Prescribe yourself a laugh with ‘A Doctor’ | Theater Review

By Meredith Pechta, Theater Reviewer | Jan 15, 2014
Courtesy of: Sam Freeman/NWPhoto Rayla Freeman (Scanarell) and Christobal Urquiaga (Martine) star in Kamiak High School's production of "A Doctor In Spite of Himself."

Kamiak High School is starting the new year of theater off by performing a forgotten play of yesteryear. The little known gem is called “A Doctor In Spite of Himself.”

Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it isn’t worth performing.

A playwright with the pen name Moliere wrote the play in the 1600s. It may not be Shakespeare, but it’s a farce that deserves to be preserved for the ages.

The comedy tells to story of an ill-tempered woodcarver named Sganarelle. He believes he meant for better things, but has never made the effort to achieve them.

He’s also been feuding with his feisty wife Martine for years. Tired of his treatment of her, she decides to get even. She comes across a trio of messengers in the woods named Valere, Lucas and Collette.

They are looking for a special doctor to attend to their master’s stubborn daughter Lucinde. She’s stopped speaking suddenly.

Martine points out her husband Sganarelle, claiming that he’s the doctor of miraculous cures that they seek. She tells them that he’ll deny it because he doesn’t want to treat just anyone.

After they wear him down a little, Sganarelle concedes and goes along with the scheme. Once he meets the daughter and discovers all the perks that come with being the new doctor, he embraces the new title and goes to work for the whole town.

Kamiak has two casts for different nights, although some parts are played by the same student both nights.

The role of Sganarelle is shared by Jack Malloy and Christobal Urquiaga. They have a likable slyness that’s needed.

Gina Bartelli and Rayla Serene Freeman play the conniving Martine.

The rich and gullible father Geronte is played by Rick Quinn and Joe Shay.

His love-struck daughter Lucinde is played by Anna Vara and Cadence Whittle.

Gavin Forster and John Messick play her secret bow Leandre. He too has a sneaky side.

The three messengers are played by Josh Smith, Drake Slansky, Andrew Meyers, Michael Profitt, Danielle Benedict and Alia Naumoff.

The narrator is Cameron Dawson and Lizzie Lee.

Lucas’ playful wife Jacqueline is played by Molly Daybert and Jacqueline Tardanico.

The saucy maids are played by Tess Fraser, Paula Kimmerling, Maddi Goodrich, Stephanie Coons, Jaimee Alonso, Jessica Niewohner and Rey Tabor.

And Brianna Schulstrom, Marissa C. Felton, Josh Smith, Juno Lee and Jay Anderson play Sganarelle’s credulous patients.

If you’d like a good laugh, then you probably need an appointment with this doctor and his associates.

“A Doctor In Spite of Himself” is playing Jan. 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 7 p.m. at Kamiak High School’s Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at the PAC door.

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