Monday, August 10, 2009

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Okay, okay. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

I was real tempted to spout off when the Feds indicted some Carpenters for embezzlement, bribery, wire fraud on the same day that Garth Drabinsky started his 7 years of research on a musical version of “The Big House.” It was certainly an karmic rich environment with Drabinsky’s attorney (or “mouthpiece” as Darth is learning) proposing that Drabinsky do community service by speaking to theatre students about “avoidance of unethical conduct” and the knuckleheaded President of the Carpenters turning himself in and testing positive for cocaine and marijuana. But thinking that I might not have anything positive to add to the conversation, I withheld comment.

But now some punk cheesehead from Racine, sitting at his computer alone in the dark in his underwear, is sending out anonymous emails about Union members not attending the Town Hall meeting about health care reform.

From the Huntington Post.

You socialist f---s have the nerve to say stop the violence at the town hall meetings when they weren't violent until you p---ies showed up because your n----- leader obama said to?????? When we have ours in Racine, Wi, I want you there. I want one of your little b----- to put his hands on this Marine. I want one of you to look or talk to me wrong. I'll be the last thing your ignorant faux body guards will remember for a very long time. You can f---ing guarantee that.

Yo, yo, Joe Cheesehead, over here, listen up. I fully realize that as a member of organized labor and a union member, I belong to one of the most despised minorities in the United States today. In fact I take a bit of pride in that. It’s an outlaw thing. And I understand that you, Joe The Dumber, are not really arguing for the retention of corporate profits in place of healthcare, in some form, for all. It’s that whole supremacist thing, us vs. them that you want to keep. That little high your brain produces when the hate juices are flowing. But you are allowing yourself to be played by the racist fear mongers that seem to have dominated the body politic since Joe McCarthy’s red baiting and Nixon’s “Southern Strategy.” The same billionaires that are shipping the industrial base of America to cheap labor markets are using your rage to promote their money driven control over every aspect of your life. Wake up. You don’t like the way things are and you’re afraid to change. Not a pleasant place to be. And so you rage.

You do have a right, guaranteed the Constitution, to have freedom of speech. So do I. However your right to swing your fist stops at the end of my nose. So lets stop the threats, the name-calling and the pitting of Americans against Americans. Don’t hang on to your hate but don’t lose your rage. Direct it against the people who are really ruining America.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Pushcart Takes A Hit

The NY Times reports that during a time of deepening economic crisis, The Broadway League imposed an unannounced $1 a ticket surcharge on the tickets sold at TKTS. TKTS is the ticket outlet for discount tickets sold by the Theatre Development Fund, the not-for-profit that was established to aid in the promotion of the performing arts in NYC. The League, which has decried anything that would raise ticket prices, quietly imposed the surcharge/fee/restoration charge on those patrons at the lower end of the economic scale; those who patiently wait in line in all kinds of weather to see what discount tickets are available. Three months later, when the state considered a restoration of the amusement tax, Rocco Landesman, the nominee for Chairman of the NEA, plead "pity the poor workingman" in arguing against the tax in front of a legislative hearing on the tax proposals, saying that ticket price increases will cause shows to close, restaurants to fail and frogs to fall from the sky. The League, which according to tax returns spends 30% of its revenue on salaries, claims that the fee is for "added value for theatergoers", educational programs and web sites. League member dues, which make up about half of the Leagues $8 million revenue, will go up by 10%. The source of the additional 10% was not disclosed but it is unlikely that in these troubled times, the theatre patron will see ticket prices drop.

I fail to see how raising the cost of a ticket will add value to theatre-goers on a budget. It’s also interesting how we’ve gotten to “the hard-working men and women employed by Broadway” from "Our goal is simple: to pay for workers we need and for work that is actually performed."

The last surcharge became a war chest. Who's next?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Does anyone else see a similarity between the uproar over Nancy Pelosi and scenery? Not to make light of the suffering these human beings were put through but it seems to me that blaming Nancy Pelosi for the torture scandal is like blaming the closing of a show on the scenery. Both were in the background, neither were strutting and fretting his hour upon the stage. She didn't write the play, cast it, light it, prop it or even elect to produce the turkey in the first place. And now the actors and producers are saying, “Nancy, why didn’t you tell us this one was a stinker? It’s your fault!”

And the Times dutifully reports about the latest fight backstage as if it was actually somehow consequential. “Minsky outraged he’s not being sued for a million.”

