Frankenstein are probably pretty full, the other shows all have seats to spare. With Spelling Bee set to close very soon, now would be a great time to catch that charming musical while you still have the chance. Mauritius and Pygmalion are both intelligent and funny plays (one brand new, and the other a classic revival) worth seeing, and The Ritz is a silly, fun farce. So get out there and support Broadway in its time of need!
The Broadway production of Legally Blonde may be on strike-imposed hiatus right now, but fans can catch it on MTV tonight when the network re-broadcasts its live taping of the show at 8pm Eastern/Standard time tonight. This broadcast of the Broadway musical is extra special, though, because it will have the song lyrics streaming at the bottom of the screen. So you can beat the Broadway strike blues this Thanksgiving by singing along — it’ll be like having a Broadway show in your own living room! (Sort of.)
The producers of How the Grinch Stole Christmas were granted the injunction that they filed yesterday, and now Jujamcyn will have to open the doors of the St. James Theatre so that the musical can resume performances. Grinch will officially re-open on Broadway this Friday, November 23, just in time to snag those lucrative holiday weekend bucks.
But the courtroom drama isn’t over. Today the Nederlander Organization, owner of nine of the theaters currently shut down due to the strike, filed a suit against Local One. As with the Grinch situation, this lawsuit stems from the fact that the Nederlanders are under a different contract than the one currently in dispute. However, this situation is a bit more complicated because a) the Nederlander-Local One contract is also expired, and b) prior to the strike, the Nederlanders sent Local One a letter basically stating that they would be acting in solidarity with the other theater owners.
The Broadway stagehands strike goes on, but there has been drama at the St. James Theatre this week. The theater was scheduled to be temporary home to the holiday musical How the Grinch Stole Christmas when Local One began its strike on November 10. However, due to the fact that Local One negotiated a contract with Grinch earlier this year that is separate from the one currently under dispute, the union agreed to go back to work at the St. James so that the show could resume. Unfortunately, though, Jujamcyn Theatres is not cooperating, refusing to open the doors to the theater until Local One ends its strike entirely. The latest news is that Grinch‘s producer is going to court to seek an injunction to force the theater to open up. Stay tuned …