Stagehands on Strike

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stagehands are raising pickets instead of
curtains on Broadway.

More than two dozen plays and musicals won't go on as planned as
the picket lines went up at theaters throughout the Times Square
area.

The first show affected was an early matinee of ``Dr. Seuss' How
the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical.'' Other popular shows
including ``Wicked,'' ``The Phantom of the Opera,'' ``Rent,'' ``Les
Miserables,'' ``Monty Python's Spamalot'' and ``Mamma Mia!'' will
all be dark.

Local One -- the stagehands union -- and the League of American
Theatres and Producers have been wrangling over work rules and
staffing requirements, particularly those governing the expensive
process of setting up a show.

The stagehands have been without a contract since the end of
July.

Off-Broadway shows and eight Broadway productions with separate
contracts will not be affected.

A musicians strike in 2003 cost New York City millions of
dollars in lost revenue.


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