Monday, November 26, 2007

Day 16: Enough Already

Poor Playbill. Really. Lets all take a minute to mourn the career of the person who put that "strike over" story up today.

Over it?

OK! Well... what do I have to say? Really nothing--this will be lame. I heard very little from the room today. Then again, instead of paying attention all day, I went to Cymbeline. Seriously. I gave up on caring the one day some progress was actually made. All I've heard since I got out of LCT's pretty three-hour epic (after the initial flurry of "it's over" and then "oh, wait..." messages) was that we very well could be in for a settlement. (Though I'll believe it when I see it.) IF it happens--who won't cheer? I mean, there will be those members of both the League and Local One who don't think whatever compromise they work out is a good one, but those people will barely be heard over the cheers of others. As it should be.

And I feel lame writing this without knowing if there will be cheers. By the time, you read it, there could possibly be, so everything I'll write now may be pointless. Nevertheless, I'll write for a bit, but don't count on genius.

IF (I caps that) there is a settlement, the question then becomes: Will this strike have a long-lasting effect on Broadway? This hasn't been the best PR for our little community, of course. But I don't think it will have a long-lasting effect. For a couple of weeks, attendance will be down as compared to where it would have been had it not been for the strike. But that's about it.

On the other hand--will it have an effect on labor relations on Broadway? I think it will. I think the League has shown they can act tough, but the unions have proven they can stand firm in solidarity. I've been very critical of Jeremy Gerard's pieces in the past, but people emailed me that they liked his most recent column, "Questions for Dim Bulbs Keeping Broadway Dark," so I read it. He raises some valid questions, but I am going to answer one right now. The question went to John P. Connolly, executive director of Actors' Equity Association, and it asked: "Do you seriously think Local One will get your backs if you walk out for two weeks with no end in sight next summer when your contract expires?" I want to say, first of all, let's hope there is no strike in 2008. (Those of you who believe in a supreme being, please pray.) But, then, I want to answer, "yes." Here is why--remember back when Local 802 had their strike and there was all that talk that the show would go on with 'virtual orchestras' if Equity would cross the picket line. For hours we were sitting at Equity waiting for them to decide what to do--then came word that Local One would not cross the picket line, so Local One made the decision for Equity. If they were willing to stand behind the musicians firmly, I believe they would be willing to stand behind Equity, especially after this. But, again, I am going on the assumption that no one will need to stand behind anyone next summer (other than those randomly dancing in a conga line, that is).

You know, normally, I'd fight against anything that brought back the current revival of Grease and, yet, I'm so beaten down now I will applaud its return. That's what this strike has done to me. Alas. I just want to be able to see The Little Mermaid. Is that too much to ask? Really?


Anonymous said...

I'd be curious as to where you got the idea that "Local One made the decision for Equity" re: the 802 strike. Equity made its own decision, as did Local One -- and they both made the right choice, as time has shown.

carajoy said...

Well, I got the idea because Local One took the decision out of Equity's hands. The actors could have shown up without the musicians, but they could not have shown up without the stagehands. Actually, Patrick Quinn, then Equity president (I believe, though he may have had another title), said in the hall right before the press conference something along the lines of: "They made the choice for us."

So, while I guess you could argue that Equity did make a choice to be public in support of 802, Equity did not have to choose whether to have their members show up to have work or not. That was a non-issue after Local One decided its members were out.

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