DAVID BIANCULLI

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"The Strike Is Over"
November 29, 2007  | By David Bianculli
 

"The strike is over!"

That happy announcement was made last night by actor Roger Bart, and was met with lots of cheers and applause from those in attendance. They had just seen Bart and company complete a performance of "Young Frankenstein," one of the few Broadway shows not shuttered by a stagehands strike.

That's great news for theater fans - and means, starting today, the shows that have been on strike can begin operating, or working towards that goal. It also means, sooner or later, Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention, his play about the invention of television, finally will get to enjoy an official opening night.

As for television itself, the strike by the Writers Guild of America continues. If it continues a mere eight more days, to December 7, it may as well be considered the fail-safe point for the rest of the TV season as we know it. The clock is ticking - and while both sides are talking at the negotiating table, others in Hollywood are saying that a stalemate that continues past that date will, in effect, gum up the works irreparably for the rest of the 2007-08 season. So stay tuned.

Romney vs. Giuliani

Meanwhile, last night, eight Republican candidates for President of the United States took the stage in CNN-YouTube's nationally televised debate. Some questions posed and recorded by YouTube uploaders, on such topics as belief in the Bible and opinions on gays in the military, were strong and pointed. Others were simple, silly time-wasters.

As with the Democratic debate months before, the YouTube questions from average citizens seemed alternately effective and gimmicky, the candidates ran roughshod over time constraints, and moderator Anderson Cooper seemed slightly frazzled throughout.

The one major difference between the two debates, other than ideological? The sad fact that, because of the writers' strike, Jon Stewart won't be able to rip apart the Republican debate on Comedy Central's The Daily Show tonight, as he did the day after the Democrats held their CNN-YouTube debate in July. His show, unlike Young Frankenstein, remains closed due to a strike.

In that respect, the Republicans got off easy.

So much for equal time.

 
 
 
 
 
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