Idaho Shakespeare Festival Presents the Imaginary Invalid

Friday, July 6-Friday, Aug. 24

| July 04, 2012
Audiences at Idaho Shakespeare Festival can soak in a little hypochondria, 1960s French pop culture—and an occasional Green Show—at the festival’s production of The Imaginary Invalid.
- DKM Photography
Audiences at Idaho Shakespeare Festival can soak in a little hypochondria, 1960s French pop culture—and an occasional Green Show—at the festival’s production of The Imaginary Invalid.

The Imaginary Invalid

Friday, July 6-Saturday, July 7, and Tuesday, July 10-Wednesday, July 11, 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 8, 7 p.m. Show runs through Friday, Aug. 24. $12-$40. Idaho Shakespeare Festival, 5657 Warm Springs Ave., 208-336-9221, idahoshakespeare.org.

So you've got one aristocratic French hypochondriac with a money-grubbing second wife, two head-strong daughters, a pile of suitors and a bunch of opportunists who are more than willing to take advantage of said rich hypochondriac. What could you possibly add to put it over the top? Why, 1960s French pop music and New Wave culture, of course.

That's just the tack that Idaho Shakespeare Festival's latest production takes for its production of Moliere's classic comedy The Imaginary Invalid. The production is a celebration of the vibrant pop culture of the 1960s, complete with music, dancing and technicolor visuals, which director Tracy Young (who directed last season's Taming of the Shrew) promises plays off the best of the era while including aspects of Italian commedia dell'arte and the original Baroque influences.

What exactly is commedia dell'arte? Think of shows like Laugh-In, with physical humor that has broad comedic appeal.

The production was first staged at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore., where it was resoundingly popular. ISF spokesperson Hannah Read said the Boise offering will be "just as crazy and fun."

The show will have a preview Friday, July 6, with opening night Saturday, July 7, and run through Friday, Aug. 24.

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