Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Imaginary Invalid

Last night we went to Theatre in the Round's The Imaginary Invalid (alt) by Moliere.  I was looking forward to it as I had played in Moliere's The Doctor In Spite of Himself in high school.  It was Eryn's least favorite play so far, although my wife and I suspect that has way more to do with being tired than anything about the play.  It was one of our favorites so far.  Very funny, despite what always feels like a bit of disjointedness in Moliere as far as I'm concerned.  Toinette, the maidservant, played by Katie Kaufmann was particularly enjoyable and was on character even when the focus was elsewhere.  Her vocals, facial expressions, and mannerism all made for a believable servant who exhibited a bit of wit and sarcastic humor. 

We both particularly liked the scenes where Dr. Diafoirus is trying to convince Argan, and more accurately himself, that his son is a good marital catch by providing back-handed compliment after back-handed compliment including how he appropriately waited until he was nine (9) to learn the alphabet, and where Argan is explaining to his younger daughter Louison, played by Molly Pach Johnson, that his pinky finger can tell the truth.  Their exchange became more and more humorous until Louison is arguing directly with the finger and accusing it of lying.

Thom Pinault as Beralde, Argan's brother, gave me Donald Sutherland flashbacks whenever I closed my eyes.  An excellent voice, a great actor, and a level-headed foil to Argan's flightiness.

My least favorite aspect of the play was the very strange hip hop/rap interlude.  It felt like they were trying to modern it up a bit and make it interesting, but it ripped you right out of the play and felt extremely strange.  I redlined it in my head when it was over and have been trying to pretend it didn't happen, marring what was otherwise an extremely enjoyable play.

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