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The Imaginary Invalid

Lance Davis’ abridged 75-minute adaptation of Molière’s classic eschews all subtlety in an amusing, accessible romp with plenty of flair and humor. Davis plays Argon, a mousey, myopic hypochondriac in a tizzy over his mounting medical bills. His solution: to marry off his unfortunate daughter, Angelique (Amanda Pajer), to the loutish son of a quack doctor so he may secure his in-law’s services for free. Possessed of a gargantuan ego, the self-preoccupied ninny Argon swallows whole the extravagant protestations of love by his beautiful but conniving second wife (Marisa Chandler) — even as she plots with her lover (Mark McCracken) behind Argon’s back — to secure all his wealth. Under Mary Chalon’s direction, the production evolves with outsized brio — a stylistic approach that succeeds by virtue of Davis’ considerable acting skill, in tandem with the talents of Pajer and Chandler, both of whom render their shtick with calibrated craft. Some of the other characters come across less crisply but are still good enough to keep the farce crackling. Designer Holly Victoria’s lovely period costumes add professional polish. Pacific Asia Museum, 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena; Fri.-Sun., 7 p.m.; through February 5. (626) 403-7667, parsonsnose.com. A Parson’s Nose Theater Company production.
Fridays-Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Jan. 15. Continues through Feb. 5, 2010

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