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Two-Time Tony Nominee Alison Fraser Releases New Album, Tennessee Williams: Words and Music

The famed American playwright's prose is put to classic melodies. logo
Two-time Tony Award nominee Alison Fraser has released her new album Tennessee Williams: Words and Music.
(© David Gordon)

Ghostlight Records has announced the release of Tennessee Williams: Words and Music, a new CD by two-time Tony Award nominee Alison Fraser (The Secret Garden, Romance/Romance). The album features songs taken from several of Tennessee Williams' major works including A Streetcar Named Desire (Harold Arlen's "It's Only A Paper Moon") and This Property Is Condemned (Gene Autry's "You're the Only Star") — as well as many of his lesser-known later works such as Clothes for a Summer Hotel (Nöel Coward's "The Party's Over Now") and Something Cloudy, Something Clear (the Oscar-winning "Sweet Leilani").

Fraser also joins Williams' prose with a several musical numbers including the 1939 hit "If I Didn't Care," accompanied by Blanche Dubois' dialogue from Streetcar, and Mexican composer Manuel Ponce's solo guitar showpiece "Estrellita," which is fused with an elegant soliloquy from Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen.

Tennessee Williams: Words and Music is inspired by Fraser's concert The Tennessee Williams Songbook, which premiered at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival last spring. David Kaplan, Tennessee Williams scholar and the show's writer and director, has merged the songs heard in Williams' plays with the words the playwright intended for them. Allison Leyton-Brown both arranged the musical selections and served as the album's musical director.

The recording features 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.

Take a look at the complete track list below:
1. If I Didn't Care (Jack Lawrence) Vieux Carré
"Understand French?" A Streetcar Named Desire
2. It's Only a Paper Moon (Harold Arlen/E. Y. Harburg/Billy Rose) A Streetcar Named Desire
3. "One Night's Shelter" A Streetcar Named Desire
4. You're the Only Star (In My Blue Heaven) (Gene Autry) This Property Is Condemned
5. New San Antonio Rose (Bob Wills) Auto de Fé
"I live in a house where nobody knows my name" Auto de Fé
6. Yellow Dog Blues (W.C. Handy) Summer and Smoke
7. "Do You Remember Jean Harlow?" Ten Blocks on the Camino Real
8. Sweet Leilani (Harry Owens) Something Cloudy, Something Clear
9. Estrellita (Manuel Ponce) Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen
"I want to go away" Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen
10. Come le Rose (Adolfo Genise/Gaetano Lama) The Dog Enchanted by the Divine View
11. Sophisticated Lady (Duke Ellington/Irving Mills/Mitchell Parish) Clothes for a Summer Hotel
12. St. Louis Blues (W.C. Handy) Hello from Bertha
13. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles (John Kellette) A Portrait of a Madonna
"Sister Blanche is no Lily" A Streetcar Named Desire
14. The Party's Over Now (Nöel Coward) Clothes for a Summer Hotel
15. "Thinner and Thinner" Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen
16. Bye Bye Blues (Fred Hamm/Dave Bennett/Bert Lown/Chauncey Gray) Vieux Carré