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Review of Molieres The Imaginary Invalid at the Arts Club MainstageMolieres The Imaginary Invalid is a farcical play about a hypochondriac who is so obsessed with his health and money that he ends up neglecting his family The story involves several different themes and plots within one family A new interpretation of this 17th century play is now being performed at the Arts Club Theater it incorporates some new changes and modernizations in addition to the traditional improvisation Morris Panych has definitely succeeded in delivering a new more comical version of Molieres final play Moreover the dominant theme of this play is body versus mind The play is about a wealthy but stingy man who believes that he is constantly sick Argan However there is an obvious doubt to whether he is really sick or if he is just imagining his illness Therefore the primary theme is Argans internal struggle of body vs mind This theme is developed throughout the play into smaller themes such as masculinity versus femininity greed versus love and death versus life Two of the major changes from the text to the play are Argans degree of illness and his death In the text there are very few elaborate descriptions of Dr Purgons treatment However in the play by Panych there is no shortage of enemas and other bathroom related scenes I originally thought this change was for comical purposes but after some additional thought I questioned whether Argan was imagining his illness or if he really was ill In the text by not having too many bathroom scenes Argan seems to be imagining his illness thus he is the imaginary invalid In Panychs stage version Argan shows several symptoms of being ill this definitely confuses the original play by Moliere One of the original purposes of the play was to criticize among other things the medical profession in Molieres time Now if Argan really was sick does that mean that
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