Negotiations to resume Sunday in Broadway strike

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NEW YORK, Nov 25 (Reuters) Negotiations between Broadway producers and theater owners and striking stagehands will resume today for the first time in a week, both sides said.

Most of Broadway's theaters have been dark for more than two weeks after stagehands went out on strike on Nov. 10.

''Negotiations between the League of American Theatres and Producers and Local One (of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) are scheduled to resume tomorrow Sunday November 25, 2007,'' the league said in a statement yesterday.

More than two dozen Broadway shows have been canceled, including profitable productions like ''Chicago,'' ''The Phantom of the Opera,'' ''Wicked'' and ''Hairspray'' for more than two weeks, at a loss of millions of dollars to New York City each day.

Only eight Broadway shows have continued, along with off-Broadway and nonprofit theater productions.

The walkout followed three months of talks that bogged down over a new set of work rules for stagehands and the specific duties they perform. Producers complained that they had to pay for long stretches of idle time.

A judge this week ordered a theater owner to reopen ''Dr.

Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical,'' granting an injunction sought by the musical's producers who argued their contract was not subject to the strike and who had the backing of the stagehands' union.

The injunction saves 11 ''Grinch'' shows over the Thanksgiving weekend, one of the busiest times of the year for Broadway, and the show will continue until Jan. 6.

The last strike to hit Broadway was in 2003 when musicians walked out for four days. Before that it had been nearly two decades since Broadway was affected by a labor dispute.

Reuters TB VP0710

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