Robot Wars In The Orchestra Pit

“The conflict between theatrical producers and the musicians’ union, which a year ago shut down Broadway for four days, has reared its head again. The arena this time is Off-Broadway, where the new musical The Joys of Sex has provoked a standoff with Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians. When it was performed at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2002, The Joys of Sex had three musicians in the pit. For its transfer to the 499-seat Variety Arts, producer Ben Sprecher and composer David Weinstein decided to augment the score with a Sinfonia, an electronic music-making device. Local 802 adamantly denounces the Sinfonia as a ‘virtual orchestra machine’ and has refused to sign a production agreement with Sprecher.”