Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Molière reveals the truth

The Community School players present ?The Hypochondriac?

Express Staff Writer

Argan played by Harry Dreyfuss is a suffering hypochondriac in Molière?s ?The Hypochondriac? at The Community School.

Is it possible to have free health care? The question has been on the minds of many for centuries, including that of Molière, whose 17th century play "Le Malade Imaginaire," "The Hypochondriac" or "The Imaginary Invalid" not only depicts a dysfunctional family but questions the loyalty of its members and the medical industry.

The Community School Players will present Molière's "The Hypochondriac" at The Community School Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 21, through Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. There will also be 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday, Feb. 23, and Sunday, Feb. 24. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for students, and can be purchased at Chapter One Books in Ketchum or at the door.

"The Hypochondriac" was first performed in 1673, but Molière collapsed and died soon after the fourth performance. A favorite of Louis XIV, Molière frequently performed for the king, entertaining him with scenes that mimicked the everyday happenings of his subjects. Molière's background in the Italian Commedia dell'Arte is very apparent in "The Hypochondriac," in which he mixes comedic circumstances and behavior to make a point about reality.

The play focuses on hypochondriac miser Monsieur Argan, who pretends to be sick and hopes his daughter, Angelica, will marry his doctor so he can receive free medical care. Of course, Angelica is in love with another, Cléante. Argan's maid, Toinette, and his sister Béralde (the original cast is a brother, Berald), attempt to heal Argan from his fixation on doctors, convincing him to play dead in order to find out who is really loyal to him. Learning that Argan's second wife is only after his money, but his daughter is truly devoted to him, Argan comes back to life and allows Angelica to marry whomever she likes.

For more details, call 622-3955 ext. 131.

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