Beginning November 15, 2013, Molière’s classic comedy A Doctor in Spite of Himself will leave you rolling in the aisles of the Hilberry Theatre in Midtown Detroit. Since its premiere in 1666, A Doctor in Spite of Himself [Le Médecin malgré lui] has never failed to make audiences roar with laughter. Playing through February 8, 2014, tickets range from $12–$30 and are available by calling the Hilberry Theatre Box Office at (313) 577-2972, online at Hilberry.com, or by visiting the box office at 4743 Cass Avenue at the corner of Hancock Street.
The Hilberry’s production of A Doctor in Spite of Himself is translated and directed by world-renowned director and teacher, Arne Zaslove. An alumnus of Carnegie-Mellon University, Zaslove was a Fulbright Scholar in Paris, the first American to study at Ecole Jacques Lecoq, and served an apprenticeship with Commedia dell’Arte master Carlo Mazzone-Clementi. Zaslove has served as Artistic Director of the National Theatre School of Canada, the Floating Theater, the Bathhouse Theatre, and as Associate Artistic Director of the Seattle Repertory Theatre. He co-founded the Professional Acting Program at University of Washington with Duncan Ross, and has taught and directed in training programs throughout the United States and Canada. He has developed new performance material and given workshops for Cirque du Soleil, and served as a consultant to Graciela Daniele on her Broadway-bound musical ‘The Glorious Ones’, a musical in the style of Commedia dell’Arte.
A Doctor in Spite of Himself is Molière’s satirical study of snobbery and one of several plays he penned that center on the character Sganarelle, a drunk, shiftless woodcutter, In Doctor, to punish Sganarelle for his idleness, his wife, Martine, plays a trick on him. Martine overhears that a rich family is in need of a doctor and she tells the servants that Sganarelle is the greatest doctor in the world. Being greedy, Sganarelle accepts the family’s lucrative position even though he has no idea what a doctor should know! Zaslove’s vision of Doctor draws the lines that connect commedia dell’arte, Molière, and the ‘screwball comedies’ of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
“I’ve had a wonderful time translating the play,” declares Zaslove. “Moliere is full of wit, descriptions of wild physical antics, puns, and comic dialects; never vulgar or condescending. I hope I’ve honored the spirit of this great writer and those audiences and cast alike find the fun and enjoy laughing with and at these characters, who continue to reflect our society today. ”