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Tuesday, 2 October, 2001, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Beauty threatened with closure
Casts of Broadway shows
On Friday Broadway made a TV commercial for itself
Disney is threatening to close a successful Broadway musical unless theatre unions agree to pay cuts of 25%.

If the unions do not agree to its demands, Disney will post a closing notice for Beauty And The Beast on Wednesday - the musical's first working weekday this week.

The show has been running since 1994 and has had more than 3,000 performances.

Broadway, New York
Seven musicals have negotiated pay cuts
So far seven New York musicals have negotiated pay cuts with their casts and crews, after theatre attendances were hit by a dramatic drop following the 11 September attacks on the US.

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

'Contentious' discussions

The company first asked for a six-week pay cut, but on Monday Disney scaled down its demands to a four-week period - and offered to give workers their full pay for any week that the show broke even.

Two local branches of the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) have voted on the Disney demand, but so far their decision is secret.

One union executive said discussions with workers about the Disney ultimatum were "more prolonged and contentious" than those on other shows where pay cut deals were struck.

Other IATSE local branches and unions involved will vote on the proposal this week.

Beauty and the Beast opened at New York's Palace Theatre on 18 April 1994.

In the week before the attacks on the World Trade Centre the musical took $509,000 (348,000) at the box office.

But in the week of 17 to 23 September the musical took in just $312,000 (213,000).

See also:

27 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Broadway box office receipts rise
24 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Reprieve for Kiss Me Kate
25 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Broadway begins fight back
21 Sep 01 | Americas
Tourism shaken to the core
18 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Cash aid for struggling Broadway
18 Sep 01 | Arts
Broadway shows signal closure
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