Quotidian Theatre Company’s ‘The Dead’ Part 1: Interview of Marni Nixon by Janice Hall

In early September of this year, several weeks before our rehearsals for James Joyce’s The Dead were scheduled to begin, Jack Sbarbori and Stephanie Mumford, the founders of Quotidian Theatre Company, along with company member David Dubov, met me in New York. We gathered there to film an interview with a legend: Miss Marni Nixon. Marni, who played Aunt Kate in the original Broadway production of James Joyce’s The Dead, is best-known to movie audiences as the voice of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, Natalie Wood in West Side Story, and Deborah Kerr in The King and I, but she is also an accomplished performer in her own right, and has many recordings, films, and stage appearances to her credit, as well as hosting an Emmy-winning children’s show.

Marni Nixon and Janice Hall at the interview. Photo courtesy of Quotidian Theatre Company.

I am happy to call Marni a friend, and I was thrilled that she agreed to share with us her stories and recollections of working in the New York production of James Joyce’s The Dead, which was produced both off and on Broadway in 2000. This was my first time playing interviewer, so I was grateful to have a subject with so much to offer, and in such a charming way. I think we might have gone on talking for another hour, and still not have covered everything Marni had to say about her experiences in and around the New York production of The Dead.

Marni Nixon and Sally Ann Howes in ‘James Joyce’s The Dead.’ Photo by Joan Marcus.

Our interview is divided into three sections; in Part One, Marni gives some background on her own life and career, and discusses how she came to be involved with James Joyce’s The Dead.

James Joyce’s The Dead plays from November 16-December 16, 2012 at Quotidian Theatre Company – at The Writer’s Center – 4508 Walsh Street, in Bethesda, MD. For tickets call  (301) 816-1023, or email the theatre at [email protected]


Marni Nixon’s website.

Janice Hall’s facebook page.


  1. It is a real privilege that this living legend of the theater is living with us, singing for us, and performing at the Quotidian Theater.


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