Will the Stagehands Union Picket the Tony Awards?


The Tony Awards are Sunday night but it may not take off without a hitch.

Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees is planning to interrupt the VIP arrivals area at this weekend’s Tony Awards with inflatable rats and up to 400 pickets protesting, according to published reports.

The union normally organizes the red carpet but due to budget constraints, the Tonys decided to remove that job from the union’s responsibilities when the ceremony switched locations.

Previously, the Tonys have been held at the Radio City Music Hall. Due to a conflicting booking at Radio City of Cirque du Soleil's new show, Zarkana, this year’s Tony ceremony will be moved to the Beacon Theater on the Upper West Side.

Given the inadequate sidewalk space surrounging the Beacon, the red carpet for the ceremony is being set up a block away, outside the union’s jurisdiction. The Beacon has half the seating capacity of Radio City, putting a major crimp in revenue from ticket sales to the awards show.

Theater community pundits are wondering how many actors will skip the red carpet to avoid crossing the picket line of an Actors Equity sister union.

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