Home Uncategorized Streisand Gets Political in Her Brooklyn Singing Return

At her Barclays Center return to Brooklyn, Barbra Streisand got a little political tonight. The renowned liberal said, “I hope no one tells Mitt Romney how to get to Sesame Street. Or Pennsylvania Avenue.” She added: “He’s quite an actor. A chameleon really.”

also read http://www.showbiz411.com/2012/10/12/streisand-backstage-chatter-elliott-gould-had-no-idea-son-jason-is-now-a-performer

Quipping and singing her hits, Streisand is utterly charming. She’s also battling a cold and had some chicken broth on stage. The fans are gaga. Among the many stars here are ex husband Elliott Gould, Sting, Trudie Styler, Woody Allen, Barbara Walters, Rosie O’Donnell and Michelle Rounds, Gerard Butler, and Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and bff Donna Karan. Barbara’s husband James Brolin was very much in attendance as was his daughter Molly, and Barbara’s sister Roslyn Kind.

Some people have paid hundreds and thousands of dollars for their tickets. They were not disappointed. Streisand is the ultimate pro, whether she’s performing hits like The Way We Were or Enough is Enough, or classics from the Broadway songbook. She’s also extremely adept at delivering a well written, comic show with lots of endearing shtick. The show contains a memorial to Marvin Hamlisch similar to the one Barbra prepared for his recent memorial.

And her voice? Started hoarse, But warmed up. At 70 she still has ‘it’– and lots of it. The show is also meticulously arranged, like a living room. The songs and patter are pieces of really great furniture. And you’re very comfortable.

The show also featured Il Volo, a surprise singing appearance by Streisand’s son Jason Gould (proud and I think a little stunned dad Elliott Gould was in the audience), and several solos and duets with trumpetmeister Chris Botti, who was celebrating his 50th birthday as the clock struck midnight. Botti proved the perfect foil for Streisand, and almost a great co-host. Later, backstage, he met Rosie O’Donnell, who complimented him on his hosting skills. He also blew a mean trumpet.

Streisand finished the show wearing the second of two Donna Karan gowns. They worked beautifully in the arena, where she was backed by about a 40 piece orchestra. She sang “People,” came back for a couple of encores including a sensational rendition of “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Very happy in the audience were Alan and Marilyn Bergman, who wrote the lyrics to several of the songs Barbra sang, as well as famed actress Phyllis Newman, whose legendary late husband Adolph Green wrote some of the songs, and Jule Styne’s widow, Margaret, who also got to hear some familiar songs. “We were just kvelling,” Phyllis trilled.

Mostly, you watch Barbra Streisand run that show for three hours and you get it– the perfectionism, the skill, the instrument. Even though she has a lot of help from five decade old manager Marty Ehrlichman and music producer Jay Landers, it’s always on Barbra to make sure this thing goes right. She’s only done 83 shows in her whole life–this was number 83. Total. Period. For years she didn’t tour or perform live from the 60s til 1994. And now you’re amazed to see her pull it off. It’s like being captain of the QEII.

PS The night ended with a little more political speechifying–no candidate mentioned, just Barbra saying if we want healthcare and jobs and education, we know who to vote for. In Brooklyn, you didn’t have to guess who she was talking about.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
9 replies to this post
  1. You don’t publish ‘hate mail’, Roger? What were those first half dozen posts all about, then? A barrage of anti-Barbra posts. Barbra has been reknowned for her political stance over the years. It’s part and parcel of who she is. If anyone doesn’t think Yentl is a ‘political statement’ then they haven’t been paying any attention whatsoever to the woman both in front of and behind the camera! She’s an unrepentant Liberal Democrat (as I am). I wasn’t when I first began hearing that glorious voice as a youngster. I never think ‘politics’ when I like an artist…IF I happen to agree with their message, fine. If I don’t I can still enjoy their artistry and ignore their message. My political viewpoint came about entirely unrelated to Barbra’s but I find it nice that we share similar ideas. I AM quite positive there must have been at least several people writing in to counteract those pointed comments about her ‘sticking her nose in’ (you don’t think those are hurtful and uncalled for comments, Roger? I do). As a United States citizen, she has every right to express her points of view as any of the rest of us do. Hers isn’t a ‘Bully Pulpit’ since anyone in attendance knows FULL well where she stands and how she thinks – it can’t come as any surprise. The idea of telling someone of her stature to ‘shut up and sing’ is anathema to me. HER viewpoints count as much as any director who expresses his/hers through a camera lens. If she says it out loud because she has a voice AND a receptive audience, more power to her. One dissents by not attending the show or concert or by not buying her music, Otherwise –those who don’t like her message can simply ignore this blog, n’est-ce-pas? That they chose not to speaks volumes.

  2. I am. I don’t publish hate mail. It’s that simple. When I see the words moron or idiot, I also just dump ’em. What’s the point? I don’t mind criticism or opposing viewpoints as long as they’re smart and thoughtful.

  3. These celebrities do not live in the real world. They can afford to be idealistic. Those of us who are single mothers, have lost our jobs, gone through cancer and have bills we can’t even begin to pay, cannot. When you have everything you need and want in the world, your priorities are different than a person who is worried about keeping a roof over her children’s head.

  4. I love Barbra’s voice. But I want to hear her songs. And I want to read about her performance, not her political views. Onstage it’s best she sing or talk about music; political opinions are inappropriate. She’s entitled to them, but can state them elsewhere. Likewise this review. It’s a terrific report on the main subject, but why spoil it by mentioning politics in a musical review? Both you and she can find a soapbox or bully pulpit somewhere else. Please don’t think I’m being political myself because of my views on venues. In the future, better to stick with the reasons we buy tickets or read reviews. Thanks.

  5. Really?? What a surprise that Ms Streisand would speak about politics because she has so much experience to back up her ridiculous comments. As to her comments regarding jobs, healthcare and education the only possible vote would be for an experienced businessman, govenor, highly moral candidate, Romney. Obama had 4 years to improve all these areas. He had complete control of the Senate and Congress, however, due to his inexperience in how to best solve these problems, this is where we are today. One step away from Greece. We don’t recognize our country anymore with the unemployment, high gas prices, divided races, no oil, coal or pipeline decisions and terrorists able to strike at will. He had no governing experience, none! He was never vetted in 2007. So all you B. Striesand followers should really think twice when she steps into the political arena and “commands” you to vote for that big loser, Obama. He is truly scary. I am so disappointed in her as I loved her until she became political. Stop commenting and just sing!

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