O diese Männer!

(Ah, These Men!) by Julius Rosen.
   Premiered 1876. In this flimsy but widely popular comedy, the Morland family (parents and two daughters) have arrived at a fashionable south German spa and want merely to relax. Interrupting their leisure is the wife of a government minister, Frau Schraube, who has brought her three daughters to the spa in search of eligible husbands. She has a system in place for her search, but little luck to go with it. Thus she often proclaims the play's title, "Oh, these men!" to the chagrin of other guests. But the search for men is not the main plot complication. That comes in the form of a bet between the spa's director Dr. Sauber and Herr Morland. The two have known each other since their school days, and Dr. Sauber notices that Morland is completely under the thumb of his wife Olga. Herr Morland defends himself, so Sauber dares Morland to kiss the first woman who says "Guten Morgen" to him the next day. Sauber then sees to it that the first woman to do so on the morrow is none other that Frau Schraube. Morland's kiss creates a scandal in the spa, and Frau Schraube takes her leave of the place with her daughters. Meanwhile, Frau Morland takes pity on her husband, who has fallen victim not only to his friend's practical joke but also to the foul temper of Frau Schraube. The comedy was considered an accurate, if harmless, satire of Wilhelmine mores and manners during the 1876-1877 season, when it became one of the most frequently performed plays of that season throughout the new Reich.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.

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