Theater review: The Imaginary Invalid

This rendition of a Moliere classic, 'The Imaginary Invalid,' will play at the Khan Theater until February 11.

By HELEN KAYE
February 18, 2013 21:15
1 minute read.
The Imaginary Invalid

The Imaginary Invalid. (photo credit: Yael Ilan)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Despite a couple of neat plot-moving parades set to Ady Cohen’s sprightly music, and one or two sublimely ridiculous scenes, this Imaginary Invalid remains stubbornly earthbound. Worse, except for Yehoyachin Friedlander as the insouciant Beralde, the Invalid’s brother, and Avi Pnini as the deranged Dr. de Kak, nobody seems to be having much fun.

Most of the problem lies with the usually excellent Erez Shafrir’s plodding Argan. Shafrir never quite connects with us or his fellow actors, perhaps because he’s not letting Nissim Aloni’s niftily updated text do some of the work for him.

Argan is an obsessive hypochondriac, aided and abetted by his greedy doctors who are only too happy to pad their bills at his expense.

In order to cut down on his expenses, he determines to marry his daughter Angelique to the dull-witted medical student Thomas Diaphorus, beautifully realized by Ariel Wolf in white tie and tails, pout and spit-curls. For her part, Angelique, disastrously costumed in boots, a peach skirt and white blouse and played rather one-dimensionally by Tamar Alkan, is set on the hip Cleante, an engaging Itay Zvulun who combines innocence with a lover’s guile.

But Argan’s second wife Beline, whose extravagant costumes – made by Dalia Penn Haller – match Carmit Mesilati- Kaplan’s delightfully over-the-top performance, also has plans for Angelique. With her step-daughter safely immured in a convent, she’ll get all Argan’s money.


It’s Toinette, the Clever Servant of the commedia dell’arte tradition, who saves the day. Portrayed with saucy briskness and lots of leg by Irit Pashtan, Toinette shows up Beline, unites the lovers and helps wean Argan from his imaginary ailments.

It all takes place in Argan’s bedroom, here a featureless arc of yellow curtains whose only function seems to be entrances and exits. The big consolation of this uneven production is Argan’s bed. It follows him around like a dog. Delightful.

The Imaginary Invalid
By Moliere
Based on the translation by Nissim Aloni
Directed by Udi Ben-Moshe
Khan Theater, February 11

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA

Cookie Settings