STAGE: Dividing The Estate

Texas playwrite Horton Foote has a good old family drama brewing this holiday season at the Booth Theatre on Broadway:

The eternally spry Horton Foote does a nimble Texas two-step in Dividing the Estate. Half the play is a leisurely, courtly, astutely observed portrait of cultural and generational change; the other half is a quick, lively comedy of manners and manors in decline. (source)

“Foote, whose upbringing in a small Texas town during the Depression shaped his enduring world view, is certainly not oblivious to the cruel things people can do to one another. He is keenly aware of the failures and frustrations that are the norms in life, and of the sheer pettiness that can be the only revenge of unhappy people. But in a world that more often than not can be cold, cruel and unforgiving, Foote also shows us how human beings can prevail in little acts of kindness, huge efforts of determination and will, and the magical healing powers (and coincident pain) of memory.”–Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

In the dark comedy Dividing the Estate, matriarch Stella Gordon is dead set against the parceling out of her clan’s land despite the financial woes brought on by the oil bust of the 1980s. In the course of the play, the power of petty self-interest and long-held resentments makes even painful compromise an elusive goal. Widely acclaimed in a 2007 production at Primary Stages, the play will run at the Booth Theatre on Broadway until January 4, 2009. (source)

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