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Arts/Culture

Theater Talk: Tony Nominee Alison Fraser on Buffalo, Tennessee Williams, and Helen Frankenthaler

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Sit back for an entertaining extended (17 minute) Theater Talk with two-time Tony nominee Alison Fraser who reminisces about Buffalo's Sesquicentennial and her original song celebrating Buffalo composers (see list), her Tennessee Williams:Words and Music album, and her audio-book reading of Alexander Nemerov's Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York.

Broadway's Alison Fraser is a two-time Tony Award nominee for THE SECRET GARDEN and ROMANCE/ROMANCE. She has made three solo albums,: A New York Romance, Men in My Life, and Tennessee Williams: Words and Music. About that last album, Fraser reminded Theater Talk that every single play by Tennessee Williams includes at least one song from the American songbook. For example, in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE Blanche sings "Paper Moon." It's quite a remarkable album.

Fraser, ready for anything new or different tells about filling in last minute at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival and about her extensive research into Buffalo's history for stage appearances at the old Studio Arena Theater for Buffao's Sesquicentennial.  For that she wrote an original song about the famous songwriters who came from Buffalo including Harold Arlen ("Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and other music for The Wizard of Oz, "Let's Fall in Love,"  "Stormy Weather"), Jack Yellen ("Happy Days Are Here Again" used by Franklin Roosevelt in his 1932 presidential campaign and "Ain't She Sweet"), Chauncey Olcott ("When Irish Eyes Are Smiling"), and Ray Henderson ("Bye Bye Blackbird", "Has Anybody Seen My Girl?" (a/k/a "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue"), "I'm Sitting on Top of the World").

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