Broadway Theatre Orchestras Reach Out to Their Audiences

Volume CII, No. 1January, 2002

Elevating the visibility of Broadway theatre orchestras will be a major goal of Local 802 in the coming year. The effort was launched in December, with a “Season’s Greeting” card from Broadway orchestras distributed throughout the theatre district during the last two weeks of December.

In January a full-page ad will be running in Playbill with a message from Broadway musicians, thanking theatre audiences “for keeping the music of Broadway alive” during the last few difficult months. The card and the ad were designed by graphic artist and 802 member Roy Lewis, and scores of Broadway musicians took part in a photo session to produce the card.

“The musical talent that is a part of every Broadway musical remains a largely unadvertised and under-utilized part of the attraction that annually brings hundreds of thousands of tourists to New York,” Local 802 President Bill Moriarity told Allegro. “We think our efforts will help both the theatre business and our city.”

Recognizing the importance of live theatre and live musical performance to New York City’s economic health, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani urged Broadway to resume performances only days after the attack on the World Trade Center. The jobs of tens of thousands of New Yorkers – in hotels, restaurants, parking facilities and other ancillary businesses – depended on keeping Broadway lit. All theatre employees and their unions at seven Broadway shows accepted temporary wage reductions to keep this vitally important business running.

Just as important has been the role of music in our city’s emotional well being. Performances by scores of Local 802 members at respite centers, memorials and funeral services have helped people heal and recover from the emotional damage of the last period.

“Elevating the visibility of the countless forms of live musical performances that make our city so unique, is the best thing we can do for New York at this time,” said Moriarity.