If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, parody must run a close second. How else to explain the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization letting New York-based contemporary choreographer Doug Elkins use the entire Sound of Music score for his Fräulein Maria? Whereas the original musical featured pink-cheeked children cavorting in repurposed curtains, Elkins' Maria features 12 highly skilled professionals (among them Jefferson Dance alum John Sorenson-Jolink) dancing a gender- and genre-bending mix of modern, ballet and hip-hop, layered with a bit of voguing for good measure. Maria herself is played by three dancers, both male and female; Elkins cast himself as a b-boying Mother Abbess. Like the singalong Sound of Music, Fräulein Maria mines the comedy of a theatrical institution that is both loved and loathed the world over. The piece, which runs 65 minutes without intermission, makes its West Coast debut here.


Newmark Theatre, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6566. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 13-15. $27.50-$68.50.