Streisand: 2006 North American Concert Tour

Los Angeles, California

November 20th

Staples Center

Streisand on Staples Center stage

This page:

Set List

Act One

Il Divo set:

  1. Unchained Melody
  2. Unbreak My Heart
  3. My Way (dedicated to Barbra)

Funny Girl Suite:

Act Two

Encores:

Press Reviews & Photos

Army Archerd's Review

"What would you rather be doing next -- singing, acting or directing? " A Barbra Streisand fan asked her at Staples Center. Her answer: "Napping!"

Not so -- she told us in her dressing room following her concert, Monday night -- the finale of her tour. It was almost midnight and she'd greeted hundreds of the near and dear. She was in the highest of spirits, yet amazingly relaxed after delivering, what most agreed, was her best show -- ever. Both her showbiz fans and those who've worked with Barbra admitted this was the most "comfortable" they'd ever witnessed Barbra in concert. Perhaps it was because the choice of her songs was so personal in her feelings -- and beliefs. She admitted her disbelief -- that she'd not played Europe. "I'd like to do it," she said and talked a possible tour with a boat taking her to several of the concert sites.

Meanwhile, she also talked about spending more time at home creating a "barn" with assorted shops. But first she'll work on the DVD-or-TV special she and Gary Smith will edit of the 20 concerts --lensed on 12 cameras. It will also include interviews with the show's creators -- and some celeb attendees. Among Monday night's group at Staples: Leonardo DiCaprio, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Rosie O'Donnell (taping for herself), Bob Daly and Carole Bayer Sager, Barry Manilow, Quincy Jones, Shirley MacLaine, Diane Lane, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Brenda Vaccaro, Sydney Pollack, the Sidney Poitiers, Jeff Bridges and his mom Dorothy, Rob Lowe, Kenny G, of course Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Also Barbra's first husband Elliott Gould -- who just wound "Oceans 13" and next goes into "Merchant of Venice," his first Shakespeare outing. And, of course, husband Jim Brolin who just wound "Springtime in Bosnia" with Richard Gere.

Below: Backstage at Barbra's show—That's Barbra's A&R man, Jay Landers, next to Barbra's husband, Jim Brolin.

Landers and Brolin

L.A. Times Review

Viva la diva! (Not so much Il Divo)

At Staples Center, the evergreen Streisand closes a third "final tour" with heart, celebs and mismatched backups.

By Ann Powers

November 22, 2006

Barbra Streisand is Elvis Presley without the swivel hips, the Beatles if they'd stuck to show tunes, Aretha Franklin as a Jewish mameleh from Brooklyn. She's the killer queen of old-school pop in the rock and soul era, and she brought her jubilee tour home Monday to Staples Center.

Closing her third "final tour" in front of a hand-picked celebrity audience — and thousands of "paying customers" in the not-so-cheap seats ("I shall spend it wisely," their sovereign said of the ticket haul, promising to donate proceeds to charity), Streisand name-dropped, told terrible jokes and sang her way through an oddly structured set list. And she was simply amazing.

Streisand's vocal gift, like Presley's or Franklin's, has the power to obliterate every other aspect of her being: Singing, she becomes some kind of archetype, and all the human stuff, while still important, becomes secondary. Between songs, Streisand presented herself as a particular, if larger-than-life, woman; she fleshed out her various personas (Malibu matron, liberal agitator, doting mom, born-in-a-trunk trouper) with cozy confidence. But hitting every note and shading on such showstoppers as "The Way We Were," she let her image give way to the deeper force that both feeds and eclipses those particulars.

Now that she's 64, Streisand's tone remains pure as the dawn, her phrasing unmatched. Only a few modified high notes and extra pauses for breath hinted at mortality. Swinging through the 1937 E.Y. "Yip" Harburg-Harold Arlen tune "Down With Love" or nailing the dramatic arc in Billy Barnes' "(Have I Stayed) Too Long at the Fair," one of a few featured songs she hadn't sung onstage for decades, Streisand's voice told a story more primal and compelling than the uplifting rhetoric she read from the TelePrompTer between numbers. It's the resonance of introspection: The blend of intimacy and showiness in Streisand's voice turns her performances into portraits of the heart and mind in self-discovery.

It's this naked, forming quality — something she can access, it's tempting to say, because she was born into the rock 'n' roll generation that her repertoire almost entirely ignores — that makes even Streisand's most familiar songs eternally fresh. She sprinkled the first half of her 2 1/2 -hour set with those hits; the crowd sat in rapt silence as she offered up "Evergreen" and a graceful medley of songs from "Funny Girl."

The second half featured some more challenging material, including the arty "Unusual Way" from "Nine," with only a few signature songs. The crowd didn't seem disappointed but did grow a little restive — until the set's end, when a grand finale of "Somewhere" (from "West Side Story") and her trademark take on "Happy Days Are Here Again" drove them back to their feet.

