‘South Pacific’ is a labor of love for vocal director
While it is difficult to find Beverly Marks on stage, her name is easily found in musical programs around Nevada County including the new Community Players production of “South Pacific.”
As the musical’s vocal director and rehearsal pianist, Marks has spent countless hours at rehearsals and even in her home, helping the cast master the popular melodies from this 1949 Broadway hit.
“With a show as famous as “South Pacific,” we have to make sure we deliver the music in the way the audience remembers and that expresses the music style of the 1940s,” Marks said.
In addition to working on Community Players’ and Performing Arts Guild’s musicals, Marks gives singing and piano lessons at her Grass Valley home.
“A community like this is very rare,” Marks said. “I feel so fortunate that I can make a living doing what I love.”
For Marks, it has been a long and steady path toward doing what she loves. She started playing the piano in elementary school, eventually earning a master’s degree in voice from the University of Nevada.
Marks moved to Grass Valley in 1982 and immediately became involved with the local music scene, she said, when she was music director for Community Players’ production of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”
“(Nevada County) is a place that opens its doors to newcomers and is always attracting new talent,” Marks said. “This kind of openness is so important for keeping the music scene alive and vital.”
Although it has been years since she acted in any musicals, Marks said she is almost as busy performing as she is teaching. Marks not only plays violin in a classic string trio in Nevada City, she also performs regularly with a local harpist at weddings, parties “and whatever comes up.”
While productions like “South Pacific” are unpaid and require hours of rehearsal, Marks said she will continue to be a part of them as long as she is asked.
“When I’m called on to do something like this,” she said, “I do it because implicitly there is enjoyment at every moment I am working with the people and music.”
KNOW AND GO
WHAT: “South Pacific” presented by Community Players of Nevada County
WHEN: This Friday and Saturday, and July 16-17, July 23-24 as well July 30-31 at 7 p.m. Also this Sunday and July 18, July 25 and Aug. 1 at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St. in Grass Valley
ADMISSION: $12 general and $10 seniors. Advance tickets at The Book Seller or by calling 274-8929 or 477-1107
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After the long pandemic pause, it was wonderful to sit outside at the North Star House on a warm, starry night and watch a live performance, with glorious music and fine acting, presented by Sierra…