In a victory for live music, we are happy to announce that the upcoming show at the Broadway Theatre “Here Lies Love” will use live playing musicians.

Now that the show has acknowledged the importance and power of live music – which is what audiences deserve – we are dropping our protest of “Here Lies Love” and wish it the best of luck going forward.

For months, producers had threatened to not hire a live orchestra, which would have made “Here Lies Love” the first Broadway League-produced musical to rely almost entirely on a pre-recorded soundtrack. This would have been unprecedented in the 157-year history of live music on Broadway.

According to our contract, any show at the Broadway Theatre is required to hire 19 musicians. However, through our negotiations, we learned that producers had ripped out 661 seats to create a dance floor, leaving only 1,100 seats remaining in the house. Ultimately, the union agreed that the venue’s capacity had been substantially altered enough to warrant a consideration.

We examined similar theatres with 1,100 seats and found a comparable minimum number of live musicians as per our contract would be between 6 and 9.

The final number that we settled with the show is 12 musicians. This includes: 1 conductor, 1 associate conductor, 7 side musicians and 3 actor-musicians. All musicians will be actual playing musicians. (In other words, there will be NO so-called “walkers.”)

With this settlement, the producers have dropped their request for Special Situation status. The show will now move forward; previews start June 17 and the show opens July 20.

We saw an incredible outpouring of support to save live music on Broadway; over 15,000 people signed our public petition. This victory shows us the power of collective action we can achieve as musicians when we band together in solidarity in conjunction with audiences who care deeply about live culture and art.

We will continue to safeguard the incredible sound of live musicians, which is what the public deserves and what makes NYC the cultural capital of the world. Our eyes are on Broadway. Producers who try to eliminate live music on future shows should look to this as an example of how crucial saving live music on Broadway is to both audiences and Local 802.

Lastly, this settlement is a one-time consideration and will not set a precedent. The situation at "Here Lies Love" is unlikely to reoccur due to the extremely unusual step that the producers made of ripping out 661 seats from the theatre.

Thank you for all of your efforts in helping musicians win this positive resolution. Together, we achieved this victory for live music on Broadway.

In solidarity,

Tino Gagliardi

Local 802 President & Executive Director

Website: M. Elsila