The Merchant of Yonkers

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The Merchant of Yonkers is a farce by Thornton Wilder (1897-1975)[1]

The original text

This is a translation and adaptation by Wilder of Einen Jux will er sich machen, a 1842 Austrian play by Johann Nestroy (1801–1862)[2], itself an adaptation of A Day Well Spent (1835), a one-act English farce by John Oxenford ()[].

Wilder's American play revolves around Horace Vandergelder, a wealthy Yonkers, New York businessman, who is in the market for a wife.

The play premiered at the Guild Theatre on Broadway on 28 December, 1938, produced by Herman Shumlin and directed by Max Reinhardt.

Translations and adaptations

Wilder himself was involved in two highly successful adaptations of his original version, namely The Matchmaker (1955) and Hello Dolly! (1981).

For more details on the two adaptations, see the individual entries.

Performance history in South Africa


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