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How do you solve a problem like Maria?

September 26, 2010

Published by Metro

>Why, you deconstruct her, of course >In ‘Fraulein Maria,’ ‘The Sound of Music’ gets a makeover by incorporating hip-hop, ballet, break-dancing and even some polka

When Doug Elkins asked the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization permission to deconstruct classic “The Sound of Music,” they thought he was from another planet.

“What is deconstructing? It’s a really amazing magic trick where you pull the story apart on stage,” says Elkins, creator, choreographer and performer in “Fraulein Maria.” “But at the end, it will still be there.”

Though Elkins stuck with the original’s soundtrack and plot, he presents it very differently. The acclaimed choreographer incorporates hip-hop, ballet, modern contemporary, break dancing, strippers, folk, polka and step into the show.

“It’s almost like a DJ or producer like Timbaland remixed the original with Jay-Z,” he says. “Imagine ‘The Sound of Music’ retold as a Bollywood film slash Peking opera.”

Or: “It’s the illegitimate child of a Gertsenstein novel and a Bruce Lee kung-fu film.”

Audiences will just have to see the show to understand what Elkins means.

Why revamp “The Sound of Music” in the first place? The 1965 movie was his young children’s favorite. He doesn’t plan to remake his daughter’s current top pick: Hannah Montana.

Not that Elkins is done retelling. Watch for a Motown-Othello combination down the road.

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