"Fraulein Maria," Doug Elkins & Friend's terrific dance-theater piece which was developed at
The show is a deconstruction of Rodgers and Hammerstein's film musical "
The show has played 17 cities in the U.S. and Canada over the last three years.
Performances are Wednesday, Aug. 22 to Saturday, Aug. 25, 8:15 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 25 and Sunday, Aug. 26, 2:15 p.m.
Tickets are $38. Infromation: 413.243.0745 and www.jacobspillow.org.
And from my review of the show when it was at Hartford Stage:
What's it about? Inspired by the score from the film of "The Sound of Music," choreographer Doug Elkins and co-directors Michael Preston and Barbara Karger (of Hartford's Trinity College) craft a wondrous, affectionate and surprisingly moving show.
How do you solve a problem like Maria? By casting three performers to play her, one of whom is a Puerto Rican man. All are accomplished dancers and fine actors. This central conceit signals that the hills will be alive in some very unusual ways.
Though it might seem that it is upending the beloved movie, it also honors the emotional core of the music and material. Sure this is a show that combines art and playfulness (think recess at Jacob's Pillow) but it also has the highest quality of creds when it comes to dance as well.
What's it like? Let's start at the very beginning, as you-know-who would sing. Preston warms up the crowd in a pre-show bit with the audience singing a round of "Do Re Mi" to get everyone in a nostalgic mood. His character is rather like Max, the Captain's world-weary impresario friend in the movie. Throughout the show Preston pops up in amusing ways (except for one scene that is both charming and chilling).
Before the story begins we hear the voice of Richard Rodgers talking about the craft and specialness of the movie saying, "This is not a sausage factory at work." But Elkins and company turns out a winner of a wiener as the performers re-interpret the work with a child's sense of abandon and an adult's sense of smarts.
But what about the Austrian Alps? They're there too. Snow-capped, too. Sort of.
What were some of your favorite things? "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" is full of adolescent angst and sex. It's "Spring Awakening" with a sense of humor. Six-foot-five ginger-headed John Sorensen-Jolink is astonishing as Liesl, and every role he performs.
So it's a drag show? Well gender is tossed around like a hot strudel but that's not what it's about, and this show never drags.
Anything else? Raindrops and kittens and a killer version of "Do Re Mi" so full of pure joy you know exactly why Maria places one hand on her head as the other arm shoots straight up for the skies for that last note.
Mr. Elkins pops up twice in the show, once as Mother Superior (with breathtaking street-smart moves) in a juxtaposed dance to "Climb Ev'ry Mountain." He also shares a brilliant duet with Preston on a park bench, set to "Edelweiss," that is Chaplinesque in its elegance, and stunning in its sly indictment of Austrian appeasement. The triple duet to "Something Good" is a romantic and richly rewarding number with Daniel Charon's Captain taking his own leap of faith to Meghan Merrill's arms. ( The other blissful Marias are Donnell Oakley and Joshua Palmer.) I also loved Deborah Lohse's haughty Baroness and the attack of the Lonely Goatherds.
Who will like it? Dance lovers, "Sound of Music" enthusiasts, kids-at-heart and those who feel like starting summer with a great giddy kick.
Who won't? Nazis.
Twitter review in 140 characters or less: "Fraulein Maria" is a dream of a show that makes even this cynical soul, want to do a twirl or two. Climb ev'ry mountain to go see this show before it leaves town.
Thoughts on leaving the parking lot?: The power of Rodgers & Hammerstein's work is not the slightest diminished and only heightened. The same emotional stirrings are there in the core material and watching it appropriated and morphed into another work of art makes it all the more dazzling.
Running time: 65 minutes, no intermission. Here's a show that you wish could go on longer.