Broadway Talks: What Professionals Think about Commercial Theater in America

By Arvid F. Sponberg | Go to book overview

15
John Glasel, Representing Musicians

"Our culture may have already been hurt by the widespread use of recorded music."

John Glasel was born in New York City in 1930. He went to Scarsdale High School and took a B.A. with a music major and a B.M. in applied music from Yale. Until he became president of Local 802 of the musicians' union, he made his living as a trumpet player. He has worked in many areas of the musical profession, from jazz to classical to chamber music to commercial work to Broadway theater.

Local 802 comprises the five boroughs of New York City and all of Long Island. Glasel helps to determine the working conditions for one of the largest concentrations of musical talent on the planet. He speaks of the "kaleidoscopic" nature of the musicians' union arising from the need to represent "anybody that plays an instrument for money anyplace," from piano players in saloons to bassoonists in the Philharmonic. "We've got negotiations constantly. Some of them are large and some of them are for as few as two or three musicians. So it's a more difficult job than I ever imagined."

He has no illusions, however, about the union's power. "Part of the legacy we inherited is that vast areas have not been policed for many years." About half of Long Island, he estimates, most of Staten Island, and large areas of Brooklyn and the Bronx are essentially "nonunion situations."

In the context of the union's history, Glasel considers himself a "dissident." His election to the presidency in 1982 followed more than twenty years of work on rank-and-file committees, involvement in litigation, editing of a newspaper for members, and speaking at bylaw meetings. The aim was to force changes on a "very long-entrenched leadership" which had been in power with "essentially no changes of significance since 1935."

-147-

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Broadway Talks: What Professionals Think about Commercial Theater in America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction xv
  • Notes xxx
  • PRODUCING 1
  • 1 - Richard Horner, Producer 3
  • 2 - Bernard Jacobs, Theater Owner 17
  • 3 - Gerald Schoenfeld, Theater Owner 27
  • 4 - Emanuel Azenberg, Producer 35
  • 5 - Paul Libin, Producer 51
  • 6 - Nelle Nugent, Producer 63
  • 7 - Gary Gunas, Associate General Manager 73
  • 8 - Rocco Landesman, Theater Owner 89
  • DESIGNING 95
  • 9 - Charles Strouse, Composer 97
  • 10 - Patricia Zipprodt, Costume Designer 105
  • 11 - David Jenkins, Scene Designer 115
  • 12 - Stephen Schwartz, Director/Lyricist 125
  • LABOR AND MANAGEMENT 133
  • 13 - Willard Swire, Representing Actors 135
  • 14 - Harvey Sabinson, Representing Theater Owners and Producers 139
  • 15 - John Glasel, Representing Musicians 147
  • 16 - Harriet Slaughter, Representing Theater Owners and Producers 157
  • 17 - Robert Mcdonald, Representing Stagehands 163
  • WRITING 173
  • 18 - Joseph Stein, Playwright 175
  • 19 - A.R. Gurney, Jr., Playwright 185
  • 20 - David Henry Hwang, Playwright 199
  • Bibliography 209
  • Index 215
  • About the Author 225
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