There’s the news and then there’s the facts. What a world.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Artists For Workers Choice

The performing arts unions have created a web ad supporting the Employee Free Choice Act.

Artists For Workers Choice

The Stars Come Out in Support of Employee Free Choice Act
The stars of stage and screen—actors, musicians, Broadway performers, comedians, writers and crew—are coming out in support of the Employee Free Choice Act through a new online video called “Artists4WorkersChoice.” Many have Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Tony awards and nominations, and they have one thing in common—they’re all union members, and they all share the experience of working every day for a living, struggling to find jobs and pay the bills.
“People associate actors with fame and glory. The truth is for a long time my union contract was the reason I could support my family. That’s why I support the Employee Free Choice Act,” said television star Amy Brenneman. “Because each worker, regardless of their field, deserves the freedom to bargain for a contract, for a better life.”

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Where's The Adult Supervision?

So The Associated Students of the University of Arizona (ASUA) decided that a nice little concert would be fun. They even had a cute little name for it. Last Smash Platinum Bash. Since the Kanye West "Glow in the Dark Tour," packed the McKale Center's 14,545 seats with 9000 ticket buyers, the President of the University, Tommy Bruce, decided to make it a "top priority during his second term to rekindle a stadium concert."

The student promoters’ education began with an unusual pairing of acts and strange method of financing. University of Arizona to Host 1 Million Dollar Concert Featuring Jay-Z and Kelly Clarkson reports that while the cost to put on the show rose to above $1 million, ASUA was working on a zero-based budget in which all expenses will be covered after the concert in the form of ticket sales and other revenue. What could possibly go wrong?


*An Arizona concert featuring Jay-Z and Kelly Clarkson was a financial failure, according to organizers.
The Associated Students of the University of Arizona (ASUA), who put on the concert, paid Jay-Z $750,000 to co-headline the event with pop star Kelly Clarkson. While Jigga praised the odd pairing, telling MTV it reaffirms that "good music" is neither black nor white; it wasn't enough to sell tickets.

According to estimates listed in the Arizona Daily Star, the student union gave away over 4000 tickets to the Last Smash Platinum Bash in hopes of securing marketing deals with newspapers and radio stations. However, the show still posted a loss of $917,000.

Did the university fire anyone or demand that the promoters add the loss to their student loans? Well, no. In teaching the young adults both personal and business ethics, it allowed the deficit to be made up to be made up not by the promoters but by the University Bookstore. The Bookstore, a monopoly on campus, seems to be operating at such a large profit margin that it had the excess funds at its disposal. A bit like a trust fund in which the well-to-do can fall back on in times of difficulty instead taking personal responsibility for their failures.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I'll Gladly Pay You Tuesday

Sometimes these posts write themselves. I've been playing with the gizmos on the side of the posts while trying to get this internets thing figured out. I was going to get rid of the "News Stagehands Can Use", a Google search for IATSE, when these two items pop up. The first reminds me of my earlier DiCaprio post and with the other, well, words fail me.

In this Tales from the Trenches column in Movie Maker, April Davila describes the negotiations with San Francisco's IATSE Local 16 before production started on Harrison Montgomery. It seems that the Producers started out with a budget big enough to rate a Low Budget Agreement contract. When they realized this, they did what any first-time producer would do. Try to get the budget below the minimum cutoff and hired college kids.

Local 16 BA FX Crowley may have been born at night but he wasn't born last night. A contract was signed, the movie made and two months ago the producers sold the international rights for the project and are currently in negotiations for the domestic rights.

A less fortuitous outcome occurred in River City, err, Charleston when Harold Hill, err, Kearns Entertainment came to town with a show called Palmetto Pointe and apparently a bunch of trombones. The has the sorry story of shills, schlock and Southerners.

I think I'll keep the news thingie.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Beware The People Weeping

For the first time in a number of years, May Day celebrations in Europe turned into riots. The loss of their standard of living, rising unemployment and lost benefits were the cause of the large May Day turnout. In the US, we, as workers, don't need to espouse any alternative types of economic systems because everything is just going just great. In fact, in the US we don't celebrate May Day anymore because in 1959, the day was rebranded Loyalty Day.

Anger and hunger have a way of making movements develop before there are press releases, before time can be reserved on the bird for stand-ups, before it can be packaged. Gil Scott Heron had some thoughts on this. As did John Steinbeck in the Grapes Of Wrath which is well worth a watch again.

