Theater News: Two by Wharton — “The Quicksand” and “The Looking Glass”

By Helen Epstein

Ava Lindenmaier and Ariel Bock in "The Quicksand." Photo: Kevin Sprague.

Ava Lindenmaier and Ariel Bock in THE QUICKSAND. Photo: Kevin Sprague.

If you’ve been thinking of visiting The Mount, the sumptuous writer’s retreat Edith Wharton built for herself in the Berkshires at the turn of the twentieth century, now is the time. The gardens are in bloom, the woodlands are filled with sculpture, and for the next two weeks the Wharton Salon is presenting (through August 25) two one-act adaptations of Wharton stories in what used to be the Stables.

The Quicksand is a surprisingly modern, 30-minute adaptation by Alison Ragland of a story Wharton sold to Harper’s Magazine in 1902, examining the lives of a wife, son, and possible daughter-in-law of a tabloid magnate much like Rupert Murdoch. The Looking Glass, written toward the end of the author’s life, is a one-woman show narrated by an unusual Wharton character: an Irish masseuse.

Both plays are well worth the price of admission. Tea and cookies are served at intermission.

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