Review | Laura Money
Intimate and giving, The Voice Behind the Stars is a witty and genuine look at the ‘Ghostess with the Mostest’ – the incomparable Marni Nixon. Eliza Jackson embodies the role in a one woman tour de force that not only highlights the amazing talents of Ms Nixon but cements Jackson as an absolutely legendary performer. She is one to watch – and it will be a delight to do so over and over again!
So, Jackson plays Marni Nixon – Hollywood’s worst kept secret! Switching between the recording studio and lounge room complete with cozy armchair that is begging to have a story told from it, Jackson complies with honesty and heart. If you were expecting a one-woman expose and harshness towards the film industry, look elsewhere, because The Voice Behind The Stars finally puts Nixon’s voice centre stage but gently. Jackson’s portrayal of Nixon is a sheer delight – her shy smile and joy of recounting Nixon’s early life is nostalgic and sweet. There is a tenderness here when speaking of the family, friends and above all, the music. Jackson places the story firmly in Nixon’s hands.
Of course, we all know that Marni Nixon had a sublime voice and that she could match the stars she was dubbing. Well, Jackson has the remarkable ability to mimic Nixon mimicking the stars! I cannot stress how phenomenal this talent is. Jackson, like Nixon before her matches Marilyn Monroe, Deborah Kerr, Audrey Hepburn, Natalie Wood with aplomb. There are all the old favourites, ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’, ‘I feel Pretty’ , ‘Getting to Know You’ that almost invite the audience to join in – of course once you hear how remarkable Jackson’s voice is, you won’t sing because you couldn’t come close if you tried!
I love the little surprising moments in this play. Jackson’s effervescence is infectious, and you can’t help but smile in sympathy as she gently exposes the world of old Hollywood. The Voice Behind the Stars is a simply stunning piece of theatre. It pulls on every heartstring with Jackson’s angelic voice accompanying. There really was no-one quite like Marni Nixon, but thanks to Eliza Jackson, we know her story. It will make you want to get out all your old records and listen to the wonderful talent captured between the grooves.
WHEN: 10 – 13 February 2019 | 8:00pm
WHERE: The Gold Digger | Matsuo’s Broome Time | FRINGE CENTRAL
INFO: Tickets $15.50 – $24.50 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: All (general) | CABARET