I came across Herman Melville's "The Martyr", his elegy on Lincoln's death, and the last stanza gave me a shock.

The Martyr
Herman Melville
There is sobbing of the strong,
And a pall upon the land;
But the People in their weeping
Bare the iron hand:
Beware the People weeping
When they bare an iron hand.

The truth can be a fearsome thing.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stupid Things The Local Crew Do

While it's a construction accident, we'll all probably recognise it's nature.

So The Boss Said "It Will Be Fine, Don't Worry"

Description: Plaintiff's Construction Liability and Safety Expert Timothy G. Galarnyk of Construction Risk Management, Inc. concluded that Gibbs Construction Services and LeClaire Hotel Group flagrantly violated OSHA regulations by constructing a wooden box and placing this box on the forks of a Telehandler Lift. A similar collapse of a similarly constructed wooden box occurred involving Gibbs Construction less than a year prior to this injury accident. In the previous collapse, a worker had just exited the box on the third floor into a hotel window when the wooden box toppled to the ground.

In this case involving Frohne, Gibbs and the LeClaire Hotel Group instructed Frohne to use the wooden box and the Telehandler to access the gutter installation work. When Frohne was hoisted up to the third floor of the Hotel under construction, the wooden box suddenly fell off the forks and collapsed 30 feet to the ground with Frohne.
Outcome: Plaintiff's verdict for $7 million.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stupid Things Said By House Crew

Road guys talk about the local crews on a site just for them. It's educational and good to see yourself through others eyes. I can't say I like it but it's real.

I know I'm in for a bad night of mixing when the house sound says "Yeah, it's an acoustically perfect room!". Perfect for what, I wonder? Not for a live show, that's for sure.

A local rigger on a show call for a tour I was on blew me off when I asked him to watch the chains while he was running motors. I believe he said "Ive been doing this longer than you have been alive" or another typical line. Right afterwords he began chatting with his buddy while working. The chain got jammed and ruined the motor while I watched it all happen....lame

Working in a small arena, we marked that one point was to be a split 15 - 15 bridal. we hear the up rigger shout own to the ground rigger "whats the F***ks a 15 dash 15 V" yup.....

So were dumping the trucks, give one of the hands the FOH cases. "Where do these go?" he asks. "Send it to Front of House" our SM tells him. almost 1/2 hour later this kid comes back to the trucks and i shit you not i quote "I looked and looked, but could not find this house you were talking about."

I told a neck-down that I needed all the Stage Right Gear on the STAGE RIGHT Side....He actually had to ask the second dumbest question, "So is that YOUR stage right? or My Stage Right?"

"Ive been a stagehand for 20 years and never once has anyone asked me if I had a cresent wrench."

"Which one is the snare?" Spoken by a local audio guy in a theater, who had just finished telling me he'd been there for 15 years.

My fav was at Madison Square Garden when I said to the stagehands "Are you with audio?" and they replied "No, we're with sound?" You can't make this shit up!

I'd like to hope on that last one somebody was being ironic and somebody else missed it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Oak And The Willow

"The best test of a civilized society is the way in which it treats its most vulnerable and weakest members. "

Mahatma Gandhi

One of the main talking points of the Broadway League during the run-up to and during the strike in 2007 was that the Local was too inflexible in its rules and resistant to change. The Local replied that we were resistant to job losses and that Local would not change work rules without something in exchange. We were called featherbedders in public and worse in private, I'm sure.

The reality is somewhat different, of course. Given the width and breath of Local One's jurisdiction, with scene shops, television, opera, concert halls, Off-Broadway and LORT contracts, there is no such thing as a one size fits all contract. Are there standards that we want maintained? Yes. Safety, retirement security, cleanliness, the ability to take a break and have a meal, minimum calls, a living wage, these are all standards we work to keep. However, we don’t write contracts that close shows or shops. We will make adjustments when they are called for. Stagehands are nothing if not practical.

It was with some pride that I learned that the Local members voted on Sunday to accept wage freezes at two theatre companies that have been hit hard by the financial mess. As a Local we have worked over the years to help grow these companies with contracts and conditions that were appropriate for them and their size. Also passed was a new contract for a space in the Bronx that had been organized. In that contract the Local recognizes that the venue has a split mission, one as a roadhouse and one as community theatrical resource. As a result, there are different pay rates for the crew, depending on the event.

