Broadway Strike: Six Possible Effects

According to this morning’s New York Times, the Broadway stagehands’ union is going to strike today. Here are six things that may happen as a result:

1) Ticket demand for the shows that aren’t being struck (because they have a different contract with union members) will skyrocket. Especially during the holiday season (if the strike lasts for a while), anyone holding tickets to “Young Frankenstein” and “Mary Poppins” will see the value of those stubs rise faster than the price of oil.

2) Striking stagehands can expect celebrity supporters to deliver sustenance to them while they picket. While these (mostly) guys can’t expect Eva Longoria to jet cross-country to personally hand them pizza, they can expect donuts from Robin Williams and bagels from Jon Stewart.

3) Ellen DeGeneres, the most prominent scab so far in the writers’ strike, will find almost no block in Manhattan to be safe should she dare to go ahead with her plans to film her show in New York on November 19 and 20. If Ellen didn’t think writers were tough guys (if that’s the case, she should read today’s obit of novelist Norman Mailer), I suspect she has at least some regard for the brawn of stagehands.

4) The ersatz reality shows that the writers’ strike have inspired (mock footage from these impromptu projects is starting to show up online) will spur the stagehands to come up with similar projects. (My friend Erica Silverman has come up with an umbrella title for the picketing scribes’ shows: “Writers On Line.”)

5) Poster board, which is already at a premium at art-supply stores throughout New York, will now sell out.

6) Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway will flourish. Inveterate downtown theatregoers will have to get used to overhearing intermission chatter like, “Honey, you told me that ‘God or Merman’ was a family show!”

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