Broadway talks end without deal

Next round of talks scheduled for Wednesday

All that optimism on Monday might just have been leftover holiday cheer.

Talks between stagehands and producers to end the 18-day-old strike that has darkened the majority of Broadway theaters have again ended without a resolution.

The next round of negotiations has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, with the more than 25 shows affected by the strike canceled at least through that day’s matinees.

The 13-hour session that wrapped early this morning follows another prolonged round of 20-hour talks the night before.

Both striking stagehands union Local One and the League of American Theaters and Producers indicated Monday that progress had been made in the negotiations over stagehands compensation and were optimistic that an agreement would be reached.

However, while Monday night’s talks were successful in resolving one key issue, other sticking points remain.

Local One rep Bruce Cohen reported that the mood of the talks, which broke off around 5 a.m., remains conducive to both sides making a workable deal.

Sources say crucial questions regarding load-in (the period during which stagehands install scenery on new shows) have been resolved but others remain, in particular the rules regarding work during rehearsal time and outside performance schedules.

The last time Broadway was shuttered by a strike was when musicians walked out in 2003. That stoppage lasted only four days. The current dispute already has yielded significant losses to Thanksgiving box office and risks financially crippling Broadway biz if it continues into the Christmas period.

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