Show will resume despite stagehands strike
New York Supreme Court Justice Helen Freedman says “The Grinch” is in the right.
Freedman granted producers of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical!” an injunction against Jujamcyn Theaters, allowing the show to return to Broadway’s St. James Theater. “The Grinch” will resume performances on Friday morning at 11 a.m., when it will commence a staggering 11-perf weekend.
Running Subway (the show’s producers) sought the ruling after Jujamcyn locked out Local One stagehands from the St. James. The stagehands strike that began Nov. 10 has closed 27 shows running on Broadway, including four in Jujamcyn theaters. However, “The Grinch” negotiated a separate contract with Local One that is not at issue during the strike.
“Grinch” producers argued that the lockout would irreparably damage the seasonal tuner’s chances of recoupment. The show is in town for a limited 10-week run. Now that “The Grinch” is back on Broadway, it’s one of nine B’way shows on the boards.
The reopening of the show creates a new set of problems — with the weekend close by, Running Subway’s James Sanna says he hopes ticketbuyers will find out the show is open in time to get them into the theater. There’s also the matter of what to do about people who reserved tickets for the canceled perfs, should they opt to reschedule rather than accept refunds.
“We’re back up on Telecharge,” says Sanna. “We’re sort of in uncharted territory. People got a notice on Monday saying all these performances were canceled, so now they’re going to get a bounceback saying the show is still on. We’re going to try to find a way to give those people a priority.”
Has the lawsuit damaged the annually recurring tuner’s chances of returning to the St. James? “I have no idea,” says Sanna. “I hope it hasn’t affected our relationship with Jujamcyn.”