DIVA TALK: A Chat With Two-Time Tony Nominee Alison Fraser, Star of Tennessee Williams Songbook and Love Therapy (Plus Video)

By Andrew Gans
22 Mar 2013

Daisy Eagan and Alison Fraser in The Secret Garden on Broadway.
Photo by Bob Marshak

Question: How old is your son now?
Fraser: My son is 22, and he'll be 23 on April 5 if anybody wants to send him any presents! [Laughs.] He just moved into his own apartment, and he's flown the coop, and he has a lovely job in post-production down in SoHo at a wonderful facility, and he's happy and works very, very hard! He's cooked to perfection! [Laughs.] Golden brown.

Question: Other than new work, are there any dream roles you have? Especially doing this Tennessee Williams show, would you like to play any of his women?
Fraser: Everybody wants to play Blanche DuBois, but I think I'm getting to do my version of her in this show, and it's a version that nobody's ever seen before because it's done through extant music and this is certainly a dream role, but I have to say, my dream role is the next original role I get to do. I love originating parts. I love it. That's not to say I don't have a great time doing other things. I'm going to be doing Anna Christie this summer up at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, and that's going to be great! I'm playing Marthy, and I'm so looking forward to that. I've never done O'Neill before, and that's going to be absolutely thrilling… My dream role was a part I never got to play, and now obviously I'm not going to play because I've aged out of it, and that was Sally Bowles. And, I was cast in Cabaret once when it was in France. I remember it was kind of a racy audition because you had to show your fanny because the costumes were sort of Folies Bergere-type costumes, and it was like, "Oh God… Okay, here goes." You had to actually show something-something at the audition, and I got cast, and I think it was to replace Ute Lemper. And, we're talking 25 years ago or something like that, but it was a huge version of Cabaret, and it broke down in contracts, so I didn't get to do that, so that was a big regret. If there's one other part that I would like to play, I'd like to be Peter Pan. I was an acrobat when I was a kid, and I'd like to fly once before I die or retire, and I also have a bent on it that I think is interesting. I don't think of Peter Pan as a benign creature. I'd like to do him a little bit scruffier than he's normally done. I don't think he's as perky and cute…as he's portrayed a lot. I would like to play a dark Peter Pan. I don't think that there's anything healthy about not wanting to grow up. I think growing up is a great, great privilege, and trying to hang onto youth is actually a dangerous proposition, and that's something I'd like to do with Peter Pan.

Question: And now you're getting ready for Love Therapy.
Fraser: We're going to be playing at the DR2, owned by my fabulous and wonderful friend and producer Daryl Roth, and we'll be there from the end of April through May, and we have a fantastic cast… The first reading was very exciting. It's a very tense play, and anytime you're dealing with a play about therapy, everybody, again, brings their own issues to it, and I think that this is going to be a very exciting play for the audience — just like last year I did A Charity Case, and that's where I first met the wonderful Wendy Beckett, who's become a great friend. I just think she's a lovely playwright. I think she writes plays about important subjects, and Charity Case was about the triangular relationship between an adopted mother, a birth mother and a child going through difficulties. And, the conversations you would hear afterwards were just so incredibly intense. Some people thought I was the bad guy, some people thought the birth mother was the bad guy, some people thought the teenage girl was the problem. With Wendy's material, you really bring your own life into what she has to offer. So I'm excited to see what happens.

[Love Therapy will play Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM. DR2 Theatre is located at 101 East 15th Street. Tickets are $45 and are available by visiting telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.]

To view clips from Fraser's remarkable performance in A Tennessee Williams Songbook, click below.

TWSB test from tim wolff on Vimeo.

Well, that's all for now. Happy diva-watching! E-mail questions or comments to agans@playbill.com.