After two marathon negotiating sessions, talks between striking stagehands and theater owners and producers have shut down, but another meeting is scheduled for Wednesday (Nov. 28)

By Melissa Rose Bernardo
November 28, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
Bebeto Matthews/AP

Once again, they?ve stopped talking. After two nights of marathon negotiating sessions, the League of American Theatres and Producers and Local One stagehands’ union have walked away from the table without reaching an agreement. A third round of negotiations has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday (Nov. 28), but for now, Broadway stagehands have returned to the picket lines, and 26 plays and musicals will remain shut down. Now in its 18th day, the strike has cost New York City an estimated $100 million in lost income.

Neither side will elaborate on the specific sticking points, but insiders say the issue of ”load-in” — i.e. how many stagehands are required to physically bring a show into a theater — has been solved.

”The lights will go on sooner rather than later,” Local One spokesman Bruce Cohen told reporters. The League, for its part, has officially canceled Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon performances.

Cohen says the stagehands are ”counting on the patience of the public.” But with only eight shows running in what?s usually the busiest month of the Broadway season, theatergoers’ patience could be in short supply.

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