Macy's Thanksgiving parade influenced by Broadway strike

The Broadway stagehand strike colored this year's Macy's Thanksgiving parade, with the cast of one locked-out show performing in replacement costumes.

The cast of "Legally Blonde" will be without its usual costumes and props for Thursday's parade, the only annual event besides the Tony Awards where Broadway struts its stuff on national television.

"We're going to have a national spot on television and we're going to be half represented," said Jerry Mitchell, "Legally Blonde's" director and choreographer. "We're going to be the only musical performing without our props and costumes, which I find very disheartening."

Three other Broadway shows in the parade, "Mary Poppins," "Young Frankenstein" and "Xanadu," have not been affected because their theaters have separate contracts with the League of American Theatres and Producers and have not been shut down by the stagehands' strike.

This year's 81st annual parade also will feature three new giant helium balloons: William Steig's swamp-loving ogre, "Sesame Street's" fairy-in-training Abby Cadabby and Hello Kitty Supercute, the cape- and tiara-wearing feline superhero.

Among the 10,000 people marching this year are almost 2,000 cheerleaders, 800 clowns, the Rockettes and 11 marching bands including the Virginia Tech Regimental Band, which will be playing in tribute to victims of last spring's campus mass shooting.

The parade from Central Park West to Herald Square in front of Macy's will be televised nationally on NBC.