The faith Streisand has in her own singing, made obvious by her fearless approach to big notes and her fondness for melodically tricky compositions, didn't keep her from cutting short songs with banter, and sometimes worse. A notorious skit involving a George W. Bush impersonator, the cause of much anger among conservatives since her tour opened last month in Philadelphia, turned out to be subpar "Saturday Night Live" fodder, and far too long. Streisand's name-checking of famous friends titillated — she had incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stand up for the cameras, and there was Bill Maher right behind her! — but it also seemed self-aggrandizing. Little waves and exclamations of "Hi, Barry" (Gibb? Diller?) were unnecessary reminders of the fancy world Streisand calls home.

The orchestra was conducted with an admirably light touch by Bill Ross, never even coming close to overshadowing the star. The less said the better about Il Divo, the classical-lite vocal quartet that joined Streisand on a few songs and sang a mini-set partway into Streisand's first act. It's obvious why she selected them — they're upscale backup singers, and as "classical" artists, they allowed Streisand to nod toward a realm she enjoys but only rarely enters. But the Teflon men of Il Divo provided nothing Streisand couldn't have accessed on her own, and their lung-pumping delivery often clashed with her style. Handsome? Yes. But as Funny Girl Streisand herself proved decades ago — and again Monday — pretty ain't worth nothing next to genuine soul.

Streisand singing in LA in 2006

USA Today Review

Streisand's swan song

By William Keck

While half of Hollywood was making its way back from TomKat's Italian wedding, what seemed like the other half was seated in the front two rows of the Staples Center Monday night to catch the final performance of Barbra Streisand's 2006 tour.

But was the sold-out concert truly her last?

She confirmed that it was only "the last time I'm ever ... going to wear this dress."

Getting a chuckle from her audience, Streisand shot back, "What did you think I was going to say?"

In fact, near the end of the show, Streisand confirmed she has been approached to sing in China and is considering "maybe six more" (shows) in Europe.

Among the famous faces in the crowd: Leonardo DiCaprio and his mother, Irmalin; Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson; Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell; Sidney Poitier; Rob Lowe; David Hyde Pierce; Ben Stiller and his wife, Christine Taylor; Meg Ryan; Rosie O'Donnell; Sydney Pollack; Diahann Carroll; Shirley MacLaine; Streisand's ex-husband, Elliott Gould; and Jeff Bridges, who escorted his elderly mother, Dorothy, to her seat.

"Her optimism" was MacLaine's favorite part of Streisand's concert. "But the best part was just finding my seat."

The only two celebrities Streisand said hello to from the stage were Barry Manilow and her "dear friend, Q" — as in music producer Quincy Jones.

But she did shine the spotlight on two female Democratic politicos from California in the crowd: U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was seated in front of Bill Maher.

"What a House — and the Senate, too," Streisand quipped, mimicking the same line Billy Crystal delivered two weeks ago at a tribute to Tony Bennett.

Streisand said that when she made 1976's A Star Is Born, there were no women in the Senate; 16 will serve in the new term.

The singer happily responded to many expressions of love from the audience. Only once did she have to admonish the overly excited crowd, playfully scolding, "Don't talk amongst yourselves."

The usually guarded Streisand, 64, dropped a few tidbits about her personal life.

She expressed her gratitude in being back in L.A., where she could sleep in her bed and walk in her garden and "get a sunburn in November." Temperatures reached the 90s on Monday.

Though no mention was made of her husband, James Brolin, she said son Jason Gould, 39, recently purchased a home, which, she said, "I helped him paint."

She also said mother and son often begin their mornings by analyzing each other's dreams.

During her three months on the road performing, she said, her own house was being remodeled.

She had intended to spend her first day back in L.A. at the Pacific Design Center to select new tiles but instead made visits to her favorite eateries.

Among her stops: Malibu Seafood, Il Pastaio restaurant and Sprinkles Cupcakes.

"I never got to the Design Center, but I got a taste of L.A.," she said, raving, "Fabulous. Fabulous."

She also cracked several jokes about her age, expressing gratitude for a teleprompter. She blamed "a senior moment" for nearly prematurely jumping into a song. And later, she slipped on her reading glasses and complained of "a cramp in my calf" while sitting at a piano to play the first song she ever wrote. Her musical guests, "popera" quartet Il Divo, contributed their own jokes about her advanced years — mostly about enjoying her music since they were little boys in their various countries.

Streisand ended the evening with a version of Happy Days Are Here Again, explaining that the original was written after the stock market crash of 1929, which launched the Great Depression. But, she said, "the people have spoken," referring to the Democratic victory in this month's elections, and "my depression is over."

