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Combustible Company presents The Imaginary Invalid by Moliere


Apr 14, 2018 to Apr 28, 2018
07:30 PM until 09:30 PM

This event occurs weekly, on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Combustible Company presents The Imaginary Invalid by Moliere

The Imaginary Invalid

Written by Moliere

Adaptation by Oded Gross and Tracy Young

With original music by Paul James Prendergast

Original lyrics by Oded Gross, Paul James Prendergast, and Tracy Young

Directed by Kym Longhi

April 14th – 28th, 2018 at the Gremlin Theater


The Imaginary Invalid tells the story of Argan, a miserly hypochondriac who hatches a scheme to get free healthcare by marrying off one of his daughters (Angelique) to a young doctor (Thomas). Dependent on extravagant cures and desperately worried about his ability to continue to pay for his medical care, he will do anything. Angelique however, having already fallen in love with a florist (Cleante), has other plans for her life. Argan’s clever servant (Toinette) and gregarious brother (Beralde) come to her aid as they seek to unwind both his nefarious plot and his unhealthy obsession with quackery.

Though Moliere wrote it over 300 years ago, The Imaginary Invalid is a strikingly-relevant, passionate farce that shines a light on the wounds we inflict upon ourselves, the scars of life, and the lengths that some will go to achieve "affordable" healthcare in a seemingly-incurable system. This play-with-music features catchy Motown- and pop-inspired songs, commedia dell'arte roots, and sharp modern language.

This fresh translation of The Imaginary Invalid by Oded Gross was originally produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2011. Mr Gross’s plays have been staged throughout the United States and abroad, most notably at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, The Great Lakes Theater, The Theatre at Boston Court and The Moscow Art Theatre in Moscow, Russia. Composer Paul James Prendergast recently designed sound for the Guthrie Theatre’s 2017 production of Watch on the Rhine and his sound design for the original broadway production of All the Way was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 2014.

The Imaginary Invalid runs for three weeks in April at the new Gremlin Theater in the Vandalia Tower building in St Paul. The set (designed by Paul Herwig) is a monstrous life-support contraption, replete with tubes and vials; a crazy healthcare “system” that binds our invalid and creates obstacles for all those around him. The characters negotiate the set with elaborate physical contortions, giving the audience a graphic and visceral experience of the sociopolitical complexities of healthcare in our country. In addition to an intimate thrust stage ideally-suited to this piece, the lobby features an installation that transitions the audience from real-world experiences to the world of the play by mirroring the machinery of the set with stories from real people about their healthcare experiences, links to information about healthcare, and a virtual space for audience feedback.

The Imaginary Invalid features Combustible Company co-artistic director Erik Hoover (Bluebeard’s Dollhouse, Herocycle) as Argan and Ashawnti Sakina Ford as Toinette in her first production with Combustible Company. Other newcomers Antonio Duke, Joanna Griffith, Daniel Sakamoto-Wengel, Ricky Morisseau, Julianna Drajko, and Jonathan Beller will join Combustible Company veterans Isaac Bont (Bluebeard’s Dollhouse), Jonathan Saliger (Bluebeard’s Dollhouse, Herocycle), and Anna Pladson (Bluebeard’s Dollhouse).

Combustible Company’s other co-artistic director, Kym Longhi (Bluebeard’s Dollhouse, Herocycle), will direct the production which will also feature her costume design.

The creative team includes set and prop design by Off Leash Area’s Paul Herwig, sound design by C Andrew Mayer, and video design by Jim Peitzman (Herocycle, Bluebeard’s Dollhouse).

About Combustible Company

Combustible Company is a St Paul-based theatre company founded in 2013 that uses actors’ physicality to create visceral performances that spark the imagination and ignite conversation. Combustible Company’s inaugural production, Herocycle, was named among the best shows of 2013 by City Pages and Lavender Magazine, the latter of which also listed the show’s actors (Erik Hoover and Jim Peitzman) among their Outstanding Performances of the Year. The Imaginary Invalid is Combustible Company’s third evening-length production.


General admission tickets are $28 and a limited number of $15 economic accessibility tickets are available for each performance.


Brown Paper Tickets (brownpapertickets.com)




The Imaginary Invalid




Kym Longhi


April 14th – 28th, 2018


The Gremlin Theatre

550 Vandalia St, St Paul, MN 55114


The Imaginary Invalid is a strikingly-relevant, passionate farce that shines a light on the wounds we inflict upon ourselves, the scars of life, and the lengths that some will go to achieve "affordable" healthcare in a seemingly-incurable system.

Performance Dates

Saturday, April 14th, 7:30pm

Opening night

Sunday, April 15th, 7:30pm


Monday, April 15th, 7:30pm


Thursday, April 19th, 7:30pm

ASL-interpreted and audio-described

Friday, April 20th, 7:30pm


Saturday, April 21st, 7:30pm


Sunday, April 22nd, 7:30pm


Thursday, April 26th, 7:30pm


Friday, April 27th, 7:30pm


Saturday, April 28th, 7:30pm

Closing night




View map Gremlin Theater
550 Vandalia St
St Paul, MN

Additional Information


Combustible Company

Contact name

Erik Hoover

Contact email


We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information.

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