I am proud to announce the publication of the latest in the 89-year tradition that is "The Best Plays Yearbook"--at one time known as the "Burns Mantle Best Plays," when Mr. Mantle was alive and running things. Thankfully Jeffrey Eric Jenkins has kept the tradition going strong.
And even more thankfully, he has even engaged me to write for it! For the previous edition (2006-2007) I surveyed the Off-Off Broadway season. In the new '07-'08 volume (yes, we're a little behind, sorry) I discuss the merits of Horton Foote's Dividing the Estate. And what better time to revisit that play than now, when the Signature Theatre's marathon of his epic cycle is getting underway to wide acclaim and when a full biography of the writer has just been published.
Here's a teaser from my intro:
Horton Foote may have written Dividing the Estate in 1989, but by the time it finally opened in New York eighteen years later, it could not have seemed more current. The day the New York Times ran a rave review of the Primary Stages production, the paper also reported that home prices had just experienced “the steepest monthly price drop since December 1970.” By year’s end home foreclosures were to rise more than 75 percent over 2006 rates and housing sales plummet 25 percent. The subprime mortgage crisis of 2007 was well underway and Foote’s play about a Texas family’s overdependence on their overvalued property found its moment....For the rest, buy the book! Amazon is offering it at nearly $20 off the list price. (See Amazon box to the right.)
Act now and you'll also get in the very same volume essays by Jeffrey Sweet on Adding Machine; Chicago's Chris Jones on August:Osage County; Celia Wren on Sarah Ruhl's eurydice;
David Cote on The Receptionist; Charles McNulty on The Seafarer; and Dan Bacalzo on Yellow Face.