by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Max & Elsa No Music No ChildrenIt is Vienna and Salzburg in the last golden days of the 30s just as the Nazis are rolling in to take over.  Mostly everyone sort of knows the Sound of Music.  Proud severe Austrian Captain Georg Von Trapp, is on the hunt for a new nanny and finds Maria, a young novitiate in a convent who is temporarily sprung from taking vows in order to care for Von Trapp’s 12 neglected, rich and talented singing kids.

When dad comes back from Vienna however, he brings the new lady in his life, the Baroness Elsa Schraeder. The sudden engagement threatens the stability of their happiness with the possibility of boarding school and even less fun than before, and of course, all of Maria’s dreams of conflicted love for the Captain of ever being fulfilled.

In Max & Elsa however, there’s a different story to be told.

Max Detweiler, the Baroness’ fun loving music promoter sidekick fashionable friend, is on the prowl for new talent and a new husband for the baroness.  As they sort through the photographs of horribly unqualified candidates Von Trapp suddenly becomes the target.  Not much on mothering Elsa agrees to get busy and plays her vivacious role into the completely disinterested Captain’s rather cold and ordered life, only to be thwarted by the fact that all along, he’s been sorting both women’s most suitable qualifications.

One of the more deliciously, drier, funnier shows at Fringe this year. So well put together, this show never takes a single awkward pause and is brilliantly executed by everyone in the cast.  Their really is NO MUSIC. Nor do we ever see the kids or the fond farewell.  In the end, poor, poor Elsa, a genuine queen of surviving heartbreak and men, tallies on to the next possibility (if there are any left!)

Recommended.

http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/2156