CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 13, 2016 – Romantic misadventures, mistaken identities and a desperate hypochondriac take the stage in a contemporary take on the classic comedy, “The Imaginary Invalid” being performed at 7:30 p.m. April 27- 30 and at 2 p.m. May 1 in the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.
Translated and adapted by James Magruder, this laugh out loud comedy by the classic French playwright, Molière, is a satire on old medicine practices and follows Argon, a wealthy hypochondriac. Laxatives, suppositories, bloodlettings, and second and third opinions from the leading quacks are the order of his day—and agony on his sassy but sensible housekeeper, Toinette.
Argon schemes to marry off his daughter, Angélique, to a doctor who can assure him a lifetime of free healthcare and pharmaceuticals. But Angélique and her lover, Cléante, an impoverished non-medical professional, have other plans. Meanwhile, Argon’s gold-digging wife has a plan of her own and threatens to expose them.
“We all know hypochondriacs in our life. Molière himself was one. In his plays, he was very often making fun of himself,” said Dr. Kenn Stilson, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance.
“The Imaginary Invalid” was the last play written or performed by Molière. Ironically, he collapsed on stage while playing the hypochondriac Argon and passed away shortly after finishing his performance.
“Magruder’s adaptation is a little bit different from others,” said Stilson. “The play has a lot of anachronistic comments. It is really outrageous, lively, wild and a bit bawdy in times, but it is a very, very funny telling of this classic comedy.”
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at RiverCampusEvents.com.