Les%20Mis.jpgBroadway’s blackout grew blacker still Sunday night when talks between the stagehands’ union and producers broke down again. Around 9pm, after two days of negotiations averaging about 12 hours a day, the league of producers reached the end of their patience. A spokesman for the union, Local One, issued a statement saying that “producers informed Local One that what Local One offered was not good enough, and they left.” This despite the intervention of Disney’s senior V.P. of labor relations, Robert W. Johnson. The Disney Corporation is not a member of the producers’ league but some were optimistic about his participation because Thomas C. Short, the president of Local One's international parent union, is said to trust Johnson.

The producers issued a statement confirming the cancellation of all 27 shows affected by the strike through next Sunday the 25th. The announcement is a blow to the city’s economy, with lost revenue estimated at $2 million per day, and the Broadway community, which looks forward to Thanksgiving for the highest ticket sales of the year. There is hope, however, for Broadway’s Whos in Whoville; a producer of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! announced that show would go on starting tomorrow thanks to a “special arrangement” with Local One. For other alternatives, turn to our big index of great family theater options currently running in town. And there are 15% discounts at many Times Square restaurants this week; see the list of participants.

The stagehands took to the picket lines on November 10th after working without a contract since July; producers are demanding changes to the number of stagehands they’re required to hire, among other things. Sadly, one stagehand who won’t see the strike’s end is Frank Lavaia, a 57-year-old prop master who died from a heart attack on The Lion King picket line Friday night; a memorial service was held at the theater’s stage door Saturday night. (One stagehand has written a moving account of the ceremony.)

Photo by masck.