These are not terrific comedies about infidelity. For the long-term Woody Allen fan, they will not reveal a desire on Allen's part to explore significantly new thematic material.
For whatever reason, Allen has in recent years revived his interest in theatrical writing (many years ago he had hits with "Don't Drink The Water" and "Play it Again, Sam"; the short plays "Death" and "God" were included in his collections of New Yorker pieces). There are other (dramatic) plays that have not yet appeared in print - "The Floating Lightbulb" (circa 1980) and "A Secondhand Memory" (2004).
"Central Park West" is the least interesting of the three newer plays included in this handsome paperback. It originally appeared in 1995 on a triple bill called DEATH DEFYING ACTS with one-acts by David Mamet and Elaine May. It anticipates a love-quadrangle scenario Allen would explore more effectively in his film "Deconstructing Harry" (1997) - that of a man leaving his wife not for his long-term mistress but for another, much younger, woman. Of course, the mistress initially thinks she is the one with whom the husband will be running away.
The play is, I guess, meant to be a kind of satire of rich New Yorkers. It doesn't really come off. One must resist temptation to seize upon this line and turn it against its creator -
"You're a failed writer, Howard - judging from the characters you create you shouldn't even be a writer - you should be in the cardboard business."
(For a laugh, and an insight into the pains of a director who must deal with the whims of three playwrights, check out the diary of the director that was published in the New Yorker in 1996.)
WRITER'S BLOCK was presented as a double-bill directed by Allen in 2003. "Riverside Drive", the best play in the book, focuses on a cheating writer who, while waiting to meet his soon-to-be ex-mistress in a secluded spot by the Hudson, is harrassed by a mentally unstable homeless writer. The action goes on to revisit shades of the Martin Landau plot of 'Crimes and Misdemeanors'.
"Old Saybrook" is similiar to "Central Park West" albeit with a post-modern twist. Halfway through this play about cheating couples in Connecticut, we discover these characters are actually characters from an abandoned play by a playwright named Max Krolian ("It's dark in the drawer," explains one character). Krolian joins in on the action to try to figure out an ending to the play.