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Three Plays

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  1,131 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Our Town
The Skin of Our Teeth
The Matchmaker
Paperback, 401 pages
Published 1985 by Harper & Row, Publishers (first published 1954)
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One major thing that is pointed out in this play is that people walk through life without ever really seeing anything, and this is shown on many an occasion, not really being noticed until it is too late to do anything about. People that are alive do not have the worries that life will be short because they are still living it. They do not worry about spending each second like it was their last because it is not. They live life on a day to day basis, not worrying about whether or not they live i ...more
I seldom read plays and "Our Town" is a probably why. Despite the simplicity of its staging, it was altogether too difficult to follow without a stage or movie equivalent, even after a second reading decades later. But as extraordinary as the movie was, I needed the play to make it even better. Thornton Wilder's introduction to his writing life was equally extraordinary, although he says "I never did anything original, but I always enjoyed myself." At least one of these other plays became a reno ...more
Wael Mahmoud
I'd like to say that Thornton Wilder as a playwright didn't interest me very much although i liked "our town" very much. It's one of the cases of "the author of one work", The skin of our teeth was very bad, i didn't like It at all, and the matchmaker was an ordinary farce. As a novelist i did't read any of his well known novels yet.

Here's my reviews about each play
Our Town by Thornton Wilder The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder
Fun fact about "The Matchmaker" - it was a re-written version of "The Merchant of Yonkers", which was based on a German comedy by Johann Nestroy, "Einen Jux will es sich Machen, which was in turn based on the English play by John Oxenford, "A Day Well Spent." It also drew on material from Molier's "L'Avare". And "The Matchmaker", of course, was the basis of the musical "Hello Dolly."

As a straightforward farce, "The Matchmaker" is the odd-man-out in this threesome: Our Town and The Skin of Our Te
I really enjoyed and found relevence and quality writing in the first two plays, but the third "The Matchmaker" which eventually became the musical "Hello Dolly" was not very interesting. It was a commercial play written to make money, whereas his other plays were written with certain amounts of integrity and artistic craftmanship (along with having something to say.) Reading them all together was acctually a bit confusing. I would like to read his novels to get a better grasp on him as a writer ...more
Chris Gager
I already have this book down as "read" long ago. I really don't know if I read it or not but I did at least read "Our Town" before... back in prep school I'm sure. That was a LONG time ago. "The Matchmaker" too I think. Anyway...

"Our Town" - Read this last night. Still a very moving emotional and spiritual experience. I ought to go see the play some time! The message? Be mindful, awake, aware and present in each moment today in all things and for all people! A very Buddhist message.

Moving on to
Oct 10, 2013 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thespians, drama historians, theater fans
Recommended to Michael by: Christina Moustakis
Shelves: drama
I’ve had this book since sometime around Middle School, and always meant to actually read all three plays. I only read one of them for school, and it’s so long ago now I don’t remember at all what we “learned” from it. It’s been on my shelf for decades, and finally it was time to take a look and see what it was like.

Our Town was the play I was assigned to read, I believe, in middle school (probably ninth grade, though I might have read it for school in two separate years). I’m not quite certain
My score on this is averaged from all three plays within the collection:

"Our Town" *****
I came in with certain expectations, since my only prior exposure came via the many allusions to Wilder's most famous play. The glimmer of nostalgic Americana is there, ironically undercut by where the story ends up. As theatre, I appreciate the sparseness of the set suggested in Wilder's directions (quite avant-garde for American theatre of the period) and the magic realism of the third act. Wilder's dialogu
Our Town surprised me. I went into it, thinking that it was going to be a cliche warbling about Americana lost; I've heard rumors about the play that have not been kind. But the sadness and longing in Act III is touching and brings much needed depth to the previous scenes.

