Members of Fiasco Theatre in "The Imaginary Invalid" at the Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox
The appeal of Fiasco Theater’s artistry is the complete delight with which its troupe members perform and create on stage. Three years after their well-received production of Into the Woods at the Old Globe, the Fiasco players are back with an even finer offering, their adaptation of Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid. You may have seen before this 17th-century farce about a hypochondriacal father and the daughter he seeks to marry off, for purely self-interested reasons, to a dolt of a doctor. But odds are you’ve never seen it like this, with the Fiasco ensemble (directed by cast members Jessie Austrian and Noah Brody) performing original music (by Ben Steinfeld), and invigorating this old comedie-ballet to the point that it feels spontaneous and new.
Aside from the Act 2-opening scene in which the “invalid” (Andy Grotelueschen) and his brother (Paul L. Coffey) debate his ridiculous hypochondria, the production moves along rapidly and happily. There’s a keen sense that the Fiasco gang (which also includes Kevin Hafso-Koppman, Jane Pfitsch and Emily Young) is a having a helluva good time. So will you.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat