The Voice Behind The Stars, a one-woman show at Assembly Rooms, is presented by Australian actress and singer, Eliza Jackson. Eliza, debuting at The Fringe, chose Edinburgh as the place for the world premiere of her show. It tells the story of Marni Nixon – the most famous ghost singer in the history of the cinema.
Marni Nixon was the singing voice for the biggest movie stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood or Marilyn Monroe, in the most iconic pictures, including West Side Story, My Fair Lady and The King and I. Hidden in their shadow, throughout her life, she had to fight for credits and royalties.
Within one hour of the show, Eliza Jackson impersonates Marni and tells her story with perfectly and charmingly captured Californian accent. The show is as remarkable as its heroine. Jackson as Marni smoothly switches from talking to singing, delighting the audience with her fantastic soprano and charisma, emphasized by the costume which perfectly depicts fashion of 50s.
In one moment, she shares the juicy details from the film industry, while elegantly sipping tea and browsing through the vinyls, hidden in a warm red light, snuggled down into a vintage armchair. Then, she performs classic Hollywood songs in a small recording studio bathed in blue, on the other side of the stage, revealing what the dubbing job consists in. The stage is small and its design is spare; however every single element has significance in depicting the spirit of Marni’s times and the character herself.
The Voice Behind The Stars is not only a story about Marni Dixon, though. It is not even a story about fame or cinema, although its history is casually incorporated into the spectacle, mostly thanks to the screen at the back of the stage which helps the audience to catch all the references. However, first of all, it a story but about passion, creativity and dreams. Thanks to Jackson’s marvellous acting job, it is both funny and entertaining and on the other hand, moving and deeply emotional.
The Voice Behind The Stars is a show for not only musicals or classic movies fans but also, for anyone who would want to be transferred for one hour to a beautiful yet still realistic world of dreams. The one and only opportunity to actually see the voice is awaiting at Assembly Rooms.