SLS Tackles Classic French Farce

The Imaginary Invalid, the first full-length spring play the Upper School has put on in almost six years, stands alone among the multitude of past St. Lukes’ plays through its entrancing comedy and fast-paced wit.

Molière, perhaps one of the Western world's greatest comedic minds, is here portrayed as eating with King Louis XIV.

Molière, perhaps one of the Western world’s greatest comedic minds, is here portrayed as eating with King Louis XIV.

As described by director Dale Griffa, Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid involves a rich Parisian, Argan (portrayed by Tim Steckler ’14), who is weighed down by his hypochondria. Because he thinks he has every disease in the book, there are plenty of quacks ready to take advantage of his paranoia.

With ridiculous doctors and apothecaries, such as those played by senior Riley Vaske and Megan Evershed ’15, prescribing bizarre remedies with absurd promises, the show never stops moving. Argan’s woes are compounded by his family: a gold-digging wife (Melanie Bow ’14), and two stubborn daughters, played by Liza Epprecht ’14 and Clare Livingston ’14, who are determined to marry on their own terms despite their father’s fruitless attempts to control their selection of suitors. Argan’s dysfunctional household is rounded out by his two servants: junior Sally Rose Zuckert’s Toinette (the only sane voice in this troupe of fools), and her brother Guy, played by Charlie Hobbs ’18.

This 2011 adaptation of a classic Molière piece adds a ‘60’s vibe, original songs and contemporary references to keep audiences lively and engaged in the production. It’s sure to be good for what ails you. The piece originally captured the hearts and minds of the cast of Godspell, who last year trekked through the bustling city of Edinburgh, Scotland during the Fringe Theatre Festival this past summer. The students of SLS were immediately mesmerized by the show’s adult humor and ‘PG-13’ rating-worthy innuendos.

After falling in love with the show across the pond, Mr. Griffa and Assistant Director Susan Doran were able to contact the adapters, Oded Gross and Tracy Young. The seniors involved with the production all pushed for the show as their final ode to the SLS Theatre Department after the years of devotion each has put into it. As a result, the cast, along with Stage Manager Jojo Brame ’14 and Technical Director Mr. Wieland, has been working dutifully since early March to bring this transcendentally comical script onto the SLS stage.

With a cast of just thirteen students, The Imaginary Invalid proves itself to be perhaps the funniest and quick-witted show in SLS history and, most importantly, it is a cast favorite as well. Livingston lauds the show as much as anyone else: “even though we are all very familiar with the material, it never ceases to make us laugh, just showing how insanely funny it is. It will appeal to everyone’s sense of humor, it’s a classical piece as a translation of Molière but it relates to modern day contemporary humor.”

Come out and support SLS’ finest actors in this whimsical masterpiece at our very own Seldin Performing Arts Center on Friday May 9th at 7:00, and Saturday May 10th at 3:00.

Rebecca Leonard, Staff Writer

Posted by on April 30, 2014. Filed under Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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