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Goretti Players, CVSM students present 'The Hypochondriac'

Goretti Players, CVSM students present 'The Hypochondriac'

Members of St. Maria Goretti Players and the Cumberland Valley School of Music are hoping that audience members don’t walk away feeling like a fever is coming after watching the Roger McGough comedy,  “The Hypochondriac.”

The show, originally known as “The Imaginary Invalid” and written 17th-century French playwright Mouere, will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Academy Theater Banquet and Conference Center, 58 E. Washington St., in downtown Hagerstown this weekend. 

The play centers around the rich Argan, who is convinced he suffers from numerous health maladies. Goretti junior Ben Byers of Shepherdstown, W.Va., plays the hypochondriac. 

“He believes he is sick and has all of these problems when really it’s the doctors tricking him. He’s really perfectly fine. And he’s a really wealthy man who’s trying to marry his daughter off for more money and free stuff,” Ben said.

Ben said in some ways, he’s not that different from Argan.

“I’m kind of crazy and he gets all these ideas in his head ... and he thinks that’s it’s OK, and I can see that,” he said with a laugh.

Argan’s foil is servant girl Toinette, played by Samantha Sutterman, a senior from Frederick, Md. 

“She’s honestly, I think, the smartest one. She has common sense and she’s very clever and funny in this whole entire play, and she just runs circles around everyone else. She’s just mind-blowingly smart, which is the humor of it all because she’s a servant. She’s not supposed to be smart,” Samantha said.

In real life, Samantha shares some of Twinette’s qualities. 

“Constantly people are coming to me with all these complaints, all these problems, and everything, and I just (say) ‘No, that’s so stupid. You can just do this, just do that.’ (I’m) very calm, very common-sense oriented, I think, and also she’s a very kind person as well,” she said. “Argon is just terrible, I mean terrible, throughout this entire play to her, and yet she befriends Angelique and she still loves Argon and she’s very sympathetic to the whole family. And I hope I’m nice to people and sympathetic towards them and their problems.” 

Zoe Holland, also a senior at Goretti, plays Argan’s daughter, Antoinette. 

“She’s in love with a man she met, but her dad wants her to marry a doctor so he can get free medical care, but she doesn’t care about that, she just cares about her love,” Zoe said.

Zoe, who lives in Chambersburg, Pa., said she is also a romantic. 

“(I’m) kind of like in love with the idea of love,” she said with a laugh.

The show is directed by Richard Shoap and produced by JoAnn Hevey.

The three thespians agree “The Hypochondriac” is worth checking out.

“It is hilarious. It is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s full of life, full of energy, there’s a lot of humor. It’s a very classic, old play that’s just full of wonderful things,” Samantha said.

In addition to the hilarity, “It’s a really good show. There’s a lot of history in the show, too,” Ben said.

Zoe said the cast and props also contribute to the overall quality. 

“The costumes are really great, we have a really great cast and I’m just really excited to show everybody what we can do,” she said.

If you go ...

WHAT: The St. Maria Goretti Players and the Cumberland Valley School of Music present “The Hypochondriac”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11
WHERE: Academy Theater Banquet and Conference Center, 58 E. Washington St., downtown Hagerstown
COST: $12
CONTACT: 301-739-4266
MORE: Doors open 30 minutes before showtime

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