Local 802, American Federation of Musicians has reached an agreement with the League of American Theatres and Producers that will allow performances of 18 Broadway musicals to continue tonight for the first time since Thursday, March 6.

Negotiations between the two sides had broken down on Friday and there were no talks at all on Saturday or Sunday. But, late yesterday afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged the musicians and the League to return to the bargaining table in order to end the strike that had begun to cripple the economy of New York City.

An agreement between the parties was reached following round-the-clock negotiations at Gracie Mansion. At a press conference this morning, Mayor Bloomberg hailed mediator Frank Macchiarola (former NYC schools chancellor) for his role in helping to end the strike, while Local 802 president Bill Moriarity and League president Jed Bernstein both expressed relief at the resolution.

According to Moriarity, the agreement involves a decrease in the minimum number of musicians required to be employed at the 13 largest Broadway theaters -- that number has now been set at 18-19, down from 24-26 -- as well as changes in the criteria for "special situations" whereby certain shows may perform with fewer musicians. Moriarity said that the new contract between Local 802 and the League will last for four years but the new minimums will be in place for 10 years.