Broadway, chockablock with tourist trash, hasn't been a particularly hospitable environment for trenchant social vision lately. Blame it on the impossible cost of doing business, which has caused some to hold striking stagehands responsible. No parent should have to shell out 500 bucks to take the family to see a musical. But let's not kid ourselves into thinking that the producers of Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein," one of the nine Broadway shows left running, as Mammon would have it, will lower their premium ticket prices of $450 if they could get cheaper labor.-Charles McNulty, telling it like it is, in the LA Times.
The game, in short, is broken on all ends. Still, when the salaries of stagehands, which admittedly seem high compared to those of measly journalists, are tossed around as evidence of union extortion, it's worth considering that few of these skilled workers could afford to live in one of the high-rises recently erected in the now-desirable Times Square-Hell's Kitchen neighborhood where they work.
The rest of his trenchant essay exhorts playwrights to take up the artistic challenge posed by
the strike: to actually tell the story on stage of the socio-economic upheavals going on off stage--i.e. in our real lives.