Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dear Julie Andrews,

There's been a theme in my life. And I'm not quite sure where it came from, but Julie Andrews has always been in it. I think, perhaps, it's because my mom always sings in this false operatic voice (and, trust me, she is constantly singing) that sounds somewhat like Julie Andrews. Perhaps my mom always sang Julie Andrews songs ("What do the Simple Folk Do?" from Camelot comes to mind, as well as the Do Re Mi song). I have always sort of thought of my mom as a cross between Angela Landsbury (she is always reading and solving mysteries) and Julie Andrews. As you can imagine, I loved The Sound of Music, and had never quite experienced it in such a way before. We had the great pleasure of attending the Doug Elkins & Friends performance of Fraulein Maria, a dance/vaudeville interpretation of The Sound of Music, complete with Rodgers and Hammerstein original cast recording as music. I was even involved in the show! I broke the 4th wall! The show stays fairly true to the original storyline, but includes not one, but three Fraulein Marias (one of them a man!) and included lots of wonderful dance moves, including classical, modern and even hip hop. Their portrayal of Germany invading Austria was carried out by Elkins himself (along with our lovable MC) fighting over the seat on a bench - one of the most innovative ways I could think to show invasions of countries. The final scene, danced to "Something Good", the couples include, not only Fraulein Maria and her handsome man, but also a female-female couple and a male-male couple, nicely bringing in some modern twists to the plot. The show is funny, moving, sad and wonderful. The dancers are fantastic and I loved every minute of the hour long show (in fact, I wish it was longer). This troupe is based out of NYC, but if you get the chance to see this amazingly innovative and entertaining show, DO IT!

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