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Day Two Of Talks Between Producers, Stagehands End With No Deal In Place

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TWC News: Day Two Of Talks Between Producers, Stagehands End With No Deal In Place
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Broadway stagehands and producers will resume negotions Wednesday morning, after a second straight all-night bargaining session ended early Tuesday with no deal in place.

The League of American Theatres and Producers released a statement saying that talks will resume Wednesday at 10 a.m. and that performances will be canceled through Wednesday's matinees.

Both sides seemed optimistic at the start of talks Monday night and negotiated for 13 hours. The union didn't describe it as a "breakdown" in talks but rather as a mutual decision to take a break.

“We felt that as long as sides are talking, there was a good chance that we could come out here and announce a deal. Sadly, there is no deal at the moment,” said Local One spokesman Bruce Cohen earlier this morning. “There will be a deal in the future, hopefully sooner than later. Hopefully tomorrow or the next day or the next day."

Michael David, producer of the hit show “Jersey Boys” and the not-yet-opened “Farnsworth Invention” also said he is still hopeful producers and stagehands will reach an agreement.

"We'll see if it works out,” said David.

While the load in issue seems to have been resolved, sources say one of the major sticking points remaining is how much stagehands should be paid for mopping the stage.

The strike — which has shut down more than two dozen plays and musicals — is now in its third week.

Even if an agreement is reached just after the talks resume, NY1 has been told it would probably take another day to get shows back up and running — meaning it's unlikely they could resume before Thursday. The League says losing Tuesday evening and Wednesday matinee and evening shows translates into the loss of anywhere from 30-40,000 theatre-goers for each performance.

Tourists who came to town to see shows on the Great White Way are crushed by the news that Broadway may remain dark for the remainder of their trips.

"That's a shame,” said one visitor. “We are going to be disappointed."

Restaurant workers are also hoping this strike comes to a close very soon. At Maxie's restaurant on 48th and Seventh Avenue, managers say they've seen a 35-percent drop in business since the strike began.

"It's no good at all,” said Ali Fakih, the restaurant’s manager. “Right now we are going day by day and we'll see how it goes."

For now, the only people visiting most of the theatres are the striking union workers.

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