Streisand: 2006 North American Concert Tour
Atlantic City, New Jersey
November 4, 2006
- Funny Girl (Broadway) Overture - Bill Ross, Conductor
- Starting Here, Starting Now
- Down With Love
- The Way We Were
- Ma Premiere Chanson
- Evergreen (with Il Divo)
Il Divo set:
- Unchained Melody
- Unbreak My Heart
- My Way (dedicated to Barbra)
- Come Rain or Come Shine
Funny Girl Suite:
- Funny Girl
- The Music That Makes Me Dance (partial)
- My Man
- Bill Ross Entr'acte
- Music of the Night (Barbra & Il Divo)
- Carefully Taught / Children Will Listen
- Unusual Way
- What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?
- George Bush Skit
- Happy Days Are Here Again
- Have I Stayed Too Long at the Fair?
- Cockeyed Optimist
- Somewhere (with Il Divo)
- My Shining Hour
- Don't Rain on My Parade (Broadway reprise lyrics)
Barbra Streisand makes a long awaited return to A.C.
By VINCENT JACKSON (November 5, 2006)
When Barbra Streisand performs a concert, her colorful personality rides shotgun, very closely to her quality singing.
Streisand, who made her first appearance here in 42 years Saturday at a nearly sold-out Boardwalk Hall, organized her show very well. Her opening song, “Starting Here, Starting Now,” included a line about “the greatest journey beginning.” For people who waited their entire lives to see her perform in person just once, the concert served as a 40-year musical stroll through her career with an emphasis on the 1960s and 1970s.
The legendary vocalist didn't keep her fans waiting long to hear some of her biggest hits. “The Way We Were,” “People” and “Evergreen (Love Theme From “A Star Is Born”) all came during the first half of the show before intermission.
Streisand's commitment to making her high prices worth it — her $850 top ticket price set a record here — showed itself when she sang “The Way We Were.”
A song Streisand must have sung countless times, she took the time to sing the lines, “If we had the chance to do it all again, tell me. Would we? Could we?” as if she was asking the audience to really ponder the question.
The 58-piece orchestra competed with Streisand for dominance a little bit too much on “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” but the violin-drenched “My Man,” followed by “People,” served as concert highlights. Streisand detractors may try to reduce her as only a belter, but the jazzy “Down With Love” demonstrated that a little swing remains in her step.
Streisand, 64, spent almost as much time talking as singing. Some of the things she said stretched belief. She said she walked the Boardwalk, but didn't say whether she wore a disguise or not. Besides stopping to eat at Caesars, the concert's sponsor, she mentioned Fralinger's Salt Water Taffy and popping into a dollar store. The glamorous Streisand in a dollar store is something that needs photographic proof.
“I never made it down to the beach, but I got a taste of Atlantic City,” Streisand said.
After talking about the composers of the lyrics and the music to “The Way We Were,” Streisand said she has written 10 songs during her 46-year career. She sat at the piano to play the instrumental beginning to one of them, “Ma Premiere Chanson” from her 1966 album “Je M'appelle Barbra,” which she said took 42 years to sell a half million copies.
Streisand also joked with her four male guest singing companions for the evening, Il Divo, who added a sophisticated, masculine, international flavor to the evening. They did a duet with her on “Evergreen” and had their own three-song segment that caused the audience to stand and applaud just as they did for Streisand.
Even for fans who saw Streisand on previous concert tours, she pulled out songs this time she has not sung for decades, like “Funny Girl” from 1967.
A 10-minute George Bush- impersonator skit went off without incident. The skit had Streisand as straight man, asking questions like, “So what do you think about stem-cell research and the economy?”
The Bush impersonator, Steve Bridges, played the buffon with lines like, “You haven't toured in 12 years. That's almost a decade.”
The skit received some laugher and applause here. However, Streisand's show was interrupted by hecklers reacting to this skit at three other concerts since her tour began.
