Patrons showing up for Broadway musicals last night (Friday, March 7) went home disappointed, as the actors unexpectedly joined striking musicians in shutting down nearly every musical on Broadway. The producers had hoped to continue presenting shows using recorded music, but once the actors added their support, the curtain came down. All remaining shows this weekend were quickly canceled. http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/03/0....ap/index.html At issue is a fairly obscure (at least to most of the world) contract provision requiring a minimum number of musicians to perform live for a Broadway show. The deadline officially ran out last Sunday but was extended so talks could continue. Obviously, no progress was made. I happened to be in Times Square this afternoon, and the picket lines are out and active. Not exactly a substitute for a major Broadway musical, but it's still an entertainment of sorts. Dramas and off-Broadway are unaffected, at least so far. The timing is a real problem for Broadway producers, because they've just entered the season of heavy advance selling for major upcoming openings like Nine, Gypsy and Urban Cowboy. This could get ugly. M.