Tony Award-winning actor Brian Bedford directs and stars in The Molière Comedies, two Molière one-act plays: The School for Husbands and The Imaginary Cuckold. A study in contrasts as well as literary genius, Brian Bedford plays the role of "Sganarelle" in both of these early one-acts by 17th-century comic master, Molière. A thin, severe, and emotionally cold bourgeoisie in one story, he's the perfect portly archetype of a country bumpkin in the other. Bedford is considered one of the world's master performers of Molière, winning a Tony Award for his performance in The School for Wives on Broadway and critical acclaim for his recent portrayal of Orgon in the Roundabout Theater's production of Tartuffe.
The School for Husbands
Sganarelle and his brother Ariste may be the guardians of Isabelle and Léonor, but they'd rather be the orphaned sisters' husbands. Instead of surrendering the eligible ladies to handsome suitors, each man tries to win the heart of his lovely ward. Ariste lets Léonor's youthful spirit run wild, to his eventual advantage. But in aiming to shelter Isabelle from the attentions of his rivals, the austere Sganarelle becomes an unsuspecting apprentice in her romance-with another man.
The Imaginary Cuckold
When a young girl, Celie, faints in the street outside their home, Sganarelle jumps to the rescue-and his wife jumps to conclusions of infidelity. Looking to confront her husband, the wife instead finds the girl's lover's portrait. The locket ends up in Sganarelle's pocket, setting off a chain of amorous mix-ups and exchanged accusations entangling young and old, married and betrothed.