S m a l l t a l k
Dianne Fraser is a frenetic, hard-working Manager during the day where she guides writers and actors through the murky waters of Hollywood. But when the sun goes down, she steps out of the shadows into the spotlight where she morphs into her alter ego – Part Time Diva as well as quickly making her mark as a producer with her “An Evening of Classic Broadway” monthly series currently at Vitello's.
Dianne grew up a Valley Girl in Southern California, graduated from UCLA, and moved to New York to pursue a career in musical theatre. Well… a funny thing happened on the way to fame and fortune. Her only role on Broadway was as a waitress at the Saloon restaurant at 64th & Broadway. Undaunted, Dianne downshifted to try summer theatre.
After performing on stages from Manhattan to Monrovia she returned to LA and began her career as an agent. Today she is a partner in well-established management/production company, Industry Entertainment. She has also returned to her roots in musical theatre, producing an original musical in NY, GLIMPSES OF THE MOON, the revisal of WORKING, based on the book by Studs Terkel, in Chicago, and an upcoming adaptation of the movie WHAT ABOUT BOB? with Disney Theatricals.
Dianne is married to writer Jeff Cohn, who has written the special comedy material for her show PART TIME DIVA. They live in Studio City and have two children, Andrew and Hayley.
ROBYN: How Did You Get Into "The Biz"?
DIANNE: After deferring my childhood dream of being a Broadway star, I became an agent, while rearing my two kids. Today, I’m a partner in a pre-eminent management/production company. When the WGA strike hit in 2007, I finally had time to scratch off the top item on my bucket list. I developed my debut Cabaret show, “Part Time Diva”, with my husband Jeff Cohn, who wrote the patter and really funny parody songs, and musical director Brad Ellis. I’ve now performed the show, to SRO crowds and great reviews, in premier venues from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I began hosting and singing in fundraisers, first for my daughter’s school, in our home. My dear friend, the late Rick Starr, asked me to host his “Rick’s Picks” concerts, and we did a number of those as benefits for The Actors Fund. Now I regularly produce benefit concerts for The Actors Fund (as well as other non-profits), most recently the 4-night, 4-venue celebration of Los Angeles cabaret, “Cabaret is Alive and Well and Living in Los Angeles” with renowned director David Galligan. It was a huge success and we’re already planning next year’s event. The company Fraser Entertainment Group was launched when we were hired to perform at various country clubs in and out of town. I also produce and perform in “An Evening of Classic Broadway”, a regular presentation Upstairs at Vitello’s in Studio City. We always have an outstanding line-up of phenomenal singers. We’ll be there this month on Monday, December 29th. I’m honored to be producing and performing in these shows on a regular basis, as well as receiving frequent invitations to sing in other performers’ shows around town.
R: Who Were Your Greatest Inspirations?
D: My mom, who was always so supportive and thought I could do ANYTHING I wanted to, Stephen Schwartz for his amazing music, Patti LuPone for inspiring me to be a belter and Andrea Marcovicci, the Queen of Cabaret, among so many others.
R: Worst Audition Experience?
D: I haven’t had it yet but hope to soon!
R: What Song Is Your "Guilty Pleasure"?
D: “Meadowlark” from THE BAKER’S WIFE written by Stephen Schwartz with whom I worked when I produced the show in Santa Barbara. I will always deeply love that song, the entire score and the show. I’ve never sung it in public but I belt it out in the car and in the house.
R: What is Your Anthem Song?
D: “You’re Gonna Hear From Me” by Andre Previn & Dory Previn. It was sung in the movie INSIDE DAISY CLOVER and pretty much sums it up for me.
R: "Must Haves" Backstage:
D: Water (of course), a bathroom!, lipstick, gloss, powder, tissue, QTips and other make-up “touch up” items, contact lenses, my phone (with a photo of me and my family in Paris on the cover) and a copy of the patter and/or set list.
R: What One Sentence of Advice Can You Give to Industry Beginners?
D: Stay true to yourself. Create your own style and always maintain authenticity in your song choices and interpretations. We are all unique and that’s what makes our art form so special.
R: What Has Been Your Favorite Moment on Stage?
D: There have been many, but it’s probably getting to sing “Part of Your World” and “Let it Go” in a concert for Music for Autism last summer.
Dianne is currently prepping the next installment of “An Evening of Classic Broadway” (entitled “A Classic Broadway Holiday”) - Upstairs at Vitello’s on Monday evening, December 29th at 8PM. Brad Ellis returns as Host/Musical Director and will be joined by Eydie Alyson, Robin De Lano, Damon Kirsche, Constance Jewell Lopez, James C. Mulligan, Jeffrey Scott Parsons and Joanne Tatham.
Check out “An Evening of Classic Broadway” on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnEveningofClassicBroadway?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Follow her on Twitter: @classicbway
www.fraserentertainmentgroup.com (under construction but will be live very soon)