Some more words from Masse, Broadway conductor, which contained this truly shocking tidbit about how musicians are regarded by production:
Producers, said Masse, “have zero responsibility for any musician to have even one person to replace them—in any event, be it illness, vacation, or whatever. Unlike an actor, who has a producer-provided understudy, any full-time musician at a Broadway show is 100 percent responsible for all performances, and must train substitute musicians at their own time and expense.
“Those subs, who are under no obligation or contract to be available at any given time, are expected to learn a show without compensation and able to perform at a moment’s notice, without ever having rehearsed whatsoever. There are benefits to this system, but during this particular moment it is an astonishing fact that no effort has been made to improve upon it, and is a testament to the way shared success and symbiosis works among our musicians that the rest of the industry could stand to borrow from.”
The full article is worth reading for its sober, complex dive into the pain Broadway is going through as everyone grapples with the deep problems of the business model.