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August Delayed

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 12, 2007 3:23PM

Steppenwolf’s Broadway offering went dark this weekend thanks to the Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employee strike, now in its third day. August: Osage County, a rousing critical favorite and the company’s best received show in a long time, was in its second preview week at the Imperial Theatre, drawing 800-900 patrons per night to the 1,400 seat house.

In a move largely overshadowed by a certain other strike, the stagehands have walked off the job after negotiations with the League of American Theatres and Producers stalled. At issue is a producer’s flexibility hiring those who load in and set up a show, with stagehands unwilling to give up benefits without receiving concessions from the League.

The next round of League/Union meetings hasn’t yet been scheduled, leaving Steppenwolf’s November 20 Broadway opening in jeopardy. Stories of inconvenienced tourists abound, but we feel worse for the Chicago talent finding their incredible momentum disrupted by forces beyond their control.

In the meantime, they can relive the wide-eyed excitement of setting up shop in Midtown on the company's YouTube channel: