It seems that nearly every noted poet, novelist, and journalist has, at one time or another, been tempted to write for the theatre. A case in point is the long-forgotten dramatization of The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton's first novel, which is being revived at Off-Off-Broadway's Mint Theatre.
Not heeding the dismal theatrical adventures of her mentor, Henry James, Wharton was persuaded by a producer to bring her book to the stage. She collaborated with the prolific playwright, Clyde Fitch, who outlined the drama, while Wharton penned all the dialogue. The result, staged in 1906, lasted all of 14 performances. It took another 71 years for the play to be published. The Mint's production is surely the play's first since its premiere.
The House of Mirth will run May 22-June 14 at the Mint Theatre, 311 W. 43rd St.
In other Mint news, the company's Musical Theatre Lab will present a reading of the new musical http:\\fun&games.com on May 4. The show, created by Micki Grant and Mark-Leonard Simmons, tells the story of 13-year-old girl coming of age amid the chaos and confusion of contemporary New York City and, of course, the World Wide Web. The musical is targeted for Broadway in 1999.
For information on these events, call (212) 315-9434. -- By Robert Simonson