PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: Tony Nominee Alison Fraser Picks Her Favorite Songs of the 30s and 40s

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03 Apr 2014

Ghostlight Records will release "Tennessee Williams: Words and Music," from two-time Tony Award nominee Alison Fraser, April 8. In anticipation of the album's release, Fraser picks her favorite songs from the 30s and 40s as part of this week's Playbill Playlist

The album is a document of Fraser’s concert The Tennessee Williams Songbook, which premiered at Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival last spring. David Kaplan, the show’s writer and director, has merged the songs heard in Williams' plays with the words the playwright intended to join them. Together, "Tennessee Williams: Words and Music," according to press notes, "tells a moving and passionate new story of their own."

Fraser, who picks ten of her favorite songs from the 30s and 40s — years that were musically influential to Tennessee Williams' literary canon — said to, "He included music in all of his plays, and the songs were picked in large part from The American Songbook. When trying to decide on which songs to include in this article, I realized that aside from the Tennessee Williams cuts which are represented on the new CD, I have made these choices before. After much research and months of listening to hundreds of possible songs, I chose four of them to record on my first solo album 'New York Romance,' and 'A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square' is on the 'Swingtime Canteen' cast album."

Fraser, currently appearing in the national tour of Wicked, shared tracks from her album, her music videos and more. 

Allison Leyton-Brown, who produced the album with Fraser, created the new arrangements for "Tennessee Williams: Words and Music" and serves as musical director. She is supported by J. Walter Hawkes on trombone and ukulele, James Singleton on bass, Wayne Maureau on drums, Jason Mingledorff on saxophone, Bobby Campo on trumpet and cornet and John Eubanks on guitar.

"Tennessee Williams: Words and Music" features songs taken from the Tennessee Williams canon: A Streetcar Named Desire (the Harold Arlen classic “It’s Only A Paper Moon”), This Property is Condemned (Gene Autry’s “You’re the Only Star”), Clothes for a Summer Hotel (Nöel Coward’s “The Party’s Over Now”), Something Cloudy, Something Clear (the Oscar-winning Hawaiian staple “Sweet Leilani”) and more.

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