Broadway Stagehand Strike Saddens Thousands of NYC Tourists

This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson and Heather Nauert," November 12, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HEATHER NAUERT, CO-HOST: Now to the "Big Showdown" in the Big Apple. The neon lights on Broadway may be bright, but the theaters are dark this week after a second powerful blow is dealt to America's entertainment industry this month.

JOHN GIBSON, CO-HOST: TV writers are still on strike and now Broadway stagehands have stopped working, too, bringing many children to tears and ruing thousands of people's travel plans as the holiday tourist season kicks into high gear. "Big Story" correspondent Douglas Kennedy went over to Times Square today to check on the show-stopping scene — Douglas.

DOUGLAS KENNEDY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah John and Heather, the shows are stopped and New York City is losing money, some say up to $17 million a day and Broadway may be losing some loyal fans, as well.



KENNEDY (voice-over): Julie Davis flew from Washington, D.C. with her husband, her daughter and granddaughter, Abby, all the way from North Carolina, just to see a show.

KENNEDY (on camera): So now, you were supposed to see The Little Mermaid.

DAVIS: Tomorrow night.

KENNEDY: And you've been planning this for months?

DAVIS: For months. We've had the tickets, the hotel rooms, plane tickets the whole thing.

KENNEDY (voice-over): But, all they're probably going to see is picket lines and the pavement outside the theater's darkened doors. Which means deep disappointment for all the Davis'.

DAVIS: It's a lot of time and money invested in a show that apparently isn't going to go on for us.

KENNEDY: Broadway stagehands have been on strike since this weekend shutting down over 27 shows, including blockbusters like The Lion King and Spamalot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The actress Jennifer Garner, there she is, live in our green room.

KENNEDY: Jennifer Garner is supposed to be playing Roxanne in the Broadway revival in Cyrano De Bergerac, instead she was on "FOX and Friends" this morning.

JENNIFER GARNER, ACTRESS: I was excited to have a day off, as anyone would be, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but now I'm ready to go back to work. It feels wrong.

KENNEDY: And it feels especially wrong for thousands of stranded tourists. Some like the Davis' are already here and have little to do. Others have simply cancelled their trips altogether, crippling businesses in midtown, Manhattan, which at this time of the year is supposed to be jammed with out-of-town traffic.

JAMES CLAFFEY, PRES OF LOCAL ONE: We truly regret that there is no show. The owners and producers are demanding a 38 percent cut in our jobs and wages.

KENNEDY: James Claffey is president of Local One, the union that represents the stagehands. He says the striking workers have no choice but to picket the producers.

CLAFFEY: Unlike the producers, we are not fighting for our second or third homes, we are fighting to keep the ones that we have.

KENNEDY: As for Abby, she says she still has a little hope.

KENNEDY (on camera): So, you're hoping for a little mermaid-like miracle here?



KENNEDY: But Abby's hope may be a long-shot. The union says it has now walked away from the negotiating table and is refusing to return. They say they want the producers to show them some respect, so this could be a very long one, John and Heather.

GIBSON: Douglas, this Broadway strike is going to steal holiday fun from thousands of people. If you have tickets already, are you stuck?

KENNEDY: You are not stuck if you have tickets already. The theaters say anybody — any cancelled show, they will refund the full price of the ticket. You can go to the box office or you can...

GIBSON: I'll bet that made Abby feel better, huh? Grandma gets some money back.

KENNEDY: There are eight shows that are still running, John, because they have a different deal with the stagehands.

NAUERT: Any big Broadway ones?

KENNEDY: You got Mary Poppins, if you want to see that.

GIBSON: Radio City Music Hall?

KENNEDY: Radio City Music Hall?

GIBSON: So, the Rockettes...

KENNEDY: And all the off-Broadway stuff is going.

NAUERT: OK. Good to know. We've got friends coming in from out of town.

GIBSON: Douglas Kennedy, thank you.

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