I'm intrigued by Skin of Our Teeth, but I feel like there's too much going on. Is it modern, is it classic, is it archaic? Is breaking the fourth wall necessary or just a trick of the trade? I like the writing, but staging this
Mark Woodland
This is one of those books that you can't escape if you take any kind of course involving 20th century theatre. No problem, though, these are three great & classic plays. Better yet, they're still so popular that you stand a good chance of being able to see a production. "Our Town" is the most frequently performed, but unfortunately, a lot of the complexities evade all but the most professional productions. LOL, go see it anyway. "Skin of Our Teeth", another great play. "The Matchmaker" is a ...more
My favorite Wilder's play is , of course, "Our Town." About two years ago I saw Dadiv Cromer's production of "Our Town" in Barrow Lane Theater, NYC. The book, if paired with performance, stays in your mind forever.
The "Skin of Out Teeth" is masterfully told story of mankind, highlighting the best and the worse of people. No matter what times we live in- modern or pre-historic, humans remain unchangeable.
As for "Matchmaker", the quotes about marriages are irresistible. As, for example: marriage i
This was a great read. It went quick, but it has ofte led me to think on it afterward.
Three plays that couldn't be more different. Despite being a chestnut of Americana, Our Town is a far cannier piece than most suspect. I was especially interested in/impressed by The Skin of Our Teeth, haveing recently been alerted to the influence of Finnegans Wake on Wilder. In any event, a very strange post-modern piece of theater that I'd love to see some day. The Matchmaker (source for Hello, Dolly) is a bauble, that I can imagine being funny (or not) depending on cast & direction.

A fas
Each of these three plays by Thornton Wilder is humorous, poignant, and - most importantly of all, I believe - deeply perceptive, whilst retaining a simple, fast-paced narrative style and dealing a sharp slap to the concept of the fourth wall. I only wish that I could see them performed on stage. My personal favourite is Our Town, which begins as a gentle satire on life in a quintessential small American town at the turn of century and develops into a rather philosophical commentary on our abili ...more
The play Our Town is a play about a small town in Grover's Corners, New Hampshire and the ordinary people who lived there. The most important point of the play is that we miss how important everyday life is and how we should relish each and every day: each and every moment. Pg 110: Quote from Emily: "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? every, every minute?"

The Matchmaker is the basis for "Hello Dolly" one of my favorite musicals with Barbara Streisand.
Good. American. Interesting. I picked this up to revisit "Our Town" which I loved years ago (and still do). But the other two plays were particularly intriguing on this read-through. Both quite different, and neither what I expected. Comparing the three gave me a much fuller sense of Thornton Wilder's aesthetics as a playwright and of his motivations as a writer in general. And plays are a nice break from novels. This was time well spent.
I love "Our Town." It seems to simple and familiar, but at the same time it makes you think. "The Skin of Our Teeth" was definately odd. There were times I was laughing out loud, it was so ridiculous. It's something that I am going to have to think about for a while before I can feel like I truly understood the whole thing, but it was very interesting. "The Matchmaker" was fun, but not incredible.
Natalie Park
Only read Our Town as I recently saw an interesting production with Helen Hunt as the Stage Manager. For the production, I thought they must have changed some of the scenes or dialogue as it seemed so modern. Suprisingly it was pretty much word-for-word except for one small change. I guess it's all in the interpretation.
The over all theme of the three plays is love. For example all of the plays take place in a small town in New Hampshire. The town seemed very tight nit. To me Our town was the best of the three because it to me showed the most love.The author was showing readers this in the book and I didn't really enjoy reading this play.
Dusty Bayers
I really liked The Matchmaker! As much as I enjoyed the way Wilder showed his message in The Skin of Our Teeth, it was sometimes too silly for me and I had to push to get through it.
Lduckett Awesome
I only read Our Town but it's not the type of book i like. I got confused in some parts and bored in others. I only recommend it if you like play scripts

Pgs 91
My Mom had a book with the same three plays that I would often read and convince my friends to enact with me. I'm sure they hated it, but at least they got some learnin'!
Our Town is my favorite script of all time! Skin of Our Teeth my least favorite, and Matchmaker was humorous but completely forgettable.
Loved the reread of "Our Town", of course. Did not enjoy "The Skin of Our Teeth", and "The Matchmaker" fell somewhere in between those two.
Chris Gager
Seems like I read this along with other plays collected in a kind of drama textbook back in prep school. Date read is a guess.
Always love them...well worth the read. I finished the book quite quickly, just forgot to update with the date finished.
I have only read The Skin of Our Teeth and Our Town, but both of these plays are by far my favorite.
THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH is one of favorite plays of all time. OUR TOWN.... not so much
Classic story telling. Makes it an easy read. Our Town was the best.
Heather's Mum
The matchmaker was basis for "Hello Dolly." Now you know why I gave this a 5!
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Thornton Niven Wilder was an American playwright and novelist. He received three Pulitzer Prizes, one for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and two for his plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth, and a National Book Award for his novel The Eighth Day.
For more see
More about Thornton Wilder...
Our Town The Bridge of San Luis Rey The Skin of Our Teeth The Eighth Day The Ides of March

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