The Imaginary Invalid | Parson’s Nose Theater

Theatre review

PHOTO: Parson's Nose Theatre | South Pasadena News | Jill Rogosheske, Lance Davis and Barry Gordon in Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid now on stage at Parson's Nose Theater in Pasadena

It’s another rollicking evening of Moliere as Parson’s Nose Theater takes on The Imaginary Invalid! Lance Davis’ delightfully hysterical portrayal of  Moliere’s overbearing hypochondriac is the linchpin of this delirious night at the theater. He heads up a crackerjack cast, deftly directed by Mary Chalon, who give life to this crisp satire of modern medicine and money-hungry doctors with god complex.

Davis plays Argan, an older gentleman who, convinced he is dying of “something”, sits on a thronelike bed, bellowing to his maidservant, Toinette, played by the ever irrepressible Jill Rogosheske, who patiently humors him while also trying to get through to him.  As is ever the case with Moliere, there is a young romance at play, with Argan’s daughter, Angélique, desperate to marry the lovesick Cléante. Argan however has promised her hand to a young doctor, who is the son of a doctor, in order to have two doctors in the family. Meanwhile, his wife, the conniving Béline, seeks his demise so she might inherit his money and run off with her lover, Mr. Bonnefoi. C’est compliqué!

Angélique is played with wide eyed innocence and petulance by Kristen Egermeier and Colin Thomas Jennings is an earnest, lovesick Cléante. Barry Gordon cuts a dapper figure and is perfectly devious as Mr. Bonnefoi as well as being hilarious as Dr. Fleurant. The always entertaining John Rafter Lee is gloriously duplicitous as Doctor Diafoirus and James Calvert as his dim-witted son is priceless. Marisa Chandler is a feisty, deceitful Béline.

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But it is Davis who brings it all to impossibly preposterous heights as he spirals into despair over his failing health and it is his loyal maid, Toinette, who works her magic by devising a plan to show him what riches he truly has.

The Imaginary Invalid plays through March 1, 2020. Tickets range from $20 to $35 and are available online at or by calling the Box Office at (626) 403-7667.  This production is family-friendly, recommended for children ages 11 and up. Parson’s Nose Theater is located at 95 North Marengo Avenue in Pasadena.

Located in Pasadena’s historic Marston/Van Pelt mortuary chapel one block West of City Hall, Parson’s Nose Theater performs condensed classic adaptations that present the language, characters, plot and spirit of the world’s greatest writers – not only Shakespeare, but Molière, Goldoni, Goldsmith, Boucicault – the most revered writers of Western Literature. Voted “Pasadena Weekly 2019 Reader Recommended: Best Live Theater Venue, Best Production, Best Enrichment.”

Since April 2000, co-founders Lance Davis and Mary Chalon have introduced their professional comedies to the delight of over 70,000 Angelenos. PNT is the only company in America devoted to this new way of experiencing the classics.  PNT productions are intelligent and fun, reaching out to teens, seniors, and everyone in between. Performances are condensed to a 90-minutes-or-less format, including an intermission featuring wine, cider, and the famous, home-baked “Pat Bell” cookies.