The sound inside the renovated hall was excellent, a credit to Streisand's concert audio engineer. She performed on a split-level stage with a bouquet of red roses in the middle and another bouquet of white roses on both the left and right sides of the stage.
The left and right side of the stage featured it own video screen, which zoomed in many times for tight close-ups on Streisand's face as she sang, giving even people in the last row a good view.
Streisand hasn't mounted a national tour since 1994. In 2000, she held what she said would be her last public performance, but in June, she said she was returning to the stage in order to raise funds for various charitable organizations.
If this was Streisand's last performance here — a place she's rarely picked to hold concerts — she went out on a high note.
Tom Van Noord's Review
My wife and I as well as the rest of Atlantic City are glowing this morning from Barbra's performance last night. Barbra did not stray from her set list of the last several shows yet her performance has remained as genuine as the opening show in Philadelphia. Barbra said the last time she was in AC was 42 years ago, when she sang "Happy Days Are Here Again", and spoke of the hopefulness of the outcome on Election Day. During the question and answer period Barb recognized and complimented a couple's 50 year anniversary, and explained that she and Jim fell in love over dinner (two of her favorite things). Another fan wrote that he celebrates April 24th, her birthday, by sharing her CDs and DVDs. Barbra said for the past 12 years she spends her birthday with her girlfriends and their children. She shared how she enjoys her friends and watching their children grow from year to year.
Barbra's voice on "Funny Girl" was right on. The high notes were nailed and the warmth of her voice has deepened. Her vibrato has returned this tour more so then 2000 or '94 and her delivery is so much more relaxed. So nice to see her enjoy us enjoy her. It seems as though she realizes we like her, we REALLY like her. She did apologize for the hoarseness in her voice by telling us she wanted to give us her very best. Which she always does (gives us her best)! I also loved "Children Will Listen". I think of my children and how their minds absorb so much from us. Why not let it be love (that they absorb)? I would love to have heard Barbra sing "Silent Night". When I was 6 (somewhere around 1969) I remember an album my parents purchased. It was a variety Christmas album sponsored by Goodyear. On that album was a version of "Silent Night" that changed the way I heard music. Wouldn't we all love a Streisand holiday show in New York City??? You never know!
Barbra's voice inspires us to create beauty through art and the way we live life. She has opened the American songbook up to us. I, like most of us, have a regular job and am so glad she has brought beauty to our other wise usual lives. Funny, that "usual life" seems to be the most valuable thing to Barbra!
All of that aside, during the intro of "Have I Stayed Too Long At the Fair", after Barbra had expressed that she may have been too young when she first sang the song on "Color Me Barbra", I expressed everything written above by screaming, "We Love You Barb"! to which she said, "Thanks Dear". I have to say it was so nice to let her know that and she can stay with us as long as she'd like.
Tom Streeper's Notes from the Atlantic City Show
Although hoarse (as Barbra herself admitted) the show in AC was great. I was skeptical about AC since I was not sure what kind of fan would attend. I agree with the others who say the audience was not, as one says "respectful." I prefer the Philadelphia fans on October 4th. The energy was better and the audience was along for the ride from beginning to end. In AC people were leaving before the first encore. The show is mostly the same from Philly. However, I missed the songs cut from the show like "Woman in the Moon" and was hoping to hear her sing some of "Stoney End" as she has added in other cities but not in AC. All in all, Barbra was professional and gave more than 100%. She was funny, relaxed and thinner than she was in Philly. Let's hope she is feeling well. She sounded wonderful even for being hoarse. Her high notes were beautiful; it was the lower notes where you could hear the hoarseness. This was the last time I will ever see her perform live and I would not have missed it for the world.
Diego Lichtensztein's Review (from Buenos Aires, Argentina)
I traveled al the way from Argentina to see Barbra perform in AC.
Even though it was obviously not a good day for her voice, her presence invaded the stage through every minute. The artist she is, at this point, doesnt need a "perfect voice" to be excellent. She was warm, she deeply expressed every word, she told us stories during each song, she transported me to a different place with every note...änd that is what the artist is there for, to move us, to bother, to make us complete her work...
