‘Beast’ meets deadline

Disney asking for 25% pay cuts granted 7 other endangered B'way musicals

NEW YORK — Disney is threatening to issue a closing notice this week for its long-running Broadway production of “Beauty and the Beast.”

If the unions don’t agree to Disney’s demands, notice will be posted Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater. “Beauty and the Beast” does not perform on either Monday or Tuesday, and notice must be posted the first day of a week’s performance schedule.

Disney is asking for the same four-week 25% pay cuts granted seven other endangered Broadway musicals.

Initially Disney asked for a six-week concession period, but on Monday, Disney rep Chris Boneau said the Mouse House accepted four weeks and offered full pay reimbursement for any week the show grossed more than $450,000.

On Sunday, two IATSE locals held a secret vote on the decision, with other unions and IATSE locals to vote this week. One union exec said discussions with workers regarding “Beauty and the Beast” were “more prolonged and contentious” than those on other shows granted concessions.

“Chicago,” “The Full Monty,” “Kiss Me, Kate,” “Les Miserables,” “The Music Man,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” and “Rent” have been granted the union concessions, effective Sept. 24-Oct. 21.

“Beauty and the Beast” opened at the Palace Theater on April 18, 1994, and has played 3,021 performances to date. For the week of Sept. 17-23, the musical took in $312,188 on its gross potential of $764,478. Prior to the week of the World Trade Center attacks, “B&B” grossed $509,036.

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