Broadway Musical ‘Here Lies Love’ Reaches Agreement With Musicians’ Union Over Live Music

Producers of Here Lies Love say they have reached an agreement with the musicians’ union, Local 802, over the use of pre-recorded music in the show.

Per the agreement, the musical, which had previously planned to use pre-recorded tracks, will use 12 musicians, which include three actor-musicians. All are Local 802 members.

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This comes after the two sides were nearing potential arbitration to solve the matter.

“After negotiation, we have reached an agreement that will bring live music to Here Lies Love with the inclusion of 12 musicians to the show. Broadway is a very special place with the best musicians and performances in the world, and we are glad this agreement honors that tradition,” Local 802 said in a statement.

“On behalf of our entire cast, company and creative team, we have reached an agreement with Musicians Union Local 802, per the collective bargaining agreement. We look forward to welcoming audiences to experience the revolutionary musical experience that is Here Lies Love at the Broadway Theatre beginning on Saturday, June 17,” the producers said in a statement.

The show, which was first conceived of 17 years ago by David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim had previously been performed to a pre-recorded track, since it was inspired by the karaoke genre and the use of “track acts” in a club, which allow audience members to keep dancing, according to a representative for the production.

Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians had said that per its collective bargaining agreement with the Broadway League, a musical at the Broadway Theatre would require 19 musicians playing live music at the theater. The union had strongly objected to the lack of live music at the theater.

A show with no live music and just pre-recorded tracks is absolutely an existential threat to Broadway- and is a cultural threat to musical theater worldwide,” Local 802 president and Executive Director Tino Gagliardi said last week. The production has since pushed back on that statement, saying the musical has always included three actor-musicians.

The musicians’ union was planning to protest Byrne at the Tony Awards if the two parties did not reach an agreement by June 10, according to a source close to the negotiations.

Byrne and Gagliardi met Thursday to discuss the situation, alongside members of the Broadway League.

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