Her choice to put IL DIVO as guests in this tour was a possitive one. They do have four spectacular voices -specially Sebastian and Carlos-, and in my opinion they added a touch of elegance and gave me the opportunity to listen to some very nice musical arrangements. It is not easy to do what they do, and they sounded great.
One negative thing... the lyrics on the big screen... for all of us seating in a possition where we could see that, it was not only very distractive but also it anticipated what was going to happen, so we missed that sense of surprise that, for me, is so important during any art piece. I would cancel that, if she misses a word of forgets a lyrics...NOTHING HAPPENS, she has all the resources to solve that eventual -problem- with her charm.
Barbra, thanks for making my dream come true... the 12 hour flight was worthy... I would do it again a thousand times....
From Anonymous ...
At the end of the concert, at the beginning of the second encore, she sat down on the step at the back of the ramp, and apologized for her voice being hoarse and said "But I just wanted to give you the very best that I could". She gave a great performance despite some hoarseness in a much tighter show than in Phila. as some of the Il Divo banter was cut & the skit was shortened. But Phila. had an energy and excitement from the crowd that was unbelievable. Barbra was very "human" and warm during the Atlantic City show. In the beginning, there was some seat changing going on in the front row and Barbra remarked "What's all this activity going on here?" in a funny way and everyone laughed. She also stopped during one of the early songs to say to a man in the front row "You're taping this on your cell phone? That's ok, everyone does that!" which also got some laughs. By the way, we had a hard time finding the "Ask Barbra" table before the concert began. It was right at the front entrance after the turnstiles, but we had come in a different way & no one we asked knew where it was. When we did find it, we were just in time. They were only set up for about 15 minutes because they only allow 40 question cards. They told us they take the 40 cards back to the dressing room and Barbra personally flips through them to select the questions to read that night. So, if anyone wants to try & get a question read, it's best to find that table early!
The show was different than when I saw her Philadelphia, which was a totally different experience, the greatest audience ever for a concert, standing ovations all the time. AC was a much more disrespectful audience. She was trying to win us over, pushing for higher notes, but her first couple of songs weren't crowd pleasers. The show didn't kick off until abut 8:22, 5 or 6 minute overture, and then she comes out of that trick platform, in the black skirt and black shirt with matching cardigan, however it wasn't sparkly, only around the edges. The Standing Ovation lasted for about 20 seconds and she started into song, in Philadelphia, the ovation lasted for 5 minutes and she wasn't able to launch into song, and she made several remarks like "I Never saw So Many people."
“Starting Here” was beautiful and she held that note for about 11 seconds in the middle and she didn't take a breath in between the last "Starting Now" which she did in video/audio I've heard from other shows. She then talked about the restaurants, how she started walking on the beach (that's why she loves AC because its on he beach, like her house in CA) and then was attracted to some Japanese food, then pizza, and ice cream. I didn't know the restaurants because I'm not too familiar with AC.
"Down With Love" was beautiful as well (she was laughing during parts of the song which was cute). She went right into “TWWW” with a brief intro, but “TWWW” didn't have the notes or excitement that was visible in Philadelphia, though the humming was gorgeous. She started with "Oh, we'll have MEM'RIES".
She went through “Ma Premiere Chanson” piano part without any flaws, so she didn't curse or anything. The singing part was a bit hoarse and strained, the notes were there, but they weren't readily accessible. Il Divo were introduced on "Evergreen" and she sounded great, but Il Divo ruined the entire charm and beauty of the song. During Il Divo, many people, especially in my section were leaving and going for drinks or food or to the bathroom. Their set was nothing special, I thought they were a bit more enjoyable in Philadelphia, and their covering of others' songs was boring.
Back comes Barbra from the staircase in the back, a different intro to “Come Rain Or Come Shine”, I noticed. No standing Ovation when she came back out, I got up though. CROCS was terrific, she hit that big note and then introduced the orchestra, then finished off the song, with only the last note sounding a bit weak.
