Labiche, Eugène Marin (özhĕnˈ märăNˈ läbēshˈ) [key], 1815–88, French playwright. He was a prolific author, often collaborating with other writers, particularly Marc Michel, and 175 plays are attributed to him. Most of his plays are light comedic vaudevilles, and he is largely responsible for transforming the vaudeville into the French farce. His plays were generally written for the entertainment of the bourgeoisie, which was also his favorite target. His first success, Un Jeune Homme Pressé (1848), is about a young suitor trying to win over his lover's father. One of his most popular plays is An Italian Straw Hat (1851), from which a 20th-century film by René Clair was adapted. In this fast-paced comedy of errors, the comically misunderstood hero is pursued by an entire wedding party.
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