The plot originated in Einen Jux will er sich machen, an 1842 play by Austrian Johann Nestroy, which was adapted by Thornton Wilder for his 1938 play The Merchant of Yonkers, revised and retitled The Matchmaker in 1955.
At its core is widowed matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi, who travels to Yonkers, New York to visit Horace Vandergelder, a prominent, wealthy bachelor in need of a wife to tend to himself and his home. While there, she convinces him – and his two stock clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, his niece Ermengarde, and her beau Ambrose Kemper – to go to New York City.
Dolly, who has decided to nab Vandergelder for herself, arranges a match between the two clerks and the woman Vandergelder had been courting, a millineress named Irene Molloy, and her shop assistant, Minnie Fay.
A web of complicated romantic entanglements ensues, culminating in a free-for-all at the Harmonia Gardens and a trip to night court. As the final curtain falls, each character is matched with his ideal partner.
The MD had last appeared with the company in 1952 as the Lord Chancellor’s train bearer in Iolanthe.
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