"Funny Girl" was so hauntingly beautiful I had tears from my eyes. She then shortened the intro to “Music That Makes Me Dance” and then only said a few words before going into “My Man”. She hit all the notes, but they were a bit shorter than in Philadelphia. “People” was absolutely amazing and she held that last note for at least 10 seconds. Some people gave a Standing Ovation, I did, but once again, this was a reserved audience.
The intermission was twenty minutes; I walked out a bit, noticed people saying she sounded good. Went back to my seats, 10 minutes later the place goes black and out comes Il Divo, two on each side, everything is so posed with them, I can't stand it. They did compliment Barbra very nicely, once again, no standing Ovation when she came out. She went for and held that triumphant "night" for almost as long as the studio version.
She then did the “You've Got To Be Carefully Taught/Children Will Listen” with the familiar "parent" intro, and then went into "Unusual Way", which was also stunning (she hit all the notes).
“What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?” was next, and she sung the song just like on the record, she held that last "you" for about 15 seconds. You could tell she was bit upset with the audience and was trying to get them a bit more excited.
The Q&A was next. The first one was a couple that got tickets from their kids and it was their 50th Anniversary, so Barbra congratulates them. Another one was "Have you ever considered plastic surgery? You have great (I didn't know what the word was and neither did anyone around me)” She said who is this, and then read the name and it was some Dr. Feingold. She said, "Is this a question or a consultation?"
There was one about how she met James Brolin, she said at a dinner party, in one night she did two things she loves to do, eating and falling in love. Also, how Barbra spends her birthday, which she said she has party with her women friends and their kids and she likes to see how they all grow and change over the years. There may have been another one, but then the Bush sketch came on. Went WAY too long, I noticed people leaving, the people that were sitting next to me left as well. Two comments, “You’re an a**hole” and “Shut up and sing!” She may have not heard them or just brushed them off. She then said how 42 years ago, she sang this next song for the winning ticket of LBJ at the Democratic National Convention RIGHT Here in this building and that her singing it probably didn’t attribute to the win, but that maybe if she sings it tonight, it will be a prayer for a win next week. She then sang “Happy Days”; the notes were all there, but the last note was a bit shorter than I thought it would be.
Next came "Have I Stayed Too Long At The Fair", which sounded better than in Philadelphia, but she didn’t hit that big high note like opening night. “A Cock-Eyed Optimist” was stunning! She got really into it and finished it up so well, the belting was incredible. That got a good applause out of the audience. Next, the familiar intro to “Somewhere”, all the notes were there, and she hit that final note perfectly. Finally, a standing ovation! Next, “My Shining Hour”, which was very nice, she thanked the audience in the middle. She did compliment a guy in the front row, saying he had a beautiful smile; I think she said that here. Another standing ovation because everyone thought the show was over, so many left.
She then did “DROMP” (reprise), the lyrics were a bit different (No hello gorgeous, it was “Hey world”). The note on “My-y-y” was absolutely amazing and she held the last “Parade” as she was going down the trap door in the middle of the stage. I thought the show would be over since the audience was so disrespectful, but the remaining 75% of the crowd still cheered while others were leaving, so she came back, said she already put back on her shoes and took off her earrings. She sang “Smile” and talked about “Samuel” (the original Sammy) and her new Sammy. Her rendition was beautiful. The show was then over and everyone left, it was so confusing leaving that place.
I love Barbra and her performance was amazing, Il Divo was a roadblock to an amazing show, and they were a mistake. The GW sketch is now very old; she should cut it and sing another song or two. The audience was horrendous. The woman behind me forgot her glasses and kept complaining how she couldn’t see, took my binoculars the first act. She was also drunk, kept saying how this was “Her dream” and the ironic thing is she left early. Some dream. I enjoyed Philadelphia better, but this was still an amazing night.
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