Night and Day: Wednesday, May 24, 2006
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Robert Rouse (left) is ‘The Imaginary Invalid,’ at Jubilee Theatre.
PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Play Dead

Supposedly when he was a student in 17th-century Paris, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, a.k.a. Molière, watched as his beloved professor Pierre Gassendi wasted away and died under the care of charlatans and quack doctors, and the budding playwright never forgave the medical profession. His plays are full of satirical attacks on doctors who take their patients’ money while throwing mumbo-jumbo Latin phrases around and prescribing ineffective cures.

The Imaginary Invalid was his final theatrical work; Molière collapsed onstage while performing in the lead role and died soon afterward. In it, he turns his critique of medicine back on the patient. The title character is a hypochondriac who’s so in thrall to the idea that he’s deathly ill that he wants to marry off his daughter to a medical student so his future son-in-law can give him free round-the-clock care. Written when the playwright had honed his satirical powers to a scalpel’s edge, the play still rings true. We all know people who are obsessed with their own health and bodies and get a charge from the attention of doctors and healthcare professionals.

Jubilee Theatre’s production of this play premieres this weekend. For all theatergoers who think “classics” equals “Shakespeare,” Jubilee’s attention to other corners of the repertoire is most welcome.

The Imaginary Invalid runs May 26-Jun 18 at Jubilee Theatre, 506 Main St, FW. Tickets are $12-20. Call 817-338-4411.


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