An Event Benefiting The Obama Victory Fund
Regent Beverly Wilshire
9500 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA
September 16, 2008
A reception and dinner costing $28,500 a person was held on Tuesday evening at the Greystone mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif., followed by a later event at the Regent Beverly Wilshire featuring a performance by Streisand at $2,500 a ticket. Approximately 800 guests attended the performance. The money raised ($10 million!) was for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. At the dinner before the reception, Obama stated that his campaign was being fought for people who would “never see the inside of a building like this and don’t resent the success that’s represented in this room, but just want the simple chance to be able to find a job that pays a living wage.”
By the way, Obama's challenger, John McCain, took Hollywood's money at a star-filled event at the Beverly Hilton on Aug. 25 in which Robert Duvall, Patricia Heaton, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jon Voight and James Caan showed their support for him.
At the September 16th Obama fundraiser, the Broadway performer Raul Esparza opened the show, followed by Ben Harper, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. Ms. Streisand performed with a five-piece band, followed by an address by Mr. Obama.
Barbra's set list:
- When The Sun Comes Out
- Make Someone Happy
- What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?
- My Shining Hour
“Make Someone Happy” was a new song for Barbra — an American standard which has been sung over the years by Jimmy Durante, Frank Sinatra, and Judy Garland. It was written by Barbra's Funny Girl composer, Jule Styne, with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
Below is a first-hand report from Rafe Chase, who attended the event, with some additional notes added from press reports:
The event started at 7:30, but no peformances until 9:00 when Raul Esparza (he starred in the recent "Company" revival) came out and sang “America” accapella.
Then Ben Harper sang two songs.
Then 5 musicians came out, (piano, guitar, drums, base guitar and electronic keyboard that was used as a horn section). At 9:30 there was a voice-over introduction and Barbra Streisand came out — very blonde, in black pants and blouse with a sparkly black cardigan-type top, with a diamond necklace with a large square cut emerald. She launched into When The Sun Comes Out. Her voice was a little husky in the midrange, but she was in good voice and hit the high notes.
Barbra then talked about being a little girl in Hebrew school and learning that if you can help save one person, you can save the world. She sang Make Someone Happy — in the second half of the song she changed the lyrics to be about Obama: "We'll rally 'round him." [note: Barbra sang: "He is the answer. We know Barack is the answer."] She seemed happy with it and the pianist gave her a positive nod.
She then said she wasn't here to make speeches, but if you check her website in a couple days, you can see her vent. [note: According to Variety, Barbra did make the comment: "I woke up this morning with this slogan in my head. ‘McCain. Palin. Change.’ And I thought, change? What, from bad to worse?’"]
She then sang What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life? Great job again.
She was next scheduled to sing “Smile” (I saw a technician's set list) but she dropped it and went on to the last song of the evening, My Shining Hour. [note: Variety says Barbra sang "This will be our shining hour in the White House again"]. Big ovation and then she introduced Obama. When he came out they hugged and whispered to each other for 20 seconds or so. Then he shook the musician's hands and started his speech.
A couple of other things, after the first or second song she had noticed all the flashes and said, "Are those cell phones or cameras? I was told that there wouldn't be reporters here. Or are you YouTube junkies?"
You can see a clip of Barbra introducing Obama at YouTube.
Page Credits: Photos and report courtesy of Rafe Chase.
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