What a difference a day makes.
After a dramatic walkout by stagehands forced North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly to cancel its opening night performance of “Mamma Mia!” Wednesday, the theater’s owner and the workers have settled their pay dispute.
Owner Bill Hanney and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 11, which represents the 18 stagehands, said Thursday they’d reached an agreement to resume the show’s run — the theater’s first since shutting down during the pandemic.
“We have a return to work agreement,” Colleen Glynn, business manager for the local, said in a statement. “With a modest wage increase and a commitment to return to the table the show will go on!”
Hanney, who had indicated before the walkout that he’d compromised as much as he could, said Thursday he didn’t want to jeopardize the rest of the run.
“I had to do that to get the show back on,” Hanney said. “We disrupted enough people last night. I didn’t want to continue to do that.”
The stagehands went on strike Wednesday after they said the theater ignored their final offer of a base pay rate of $22 an hour.
After the orchestra and cast vowed not to cross the picket line Wednesday night, Hanney had little choice but to send the audience home just minutes before curtain.
“The union won the battle for sure,” he said. “I know when it’s over — no actors, no musicians, no stagehands. I know when I can’t win.”
Hanney said any audience member who had a ticket to Wednesday night’s performance can come back to the theater any time during the show’s run, which ends Oct. 17.
“These are my people,” he said. “They’re all invited back.”
Malcolm Gay can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @malcolmgay.