I think one of the inadvertent highlights of the labor disputes 2003 and 2007 is a renewed sense of “community” in the theatrical community. We have a history of helping each other during tough times. Now is one of those times and Local One is doing its part.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Is This the Time and Place?

Anonymous (who seems to be all over the Internet) posted a comment to an off-hand remark I made in “After The Fall” about romancing the Federal Theatre Project. In the comment, Anonymous claims “theater unions were vehemently against its beginning”. I asked for references and he/she referred me to two books. I have not read the books so I can’t judge on how accurate the original works are on the subject. Nor on Anonymous’ interpretation of their interpretation. Being underemployed and with a slight case of OCD, I did my own research. In NYC there are various theatre libraries like the NYPL for the Performing Arts , the Wagner Archives and industry resources at one's disposal.

Thanks, Anonymous, for making me proud to be a union member.

In the 1928/29 season there were about 264 shows that opened. In the 1931/32 season that number had dropped to 230. By the 1935/36 season that number had dropped to 170. In 1931, upstart Shubert Brothers were bankrupt. The League of New York Theatres and Producers, now the Broadway League, was formed in 1930. It was estimated that 25,000 show folk were out of work.

There was no unemployment insurance, welfare, food stamps, pensions or health care. Hoover, the conservatives and Big Business rejected ideas of programs of emergency relief and instead raised tariffs, which worsened the problem.

With rising unemployment in it’s own ranks, IATSE Local One decided to create it’s own relief program. With the agreement of the theatre managers, it was decided stagehands would work a five-show week and that unemployed stagehands would make up the rest of the shows. I haven’t determined how the program was administered, though perhaps like our League Strike, we learned to administer it on the fly. When there wasn’t enough work, there were relief stipends, and in emergency cases, there were loans. Sometimes raffles were held to help individuals, often the retired stagehand without a pension, who were having illnesses or other hard times.

In September of 1935, IATSE representatives, Local One business agents and others in the industry met in Washington and New York with Hattie Flanagan, newly appointed head of the Federal Theatre Project of the Works Progress Administration. In her first Regional Directors Report on Oct. 8th, 1935, Miss Flanagan describes meeting with the various interested parties. After meeting with “National Stage hands Union” she said, "The decision was that we cannot run a union shop, but that preferences is given to union workers because of their professional qualifications". The meetings with the League were successful only after some negotiations. “These meetings, in New York City, resulted in this group moving from complete antagonism to the project to the utmost cooperation, with an offer to sponsor several New York units as try-out theatres. “

With that out of the way, Flanagan, Edward Rollin, J. Horn and Mr. Barber of the Theatrical Projects Administration Staff, the IATSE Reps and Local One Business Agent Vince Jacobi began to set up the mechanics of the administration of the FTP in NYC. Business Agent Jacobi was appointed to oversee the application process for the stage technicians.

In February of 1936 an agreement was reached whereby Heads of Departments were paid $130 a month and grips, clearers and operators were paid $103 a month for 12 days of work for eight hours a day. 90 to 100 stagehands were expected to be employed by the program. By way of comparison, at the Hippodrome in 1935, a head made $125 a week and flymen, front light operators and others made $6 a show.

Many Local One members took great pride in being part of the program. While they were making less than they could with their Relief Tickets at other non-WPA theatres, protecting the Union and supporting the work that was being put on was more important than a days work at a higher rate. It was the policy of the Union that any man who did not protect the Union in the WPA jobs would be removed from the program and replaced.

In April of 1936, Congressman Wagner had read into the Congressional Report a telegram of support for the WPA, sent by Local One.

The success of the program was such that RKO, Loews and other theatre managers who saw the FTP as competition, complained to Local One that the FTP stagehands were being paid less they were paying for stagehands.

According to IATSE President George Browne’s Convention Report in June of 1938, the original program expanded from the original 90 in 1935 to 400 stagehands and 60 Department Heads. The rate had also been improved to $145 a month. The report ends with, “Our dealings with the officials of the Federal Theatre Project have been exceptionally satisfactory. I have always found a keen desire on their part to cooperate with us, which I have endeavored to reciprocate at every turn.”

The Living Newspaper shows played at Maxine Elliot’s Theatre, 49th St., Adelphi, Ritz, and the Biltmore Theatres.

The Negro Theatre Unit performed at the Lafayette and Adelphi Theatres.

The Children’s Unit performed at the Adelphi.

