Barbra Streisand: Chutzpah Power, Funny Girl ... Cover Girl ... Gall into Glamour
The wealthy went to Long Island, the Dodgers defected to Los Angeles. Fischer flew to Reykjavik (and back), and the kid with the nose of an eagle and a voice that soars sang her way to super-stardom. Barbra Streisand, like all the rest, got her break in Brooklyn and then made the break from Brooklyn.
Born in Flatbush in the spring of '42, she practiced singing on the stoop and then turned pro at 18 in the New York clubs, Bon Soir and Blue Angel.
“When people offered to buy me a drink I'd ask for potatoes."
One day a man offered her an audition. The man — David Merrick. The role — Yetta Tessye Marmelstein, the sex-starved secretary in the Broadway Show I Can Get It for You Wholesale. From then on the girl with a bit of a bump on her nose and a bit of Brooklyn in her accent made it big.
To date she's starred in the films Funny Girl, Hello Dolly, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, The Owl and the Pussycat and What's Up Doc? The days of earning $108 a week and hunting for $100 dresses in Filene's basement are long gone.
Good-bye to Brooklyn — home of "baseball, boredom, and bad breath," as Barbra once described it. Good-bye too to former husband Elliott Gould. Barbra, her 5 1/2-year-old son, Jason Emmanuel Gould, and their poodle, Sadie, shuttle between their New York city apartment and their California home (filled with art nouveau and art deco). California living is great, claims Barbra. "I mean, didya know that they can grow flowers out here without soot on them?"
Her fashion look has "arrived," too. It's a big move up to panache à la Adolfo from the girl who "used to drift about in antique shoes and feather boas" and who wore that see-through black horror by Scaasi on the night she won the Oscar in '68.
Barbra just finished shooting the film Up The Sandbox! based on the book by Bazaar contributor Ann Richardson Roiphe.
"It became a very personal film for me since it's about a woman searching for something about fantasies ... We all have our fantasies." True, we all have our fantasies. Her newest endeavor is a film on the 40's called The Way We Were, in which she costars with Robert Redford. This feat alone is a fantasy rampant in America. Add another: Adolfo is designing the clothes especially for Barbra. The famous Scaasi number had bared her down to the line of demarcation. Adolfo says he's crazy about her back, too — "The best back in the world" — but he kept the clothes in control. The little knitted turban (this page), he says, "looks like the 0's but also very now." About her cover-girl look, pink mohair knit suit with amber fox collar and cuffs, he enthuses, "She looks so seductive and sensational and the mood is so contemporary that it looks more like tomorrow."
Yesterday and today weren't bad, but tomorrow looks fantastic on Barbra Streisand.
Related: Up the Sandbox, 1972 film
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