Nixon Replaces Howes in Encores! Music in the Air

News   Nixon Replaces Howes in Encores! Music in the Air Marni Nixon — who is perhaps best known for dubbing the vocal performances of such film stars as Audrey Hepburn (in "My Fair Lady"), Deborah Kerr (in "The King and I") and Natalie Wood (in "West Side Story") — has replaced "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" star Sally Ann Howes in the upcoming City Center Encores! production of Music in the Air.
Marni Nixon
Marni Nixon

Howes has withdrawn from the production due to illness. Nixon will now play the role of Frau Direktor Kirschner.

As previously reported, Marin Mazzie has also withdrawn from the cast due to the recent death of her father. Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth has stepped in for Mazzie in the production, which will play the famed Manhattan venue Feb. 5-8.

The cast will also feature The Little Mermaid's Sierra Boggess as Sieglinde Lessing, Tony winner Dick Latessa as Herr Direktor Kirschner, theatre veteran Walter Charles as Cornelius, Anne L. Nathan as Marthe, Tom Alan Robbins as Dr. Walther Lessing, Tony nominee Douglas Sills as Bruno Mahler, Ryan Silverman as Karl Reder, David Schramm as Ernst Weber and Robert Sella as Uppman. Gary Griffin will direct with choreography by Michael Lichtefeld.

Music in the Air, which features music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, has been restored by the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. The musical, according to press notes, "is a musical romance, with the wit and elegance of an Ernst Lubitsch film. It's the story of a Bavarian music teacher (Robbins), his beautiful young daughter (Boggess), and the daughter's suitor, who travel to the big, bad city of Munich where they encounter a cast of self-involved, egotistical theater folk who promise them fame, fortune and romance. Kristin Chenoweth and Douglas Sills play a Diva (Chenoweth) and an operetta librettist (Sills) who take the young couple under their wings (and claws)."

Songs include "I've Told Ev'ry Little Star" and "The Song Is You." Rob Berman will music direct and conduct.

Marni Nixon was most recently on Broadway in the Tony-winning revival of Nine, and her other Main Stem credits include Follies, James Joyce's The Dead and The Girl in the Pink Tights. She played Aunt Alice in the film "I Think I Do" and Sister Sophia in the motion picture of "The Sound of Music." Nixon was also seen as Mother Abbess in the Hollywood Bowl's presentation of The Sound of Music.

Show times are Feb. 5 at 8 PM, Feb. 6 at 8 PM, Feb. 7 at 2 and 8 PM and Feb. 8 at 6:30 PM.

Tickets for the 2008-2009 Encores! season are available by visiting the City Center box office (West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues), by calling (212) 581-1212 or by visiting www.nycitycenter.org.