The Experimental Theatre Unit performed at the Venice and Experimental Theatre (Daly's 63rd Street) Theatres.

There were also units for Managers Try-out, One-Act, Poetic, Popular Price, Studio, Theatre for Youth, Variety, and Yiddish Theatre.

By the end of the 1939/1940 season , when the FTP ended, there were about 100 shows that opened. In the 1946/47 season about 130 shows opened. We never saw another season as busy as 1928 with 264 shows.

But our finest hour may have been ahead of us.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


What Would Kenneth Tynan Do?

In an article in Bloomberg about “Impressionism”, Jeremy Gerard writes a “commentary” (which evidently is a little less than reporting and a little more than opinion) about why “Impressionism” got less than stellar reviews. It was the stagehands. Those damned expensive stagehands. And their damned expensive scenery.

Gerard starts by painting sophomore playwright Michael Jacobs as a victim of a critical “mugging” and then calls the show a “muddle.” Manny Azenberg is quoted as saying everything is getting more expensive than it was in the old days (much more expensive!) but at least he attributes some of the cost to retirement and health care, not just the dirty greed of those nasty, nasty union thugs. Gerard then says “God of Carnage” is succeeding only because it is “ferociously funny” while omitting the cost/benefit analysis. And in the last line, he quotes Producer Bill Haber of “Impressionism”, who appears to be channeling Yogi Berra when he says, “The minute they stop buying tickets, I will close the show,” he says. “I’m not in the charity business.”

I think the future of Broadway lies in the stagehands writing funnier, cheaper scenery.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Double, Double Toil And Trouble

For me my blog has become a bit of a microcosm of what life is like for many in the entertainment industry. Ignored during busy times and doted over in idleness. For any of you who have spend days, weeks and months on a project know what it’s like to suddenly start spending a lot more time at home. Corners get cleaned, taxes get paid, dinners are eaten off plates that you have to wash yourself and if you’re old enough, tending to health matters that waited until you found the time. If you’re young enough, you continue to ignore your health and you go catch up with the regulars at the your favorite bar.

Until the next project. Then reverse and repeat.

I was able to catch up on some blogs and I want to draw your attention to an interesting post on Ken Davenport’s Producer’s Perspective. The post on March 30th discusses a study about discount tickets and the impact on attendance, etc since 1992 to 2008. The study used “Phantom Of The Opera” as the control. Graph One shows that gross sales continue to climb albeit at a slower pace since 2000. Graph three shows that Average Paid Admission has continued to climb with an increase in the growth rate since 2000. Graph Four shows Full Ticket Price increasing at a rate faster than inflation for the period.

For me the most interesting chart is Graph Two. Graph Two shows that in 2000 the number of Tickets Sold has actually leveled off, with a growth rate since of only 7%. My take on this is that Broadway is putting as many fannies in as many seats as it possibly can. But we’re not growing. Broadway can’t really be considered a growth industry.

The advice to Mrs. Worthington may still hold true.

Friday, April 10, 2009

After The Fall

Before the bankers and brokers coughed up this massive furball of a financial mess, the common wisdom in the theatre was that “people will always need entertainment” and that we were recession proof. There would be shows and music and we would bring a few moments of joy to a suffering public. As long as one never took a long, hard look at our history as an industry, this was comforting. The Federal Theatre Project existed simply to give the Marc Blitzstein background for The Cradle Will Rock , nothing more.

Now, however, the interconnectiveness of it all is starting to become clearer. Right after New Years, headlines predicted the collapse of Broadway (OMG, 11 SHOWS CLOSING. SELL EVERYTHING!) while failing to mention that 9 shows were scheduled to open by March 1st. They may have been more correct than their short attention spans would have indicated. When the pipeline of new work emptied out of the scene shops and the theatres reopened, everyone looked over their shoulder to see what was next. There wasn’t anything. The shops that had hired 40 to 50 went down to minimal staffs and now there is a just smattering of new work coming in. What’s missing? The two things everybody in this business needs, money and credit. The money is for the landlord and the credits for the resume. Now the real world has intervened and things have gotten switched around. Bankers aren’t giving credit to shop owners and the rest of us aren’t getting any money. Shop owners play a key role in keeping this business afloat by carrying producers and fronting them material and crews to built the sets. There is certainly upfront money needed for each show but tools, buildings, plywood, screws, etc are all bought on credit, the shop owner’s credit. Some shop owners have better credit and cash flow management techniques than others. Like the ones whose payrolls don't lag with the producers checks and weeks pass without the crew getting paid. Don’t get me started.

