I have thought a lot about commenting on the dispute between The League of American Theaters and Producers and IATSE which has led to the strike affecting the Broadway theater. I don’t feel it is my place to publicly discuss the issues at hand because I don’t know any more about them than has been disclosed in the media. I can, however, talk about disappointment.
The picture above is very ironic. It is taken in front of the St. James Theater where The Grinch That Stole Christmas should be playing. Instead a new show is in town: The Grinch That Stole Broadway.
Whatever the issues, whatever the impasse, because people on both sides of the table are unable to continue talking and compromising, the real loser is the audience. Ticket sales to popular shows are made months in advance and patrons plan special trips into NYC. Vacations are often planned around theater experiences and can’t be replicated. For many people it is a “once in a lifetime” experience and one that won’t or can’t be duplicated after their ticket refund. It is disappointing to the patron and a disappointment to the City and organizations that count on the revenues derived from these visitors. Over 5 billion dollars is generated for the New York City annually through visitor spending by tourists attracted to productions playing in Broadway theaters. It is estimated that theaters and related businesses are losing about 17 million dollars a day during this strike.
Another potential disappointment is for BROADWAY CARES. They were in the midst of their six week winter fund raising drive, a window of time in which the attending audience is asked to donate to this important organization. A lengthy shutdown will be a major disappointment for them.
My hope is that the craftsmen and the producers will come back to the bargaining table looking for solutions that will benefit everyone…including the patrons and associated Broadway businesses and organizations. What blesses one, blesses all!