(Press Release) Hypochondria, pomposity, and pretension gets an imaginative cure that will make you laugh like crazy as the graduating students of the AB-Production Design and AB-Technical Theater program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design & Arts (SDA) present Moliere’s last comedy masterpiece, Le Malade Imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid).
Two versions of Le Malade Imaginaire will be staged. The first version adheres to the classical tradition of the Commedia Dell’arte, a theatrical form that originated in Italy and became popular in Europe in the 15th century. The other is an adaptation titled Le Praning Du Sining, written by Palanca Awardee George de Jesus III. In both versions, imagination is presented both as a destructive force resulting in pretension, prejudice, and selfishness and as a creative stimulus that engenders love, care, and honesty.
Moliere’s play tells the story of Argan, a rich miserly hypochondriac wishing to have constant medical attention for free, decides to marry his daughter, Angelique to Thomas Diafoirus, a boring young doctor from a family of doctors. But Angelique, in love with another young man named Cleante, rejects the plan of his father. Hilarity ensues as Angelique, Cleante, Argan’s maid, Toinette and Argan's sibling, Beralde, all try to change Argan’s mind and expose the manipulations of his new wife, Beline.
In the adaptation, Le Praning Du Sining, the character of Argan is transformed from a hypochondriac miser to a neurotic, paranoid, and overly stressed artistic director named Arman. Fueled by his paranoia and imagined troubles of their theater company, he decides to cast a showbiz personality/indie film actor Tom Toledo in the lead role of the play (a contemporary adaptation of Moliere’s Imaginary Invalid) of their resident playwright, Angeli. But Angeli, who wrote the lead role for theater actor, Clint, rejects the artistic vision of Arman. In the ensuing artistic differences and arguments, Angeli collaborates with the resident stage manager, Toni and the dramaturg, Vera to convince Arman to rethink his vision for the play and the theater company. Adding to the hilarity is the manipulations of the resident diva actress, Belinda, who desires a new lighting system so that she can still play ingénue roles even if she’s already in her 50’s. Set in an imagined hyper-real and cartoon-like theater world, Le Praning Du Sining pokes fun at the pomposity of art and artists and takes pot shots at everything from the travails theater companies, the artistry of indie films, the vanity of artists, the spurious scribbling of bloggers, the popularity of Broadway musicales, and even the writer himself.
Le Malade Imaginaire/Le Praning Du Sining features Stella Cañete, Martha Comia, Joshua Deocareza, Angelina Kanapi, Russel Legaspi, Issa Litton, Daniel Marx, Miguel Mendoza, Elle Velasco with Joel Saracho and Reuben Uy playing Arman and Argan respectively.
Directed by George de Jesus III, Le Malade Imaginaire will have shows tonight, August 15, and August 17, and 18 and Le Praning Du Sining on August 22, 24, and 25, 2012 at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design & Arts Theater, 5th Floor CSB-SDA Building in Vito Cruz St., Manila. Ticket prices are 300 PHP (Balcony) and 350 PHP (Orchestra).
For more information, contact Francesca Gonzalez at (63)9175020531 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.