Why isn’t there credit for scenery? Because bankers, like Toby Keith, are vowing that they will never smoke dope with Willie again. They partied long and hard and ended up in the fetal position with drool on their chin. “Just one more credit default swap and I’ll be good, man, I mean it.” The bankers and brokers are like those who are new to recovery and are just a little itchy and scratchy. “Credit? No, man, I can’t. I just can’t. I can’t go there right now. I gotta meeting I got to go to, otherwise I would. Maybe later.” Meanwhile we, the toiling class, have to start a national Alanon meeting for those of us whose lives have been directly impacted by those with an addiction to money.

Things will loosen up. Money will start to flow again and we’ll go back to churning out entertainment. I don’t think there will be that “Quinn The Eskimo” moment when everybody jumps for joy, but we’ll get better. Just will just happen one day at a time.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Imagine Sisyphus Happy

In a post back in December I looked at some IATSE history and road scales. Then I found Working Life by the Labor Research Association. Jonathan Tasini had a column about wages not keeping up with productivity or inflation. Since I already had a reference point for IATSE I thought I'd see how we have done.

1917 $45
2008 Adjusted for inflation $759.73
2008 $30hr or $1200wk is fairly typical

Considering where we started from, over all, pretty good.

1917 $45
1974 Adjusted for Inflation $173
1974 $280

Through the Depression, WWII and after, it looks like we were doing pretty well for ourselves. Beating inflation, getting ahead, buying homes, and educating our kids.

1974 $280 (from an hourly rate for a grip, $6.70 hr)
2008 Adjusted for inflation $1,227.34 or $30 an hour.

The last quarter century we've just been keeping even and stopped getting ahead.

But then if minimum wage had kept up with inflation from it's start in 1938 when it was .25, it would be only be $3.85. Oh wait. In NY State, it's $7.15.

It's a good thing we had cheap credit and jobs for our wives or we might have been in trouble.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Broadway Saves Wall Street

What's so funny about an amusement tax?

So the Gov wants to tack on 4% to tickets and Hizzoner wants to tack on another 4%. “Everybody's gettin' inta da act!” For this they did away with term limits?

This is what happens when you gross close to a Billion a year. A victim of our own success.

Why not a luxury tax like baseball has. Figure out what the average ticket price is for each house and then average that across all the legitimate houses. Let's say the hypothetical number is $86.50. Tickets below $86.50 or whatever remain tax-free. Any tickets above that are taxed incrementally until tickets that are priced at twice the average are taxed at 25%. Tickets above twice the average are then taxed at a steeper rate until those people who are buying hot tickets are paying the highest taxes. If you can afford a $450 ticket to a Broadway show then taxes aren't really important to you. If you're a school group buying tickets in the upper balcony, that 8% may be the difference of you seeing your first Broadway show or not.

When pigs fly!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mopping The Counting-up Room Floor

Bloomberg has an article that describes the latest feeding frenzy in the shark filled waters of Broadway. Seems that those folks who believe that the arts exist for the sole benefit of themselves, i.e. the Producers, lifted the curtain on a little drama being played out with the party of the second part, i.e. the Theatre Owners, the other folks who believe that the arts exist solely for themselves. The subject only seems to be "a comprehensive discussion on the economics of the producer- theater-owner" because-the wolf is at the door, the wolf is at the door!

Learning their lessons from the Bob ( Ain't Nobodies Bidness If I Do ) Sillerman school of theatre production, some of the Producers are contending that the reason audiences are staying away from yet another juke-box musical is because of additional fees charged by the house, like the fee for staying after the show and actually counting the receipts. “The landlords won’t ever admit they charge bogus fees,” said the producer of several major Broadway hits, speaking on condition of anonymity because he hopes to continue producing Broadway hits." Note the diminishing reference to "landlords" rather than "theatre owner" by the brave but anonymous producer.

As sense memory exercise try this. Substitute "piano" for "counting-out room", substitute "mopping" for "restoration" and substitute "flyman" for "credit card fees". Then watch this rewind from the League's Strike Press Conference. If you begin to see their lips moving and nothing coming out, you may or may not have reached a higher state of awareness in your ability to analyze the cycles of the extraction of the surplus value by the owners of capital. In fact,the sound really is dropping out of the video.