Variety Review

By RICHARD S. GINELL

All of her fans who packed the Staples Center on Monday night knew that Barbra Streisand, by her own words, doesn't like to do live concerts. They also thought that there was a possibility that this concert, the last in a 20-show tour, might be the last chance they would get to see this superstar. And so, when after her first number, "Starting Here, Starting Now," La Streisand let fly a sentence about this being "the last time...," the faithful held their collective breath. But like a savvy, durable diva, she was only teasing them, for it would just be the last time "I'll wear this dress! What did ya think I'd say?"

Relax, folks, she'll probably be back. There's no reason for Streisand to quit now. Her voice at 64 is still in excellent shape, with all of the old sustaining power and passionate identification with the texts. If her voice was a bit grainy in texture in this setting, that can be probably attributed to the amplification. Besides, there are her charities and causes to fund and foreign countries where she's never sung to conquer (she hinted that she would consider offers).

Moreover, Streisand must have been in a jubilant mood; the midterm elections had gone the Democrats' way while her tour was under way, and prominent politicos dotted the audience, including incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

The show apparently had been altered little since her New York appearance last month, tilted toward Broadway (Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne), standards ("Come Rain or Come Shine," "My Shining Hour"), surefire ballad hits from film ("The Way We Were," "Evergreen") and material from early albums; only a trace of her rapprochement with pop-rock in the '70s and '80s could be heard. Teleprompters guided her way, as she acknowledged.

The first half continued to find Streisand reflecting upon her past, curating a carefully conceived sequence that centered upon several songs from both the Broadway and film scores from "Funny Girl."

At one point, she donned reading glasses and went over to the Steinway to play a simple, touching figure and accompaniment from her "first" self-penned song from the album "Je m'appelle Barbra." Midway, though, she interrupted "Evergreen" to introduce that four-man tag team of "popera" stars Il Divo, whose throbbing voices shattered with painful distortion whenever they combined forces in their three-song mini-set (do we really need to hear "My Way" again in that style?).

The second half got political in a hurry, as the uncanny (and very funny) George W. Bush impressionist Steve Bridges reprised his act with Streisand as his straight woman. As per the current party line, Streisand stressed optimism and conciliation with the other side -- and in this context, "A Cockeyed Optimist" actually sounded like a political statement.

But given the election results, Streisand just had to end the concert by digging out a song she sang and transformed at one of her earliest TV appearances back in 1962 -- "Happy Days Are Here Again" -- and she sounded overjoyed delivering it for real.

LA Daily News

Streisand a smash in concert finale

by Robert Lowman

On the final night of her first national tour since 1994, Barbra Streisand drew standing ovations from a sold-out Staples Center crowd after stirring performances of People and My Man.

The legendary singer, dressed in a black dress and a black pantsuit for the first half of the concert, drew applause from fellow celebrities Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Ben Stiller, Jeff Bridges and Shirley MacLaine.

During a skit poking fun at President George Bush, Streisand introduced soon-to-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The skit drew laughter but no jeers, unlike a routine at a previous concert that upset some conservative audience members.

Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer was also in attendance Monday night.

Earlier Monday, Babs fanatics took Staples Center under siege, lining up outside the arena hours before the doors opened.

One man sported a black leather jacket with a portrait of the legendary singer on its back. Other fans clutched roses they hoped to present to Streisand during the concert.

Fan Reviews

Barbra Archives Report

Staples Center marquee

(Right: Staples Center billboard photo courtesy of Paul Murray)

Paul Katz called me with some news: They are videotaping tonight's show for the television special.

Celebs: Rosie, Shirley MacLaine, Fran Derescher, Leonardo DeCaprio, Quincy Jones, Meg Ryan, David Hyde Pierce, Tom Hanks, Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell, Bill Maher, Carol Bayer Sager, Jeff Bridges, Ben Stiller, Rob Lowe, Kenny G, Jon Peters, Barry Manilow, Nancy Palosi & Barbara Boxer (crowd went wild, standing O), Sidney Pollack, The Bergmans, Gary Smith.

Act one: gold-trimmed jacket + sequined pantsuit.

Dedicated show to her friend Evelyn (Barbra mentioned her during her Ellen Degeneres interview).

Opening remarks: Great to be home, looking forward to getting back to Paciifc Design Center. Stopped in a place in Malibu to get clams, Sprinkles in Beverly Hills for cupcakes ...

Barbra played "Ma Premiere" on the piano perfectly.

After Evergreen, Barbra said, she loves Domino's Pizza, 2 for $10.99, thin crust ...

Barbra teased the audience by saying, "This will the be the last tme ... ... ... I ever wear this dress."

Gold trim Donna Karan dress was back in Act Two.

Q&A Section:

- Robin Lipman's question was chosen.

- Would you ever work with Jason again? Barbra said she was painting Jason's house with him. Every morning they analyze dreams together. So we work together all the time, but not any movies.

