Broadway Friday

– One week into Broadway’s strike, the stagehands union and the League of American Theaters and Producers return to the negotiating table today for the first time since Nov. 8th. Mediating are representatives from Disney, whose The Little Mermaid and The Lion King are both closed. Both sides are under tremendous pressure to reach an agreement before next week’s lucrative holiday business slips away. If the strike continues for more than one more week, some shows may elect to close permanently, particularly those with limited engagements and those whose grosses were already faltering pre-strike. All striking houses are currently canceled through Sunday.

– No surprise. Off Broadway theaters are booming, with most in the Times Square area reporting sell-outs all week. Also at capacity are the eight Broadway houses not affected by the strike.

– Another beneficiary of the strike is Chelsea gay club Splash, whose Musical Mondays theme night was packed with this week. So says this article, which despite the headline, is primarily PR for Splash VJ John Bantay, who is slated to join the cast of The Ritz next week.

– The soundtrack to the upcoming movie, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street will be released on Dec. 18th on Nonesuch Records. The movie stars Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, and Sacha Baron Cohen, all of whom do their own singing.

– Dolly Parton’s 9 To 5: The Musical will have its world premier in Los Angeles on Sept. 3, 2008. Alison Janney plays Violet Newstead (Lily Tomlin’s character from the movie), Stephanie J. Block plays Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda), and Megan Hilty plays Doralee Rhodes (Dolly Parton). Tony winner Joe Mantello will direct. In February, Parton releases a new album, Backwoods Barbie. The title track was written for the Doralee character and is in the show.

– For an Off-Off Broadway experience, check out the St. Barts Players’ take on 1776, featuring our own Little David! Inexpensive at $25, five shows this weekend including tonight. I remember my high school playing the movie version in history class, but failing to note the numerous historical inaccuracies. History! Easier than actually teaching.