Musicians in the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” went on strike Wednesday after negotiations between musicians’ Local 802 and Radio City Entertainment stalled.
Joined by the Rockettes and the stagehands of the show, the strike threatens to shutter the “Spectacular,” the yearly attraction that took in close to $75 million last year. The show is skedded to open today.
However, Radio City, which is owned by Cablevision, vowed the show must go on. “This year’s show will be set to a world-class musical score, recorded by a 55-piece orchestra and heard through the most advanced sound system available,” the org said in a statement.
Negotiations between 802 and Radio City have been contentious for weeks now, erupting last week into dueling demonstrations in front of the music hall. The trouble began over a disagreement about the overtime-pay arrangement for the approximately 225 shows played during the 10-week run.
“Local 802 musicians decided to strike after walking away from the negotiating table,” Radio City’s statement said.
According to David Lennon, prexy of 802, his side went to the table ready to accept the most recent contract proposal, but Radio City refused to sign and chose to go ahead with taped music instead.
“We want to go to work, and we’re ready to go to work,” Lennon said.