An Interview with Barbra Streisand

By Barbara L. Wilson

Philadelphia Inquirer

July 26, 1966

Streisand total look

BARBRA STREISAND'S gaze fastened on the people crowding into the hotel room. “They don't belong to me. I don't like people that much,” she said. correcting the impression that the silent onlookers, mostly male, were part of her entourage.

The only official members of her party, she explained, were personal manager Marty Erlichman; Walter Hyman, who, with Alan King, is producing her concert appearances next month, and a friend, a tall striking brunette whose name was lost in the rush of introductions.

The trio had accompanied her on Monday's automobile trip from New York. Construction and an accident on the New Jersey Turnpike had caused them to he a half hour late for Miss Streisand's appointment at City Hall, where she was greeted by Mayor James H. J. Tate.

The formalities over, she was now the center of attention in the Presidential Suite at the Warwick Hotel, a bright, vital personality among the drably garbed gathering. Her outfit, a flared shift and hat matching the magenta, white and navy print of her dress, was one of 13 Dior creations she brought back from Paris last winter. Magenta patent leather shoes and bag completed “the total look.” as Miss Streisand prefers to call it.

“I think it's very important to have a total look.” she said of her coordinated outfit. “And I do believe in hats for that look. They finish it off; bind the seams, you might say.

“I like the classic basic look,” she continued. “And I want the clothes I buy to last for 20 years. When I purchase something in Paris at those prices, I want to be sure it lasts awhile.”

The subject of clothes exhausted, Miss Streisand concentrated on the primary purpose of her visit to Philadelphia, which was to promote interest in her Aug. 2 concert at the John F. Kennedy Stadium. Although 40,000 tickets were printed originally, only 20,000 would be sold, she said.

“There is a certain amount of intimacy that a performer must have. Then Ralph Alswang, the stage designer, discovered there would be trouble about sight lines if any more tickets were sold, or something like that,” she added, her sentence trailing off into a question which was left unanswered. “The largest crowd I've played to so far, solo that is, was the 13,000 at Forest Hills. Yes,” she smiled wistfully, “that many people applauding you sounds great.”

About her program here?

“I'll sing — mostly the songs I've recorded and the numbers from my new English-French album, ‘Je m‘appelle Barbra.’ I'll talk. I did tennis jokes at Forest Hills. I wish I knew something about football. And I thought of bringing out Sadie (her white toy poodle) but decided against it.”

Although “Je m'appelle Barbra” will not he released in the States until September, it, like her other seven albums, including “Funny Girl,” will go over the million dollar sales mark. The figure is already guaranteed by pre-distribution orders.

Originally, Miss Streisand was to have done 20 concerts this summer and fall for producers Hyman and King but they have been reduced to four because of the baby she and husband Elliott Gould expect in December.

“I'm so happy that I'm going to have a baby,” she said to her admiring audience. “It's a tangible thing, a tangible creativity. With fame and being a star, you can‘t pinpoint it; you can't hold it in your hands. And I have no preference about its being a boy or a girl,” she answered, “as long as it's healthy.”

As to future commitments, she said that she will do the film version of “Funny Girl” in March, that she is planning an album of Gershwin songs and a television spectacular in 1967. There have been numerous stage properties offered but none has appealed.

“I don't want to in the theater for a long time, and by a long time I mean five or 10 years,” she emphasized. “And if and when, I won't tie myself up for more than a six-month run. After doing almost 1,000 performances of ‘Funny Girl,’ I must confess to having grown very bored.

“I see my future made up of a film, a rest, a TV thing, a rest. There will be many more rests than I've ever had before.”


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