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Tonight In Baltimore

Members from Original Cast of WEST SIDE STORY Give Pre-Concert Lecture at Meyerhoff

by BWW News Desk

Marni Nixon, who dubbed the singing role for Natalie Wood, along with Bert Michaels (Snowboy), Eddie Verso (Juano) and Harvey Evans (Mouth Piece), will participate in a roundtable discussion about WEST SIDE STORY at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on June 14 from 7 7:30 p.m. Jonathan Palevsky, program director of WBJC 91.5 FM radio and host of "Cinema Sundays" at The Charles Theater, will moderate. Please see below for complete program details.

Marni Nixon (the "Ghost Voice of Hollywood") has been involved in voice dubbing starting at a very young age. At 18, she sang for Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Arc and later for Margaret O'Brien in THE SECRET GARDEN. Nixon has also been featured in many movie musicals, including WEST SIDE STORY, MY FAIR LADY and THE KING & I. In WEST SIDE STORY, Nixon's voice was dubbed in for Natalie Wood's after it was determined that Wood's voice was not strong enough to pull off the part. Being sure not to anger Woods, Nixon stood by every rehearsal to dub in her voice after each of Wood's takes.

This roundtable discussion will also feature two former Jets - Bert Michaels, who played the role of "Snowboy," the comedic member of the Jets, and Harvey Evans, who played "Mouthpiece" - and a former Shark - Eddie Verso, who played "Juano."

Marin Alsop will lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) in a performance of the film score from Bernstein's legendary WEST SIDE STORY following the roundtable. Bernstein's brilliant score will accompany a screening of the 10-time Academy Award-winning motion picture on a large screen directly above the Orchestra.

Marni Nixon
Born February 22, 1930, Marni Nixon has been involved in theater all her life. She was a child actress and had extensive training in classical music. At the age of 18, she took on her first dubbing role for Margaret O'Brien in The Secret Garden.

Her first appearance on camera came in March of 1960, when she was in the chorus of the film version of Cole Porter's Can-Can. In 1961, she sang the part of Maria played by Natalie Wood in West Side Story, which instantly became a massive hit. The soundtrack album sold over three million copies and spent a year at the top of the charts, a testament to the popularity of Nixon's voice. She also dubbed the singing for Audrey Hepburn's "Eliza" in My Fair Lady, Deborah Kerr's "Anna" in The King and I, and the high notes for Marilyn Monroe in the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" in Gentleman Prefer Blondes.

After her success dubbing for movie musicals, Nixon continued performing live at concerts, nightclubs and theaters. She also taught at the California Institute of Arts from 1969-1971 and joined the Seattle Opera Company in the early 70s. Moving into the 80s, Nixon hosted her own television show entitledBoomerang, through which she won four Emmy awards. She has toured with Liberace and Victor Borge, and has appeared with many major orchestras, domestic and abroad. Most recently, she wrote an autobiography titled I Could Have Sung All Night. It was published in 2006.

Her classical career was equally as successful. She premiered or recorded works by many of the 20th Century's foremost composers, including songs by Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Arnold Schönberg, Charles Ives, Aaron Copland and Anton Webern. Nixon was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Classical Performance, Vocal Soloist, one for her Schönberg album and one for her Copland album.

Harvey Evans
Harvey Evans has credits that include over 17 original productions of some of the finest musicals in Broadway history, including West Side Story, Gypsy, as Young Buddy in Follies and as Barnaby in Hello, Dolly! Additional credits include Anyone Can Whistle, Damn Yankees, New Girl in Town, Redhead andBarnum where he was stand-by for Jim Dale. In 1969, he played George Gibbs in a Broadway production of Our Town, with Henry Fonda he also appeared in Sunset Boulevard, The Scarlet Pimpernel as Ozzy, and the 2002 revival of Oklahoma! Besides the WSS movie, Mr. Evans was a principal in Experiment in Terror with Lee Remick, and was a dancer in the movies Mary Poppins, The Pajama Game and Enchanted. He recently completed Silver Tongues as a principal actor. On TV he has appeared in Cheers, Applause, Dames at Sea and the Judy Garland Show.

