The Imaginary Invalid

January 11 — February 6, 2011
On the U.S. Bank Main Stage

By Molière
in an adaptation by Constance Congdon
Directed by Chris Coleman
“Glossy and handsomely appointed…Crowd-pleaser? You bet, and deservedly so.” —Bob Hicks, the Oregonian

Love is funny. Love is trickery. Love is…smelly? It’s certainly a merry-go-round of misplaced desires and hidden agendas in Constance Congdon’s fresh and hilarious new take on Molière’s skewering of a health care crisis from an entirely different century. To quell his growing pile of medical bills, Monsieur Argan, a chronic hypochondriac, will go to any length to marry his daughter off to a doctor. Of course, his daughter has other ideas. A narcotic cocktail of romantic triangles, double entendres and mistaken identities ensues, promising to leave you gasping, giggling and possibly…in stitches.

Performance times:
Tuesday - Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm
Thursday matinees at noon
A full list of performances and dates will appear when you enter the Buy Tickets section of the website.

Running time for The Imaginary Invalid is approximately 2 hours with one intermission.

To learn more about the cast and creative team for The Imaginary Invalid, click here.

Playbill for The Imaginary Invalid

Performance Times

Evenings: Tuesday - Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Matinees: Saturday and Sundays at 2 p.m.,
Thursdays at noon

*Note: These are general performance times. Certain productions may have exceptions. View the season calendar for more information.

This show's run time will be posted below the synopsis at left near the date of the first performance.

Production blog



20 January 2011 & Posted by Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman and Bob Hicks (Theater Critic with The Oregonian) debate how our preconceptions color how we discuss a classic play.


The Imaginary Invalid’s Cast and Creative Team

12 January 2011 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

Introducing the cast and creative team of The Imaginary Invalid!


On Souffles, Corsets and Moliere

05 January 2011 & Posted by Chris Coleman

Check in on The Imaginary Invalid cast as they prepare to move onstage.



The Imaginary Invalid art & photos View on Flickr »

Artistic Director Chris Coleman and Associate Artistic Director Rose Riordan discuss The Imaginary Invalid. View on Vimeo »

Trailer for The Imaginary Invalid. View on Vimeo »

Danny Wolohan talks about his chicken research for his role as Claude in The Imaginary Invalid. Also stars Ina Jaffe, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Silvia Poggioli, and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson (the chickens). View on Vimeo »

Reviews and Features

Alison Hallett | The Portland Mercury [Review 27 Jan 2011]

Portland Center Stage’s current mainstage production is an adaptation of Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid, about an elderly hypochondriac (David Margulies, AKA the mayor from Ghostbusters!) who tries to marry off his daughter to a doctor, in hopes of snagging free medical attention.

I can safely say that one thing I never expected to see at PCS was an old man analyzing the bouquet of his flatulence like a fine wine, but Constance Congdon’s adaptation leaves no fart joke unmade.

read more

Marie | Every Day Is a Miracle [Review 26 Jan 2011]

This afternoon Mike and I saw “The Imaginary Invalid” at Portland Center Stage (PCS) after a nice lunch at Noodles (love their tomato basil bisque) and a browse in Powell’s.

“The Imaginary Invalid” is a broad farce written by the French playwright Moliere in 1673. It’s the tale of an older man, Argan, who is a desperate hypochondriac. It’s a biting satire on the snake oil practice of medicine at the time. Argan pays a fortune for pills and potions that he believes will relieve him of his horrific flatulence and bowel irritation. He’s convinced he’s on death’s door, and this idea is encouraged by his unscrupulous doctor and even-more-unscrupulous young and conniving wife, Beline (who only wants to get her hands on his money).

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Gigi Little | ut omnia bene [Review 20 Jan 2011]

On Friday, Stephen and I went to the opening of The Imaginary Invalid at Portland Center Stage. Molière! Never saw Molière before. [or an adaptation of.] I’d heard somewhere that it’s supposed to be promoted as a night of a hundred and one fart jokes, and if you know me, you know I’m squeamish about the things that happen in that corner of the body. I even tailor my curse words to stay away from ones involving that corner of the body. But there’s something about combining that kind of humor with a bit of age and a bit of French that…elevates it*. So, I was ready for the fart jokes. In fact, at intermission, I turned to Stephen and said, I want more fart jokes.

Because, really, they’re contained in…I don’t know, probably just the first twenty minutes or so of the play? OK, no, I really didn’t need any more; I was just proud of myself for saying the word out loud. The evening was plenty entertaining without more. Lots of laughs all the way through.

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Ben Waterhouse | Willamette Week [Review 20 Jan 2011]

Why has Molière endured? No other non-Anglophone playwright of any century has anything approaching the 17th-century Frenchman’s presence in the English-speaking world. Colleges don’t often trot out Lope de Vega or Pedro Calderón de la Barca, who provide equal opportunity for dress-up, if not nearly as many dick jokes, but Tartuffe is ubiquitous.

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Alexis Rehrmann | Portland Monthly [Review 20 Jan 2011]

At its premiere, Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid must have been a scathing farce about the ignorance and quackery rampant in the field of medicine in France in the 1600’s. Now, a new adaption by Constance Congdon serves a duck of a different color. She pulls to the forefront all manner of silly and ceaseless jokes about farts, sex, and cow poop (twice mentioned).

read more


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