Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day 19: The Final Frontier

The Little Mermaid will "swim" again!!!!! I genuinely am so excited.

I have to say--I had heard hardly anything from the room all day. And I got worried. Then I left messages for some people not in the room who know stuff and no one got back to me. And I got confused. And then I decided I didn't like people. THEN, before I headed into the St. James for tonight's performance of The Grinch, I heard almost everything was settled other than some drama over what the retroactive pay rate would be. So I thought, "I know they'll announce the settlement during the 4th reprise of 'Who Likes Christmas'." But, they waited until well after all the Whoville had shut down for the night. But, that moment finally came.

If there was no settlement tonight, I was going to offer my mother's theories about what the compromise should be. (They somehow involved confusingly involved maintaining the status quo for current members but creating new rules for new stagehands, which doesn't make any logical sense, which she eventually admitted, but she really sold the idea, and over half the time that is what matters.) But all the talk of what could be done seems irrelevant now--what is done is done. And that's why I'm not going to talk figures or anything because 1) it would be based on random rumors and 2) that's the job of Campbell Robertson or Gordon Cox.

I will say how fascinating this strike has been to me. First of all, it shows you how few press people actually cover Broadway. You had like 5 reporters who knew what they were talking about and then reporters asking Local One members questions like, "What do you do, just raise and lower the curtain?" (I heard that. Seriously.)

Then, and here was my favorite part, depending on who a person's sources were, they had completely different outlooks, especially this week. On Sunday night, when I wrote the blog, random people kept calling and telling me "settlement," but when I spoke to people in-the-know the picture was less rosy (obviously with good cause). On Monday, when I spoke to more people actually involved, everyone on the producer's side was like "we're so getting it done tonight." That's why you had a story in Tuesday's New York Post being like "Mamma mia! - the shows may go on tomorrow." That was sourced primarily by producers, I'm 99% sure. Now, for me, Monday, I heard from producers that they were close but then I also spoke to union guys who were like "umm, no way." I'm sure that is why The Times stories were all more cautious. Of course, you always get different stories depending on who you speak to. That's obvious. But this was one time when actual written reports were so flat-out different. If you read the writers strike reports, it's not as like that (in my opinion, at least).

So this brings to an end our weeks of tumult. (Well, assuming union approval in 10 days.) Let us all chill out. And so I am cutting this short to catch up on TV. I figure it doesn't matter because not so many people are going to read this blog on the day after the strike because they are going to have so many fact-based strike stories to read. As it should be. Feel free to email me at with questions or if you have anything you want me to touch on Sunday.

Anyway, I'll leave you with a moment from my night. At The Grinch the ENTIRE middle F orchestra row was empty. So my friend Mikey says to me: "Is it an emergency row in case Angelina Jolie decide she wants to bring the children?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My favorite dumb comment was from the NY1 anchor tonight (Cheryl Wills, maybe?), as the settlement was about to be announced. She asked the reporter on the scene if the shows could be back in time for the matinees (on Thursday?!), or if they'd have to wait for Thursday night.