Bert Michaels
Bert Michaels has been associated with 12 Broadway shows either in the production area or as a featured performer. Among these shows are the originalCabaret, Half a Sixpence, Man of La Mancha, Baker Street, Canterbury Tales, Sugar - where he was associate choreographer to Gower Champion - Mack and Mabel, Ulysses in Nighttown, On Your Toes and the first National Tour of The Music Man. He was also a lead in the Off-Broadway production of The Gifts of the Magi. In film, Mr. Michaels is featured in eight movies, including West Side Story, Gypsy, Saturday Night Fever and Enchanted. During his career he has appeared in over 200 national commercials. Mr. Michaels has directed or staged for Off-Broadway Leaves of Grass, Red Eye of Love, Romance Is, One More Time, Bittersuite and Kings, as well as WNET's Dorothy Parker's Big Blonde with Sally Kellerman and John Lithgow, and the Jones Beach Production of Annie Get Your Gun. Through his company Jhada Productions, Mr. Michaels and his wife Patricia have produced and directed industrials and special events for Tishman Realty, TJ Maxx, BNP Paribas, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, IMAX, Loews Cineplex and Warner Bros. They have produced more than 175 movie premieres and private screenings; most recently the New York premieres of LES MISERABLES and MAMA. They're currently working on the premiere of Two Guns with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.

Edward Verso
Edward Verso started dancing on Broadway at the age of 16 in Oh Captain!, On A Clear Day and I Can Get It For You Wholesale. Besides performing as a shark in the WSS film, he appeared as the original Baby John in the London production of West Side Story. Mr. Verso has held the title of principal dancer for Jerome Robbins' ballets, American Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet and Feld Ballet companies. He is noted for his roles as the Champion Roper in Rodeo, the Miller in Three Cornered Hat, the Pas de Trois from Swan Lake, and the principal role in Jerome Robbins' Interplay. He's held the titles of rehearsal director for Twyla Tharp Dance, resident choreographer at Dayton Ballet and guest artist-in-residence at Smith College, where he founded the Summer Dance program. In 2005, he staged Mr. Robbins' Export Op. Jazz for the Joffrey Ballet and New York City Ballet. In 2011, he recreated Movies for the Kansas City Ballet. He and his wife Karen own the prestigious Dance Center of New Jersey in Bernardsville. Some of his students are now with American Ballet Theatre. Mr. Verso has been deemed the "definitive Robbins dancer" by dance critic Deborah Jowitt.

Marin Alsop, conductor
Hailed as one of the world's leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. She also holds the title of conductor emeritus at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002?2008, and is music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California. In February 2011, Marin Alsop was named the music director of the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (OSESP), or the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, beginning in the current 2012?2013 season.

In 2005, Ms. Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award. In 2007, she was honored with a European Women of Achievement Award, in 2008 she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2009 Musical America named her "Conductor of the Year." In November 2010, she was inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame. Ms. Alsop was named to Guardian's Top 100 Women list in March 2011. In 2011 Marin Alsop was named an Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre in London, England.

A regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. Alsop appears frequently as a guest conductor with the most distinguished orchestras around the world. In addition to her performance activities, she is also an active recording artist with award?winning cycles of Brahms, Barber and Dvo?ák.

Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her master's degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she won the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize at Tanglewood where she studied with Leonard Bernstein.

Round-table discussion featuring original cast members from Bernstein's WEST SIDE STORY

Friday, June 14, 2013 from 7-7:30 p.m. - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, main concert hall

Featured guests: Marni Nixon, Bert Michaels, Harvey Evans, Eddie Verso; moderated by Jonathan Palevsky.

Friday, June 14, 2013 at 8 p.m. - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)

Marin Alsop, conductor


Tickets range from $33 to $95 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000 or
Tags: 1961 film, bert michaels, eddie verso, harvey evans, leonard bernstein, marni nixon, music

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