The Playgoer: The Top 10 Plays

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Top 10 Plays

... plays produced in LORT theatres 2006-2007, that is. According to TCG. (And reported by Playbill.)

So, in order of popularity (i.e. number of productions) the winners are:

I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright (13)

The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh (12)

The Santaland Diaries adapted by Joe Mantello from David Sedaris (11)

Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson (9)

Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage (9)

Moonlight and Magnolias by Ron Hutchison (8)

Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire (8)

Tartuffe by Molière (7)

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher (7)

The Underpants, adapted by Steve Martin from Carl Sternheim (7)

So, what do we learn. One, that almost nothing has happened in playwriting for the last two or three years. That Rabbit Hole is here to stay. That Steve Martin may never win NY theatre cred, but he's become a bankable middlebrow fave. That people still love that old Morrie guy.

That a small Off Broadway success like Moonlight and Magnolias really can rake in some royalties. That Santaland Diaries must be what theatres turn to when they really, really can't stand Christmas Carol any more. (And that Joe Mantello just keeps getting richer!)

And that no matter how impossibly brilliant your one actor has to be for I Am My Own Wife, you still do the show because you still only need to actor.

And--on the good side--that Tartuffe only gets more and more relevant.

TCG rules, by the way, exclude not only Shakespeare productions, understandable, but also anything called "Christmas Carol." What does that tell you.


Freeman said...

Jesus. Fine! I finally quit.

God that felt good.

Anonymous said...

You know, those are actually LAST year's statistics that came out from TCG last fall. The new titles for the 2007-2008 season are being announced in the October issue of American Theatre.

Anonymous said...

One more thing we learn (though some of us seldom forget): female playwrights hardly get produced at all.

Anonymous said...

Mantello may keep getting richer, and Steve Martin, too, for that matter, but at least some non-profits are getting a trickle out of all this. WIFE, RABBIT, INTIMATE, and UNDERPANTS, and maybe others, all started at institutional theaters that get a bit of dough (usually a small percentage of the playwright's royalty, for a set period of time) from each subsequent production.

Joshua James said...

Excludes Christmas Carol and Shakespeare? Ain't that like half the shows done in America?