Stagehand Strike Shuts Down Broadway Shows More than two dozen shows on Broadway went dark Saturday, as stagehands — who have been engaged in a bitter contract dispute with producers — went on strike. No new negotiations have been scheduled.
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Stagehand Strike Shuts Down Broadway Shows

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Stagehand Strike Shuts Down Broadway Shows

Stagehand Strike Shuts Down Broadway Shows

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LIANE HANSEN, Host:

Jeff Lunden went to Times Square to get the story.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD)

JEFF LUNDEN: Mark Zimmerman, president of sister union Actors' Equity, defends the strike.

MARK ZIMMERMAN: The IA(ph) has been around Local One for 121 years. Everything that's in their contract, they negotiated fair and square. So if the producers are - should be angry with anybody, it should be with themselves for giving away things that they now think are not justified.

LUNDEN: While talks have gone on and off for several months, Charlotte St. Martin, president of the League of American Theaters and Producers, says the strike couldn't come at a worse time of year.

CHARLOTTE ST: For so many shows, their busiest time is middle of November through the end of December, which will help get them through the, really, slower winter month. So this will be the greatest impact to the shows of anytime that they could have chosen to do this, and they know that.

LUNDEN: Marianne(ph) and Lyn Brennan(ph) traveled a long way to not see "The Phantom of the Opera."

MARIANNE BRENNAN: We came from Ireland. We missed the one show we wanted to see.

LYN BRENNAN: Because this is my birthday present in September.

BRENNAN: This is her birthday present. We have the tickets since last September at home, you know. We booked online.

BRENNAN: Oh, well.

BRENNAN: It's a huge disappointment.

LUNDEN: For NPR News, I'm Jeff Lunden in New York.

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