- Someone called out, "Come to Europe". Thinking about Russia, Asked to do China. Will probably do 6 dates in Europe.

- Like most? Acting singing direting? Napping.

- Thank you for everything and when will we do it again? From the orchestra. "So sweet..."

During "My Shining Hour" she used Evelyn's name.

At end of "Happy Days", "We will work together to make it happen."

Erica's Review

Wow, where do I start! This was a wonderful night for me as it was a present from my mom to celebrate my 18th birthday. I was beyond excited and I didn’t know what quite to expect; this was also my first concert that I had ever been to. My mom and I had gotten there extremely early and stood around the Staples arena for well over 2 hours before it was even time to line up at the door. We were supposed to get in the arena at 6:30pm but that didn’t quite happen. With my being in heels, this was not so good. We were out there till just before 7pm and people were getting pretty upset, saying rude and kind of provocative things. I heard one person say to another, “What the heck is taking so long”, she was pretty upset. The other lady said, “Probably because she can’t get her teleprompter to work”... Cute.

When finally the souvenir cart was cleaned over at about $100 dollars later, my mom and I headed into the arena to find that the staples center was quite small inside. We had seats right above the floor and pretty damn close to the stage. ( SHHCUSHH…Oh My Gosh!) This night was a really big “to do”. There were a ton of well known celebrities there! We took our seats and the concert finally started after the crowd pouring in finally decided to take their seats. The anticipation was horrible as we searched for her during the swelling music of the intro to Funny Girl. Barbra appeared almost from no where from this rising trap door in the middle of the stage and the crowd went wild! I could see her pretty close and couldn’t believe my eyes. For the first time in my life, I was star struck and I didn’t even get to meet her. She looked gorgeous in that outfit of hers that she was apparently sick of wearing, I learned from a comment of hers.

For her very first song she seemed a little hoarse. Poor thing… she was so optimistic in appearance even though it was entirely evident that she was exhausted after 20 concerts. As the evening progressed, she got much better and more confident (so I could tell) and she sounded far better than those Il Divo Boys. Only the French one was cute and the way that the whole sound system was set up, their voices were excruciatingly loud. They could have done without the microphones knowing that they were operatic. I enjoyed them best when I plugged my ears. I don’t mean I was trying not to hear them, but when some of that loud, almost static noise was blocked out, I though that they sounded quite beautiful. They were quite appropriate at times such as Music of the Night.

When watching her on stage I couldn’t get over how incredibly adorable she was! She kicked off her shoes and flaunted herself about, pushing maybe 5’4’’ or so. She was impressed with herself after playing Ma Premiere Chanson and announced “Wow, I played it good tonight”. This she beamed looking out of her glasses. She got ahead of herself and said, “Woops, I almost started to sing another song… Well, that’s what the teleprompter is for”, after, which she made fun of herself and said, “a senior moment”. The crowd was completely in love with her by then. I don’t care what country or culture you are from; the ONLY appropriate reaction to those nuances of hers was to want to give her a big teddy bear squeeze. She was so honest and childlike. It was so wonderful to see her to the closest she really is as a person, especially when she has racked up quite a reputation as a monster at times. There was, in fact, nothing monstrous about her. She even brought a topic about what people say about her (I loved this). Such as, “She walks into a room and FIRES everybody on the left”, *much laughter*, “That’s funny because any body who knows me, knows that I would walk in and fire everybody on the right!” Hilarious, witty, and appropriate, all while she made an attempt to explain assumptions are wrong about her.

The Bush act was incredible. It was even more so when the lady above me insisted that that was really the President. Her reaction was priceless.

The concert came to an unwanted end after two beautiful encores. She hit some quite impressive notes there! Go Barbra! Overall, that woman has more warmth and charm than anyone that I have ever met…well, not that I met her but, you know what I mean. Her voice was a bit rough around the edges sometimes but who cares! For all I know, that was just the product of having done 20 shows within the past 2 months. This woman can sing! Sometimes she sounded better than ever before! I could hear that some of her high notes were not quite there but she had a beautiful mid tone, perfect lower range and an absolutely still beautiful as always vibrato. All these things multiply together with her ability to hold such notes for lengthy periods of time. WOW. WE LOVE YOU BARBRA.

~Erica

Mark's Review

What a show! It really hit me the morning after. I've seen Barbra's previous tours, but this was by far the most memorable. She was so comfortable, and down right funny. It was her first day back home, and you could sence the joy it brought her in her retoric with the crowd. At times it was so quiet that it gave you the feeling of being in a nightclub. L.A. audiences are not the best, it takes alot for them to stand up and cheer, but Barbra did recieve satnding ovations for My Man, Somewhere, People, and the encore of Don't Rain On My Parade, which itself garnered the loudest roars and screams of the night. Overall, I imagine the other cities on the tour had better audiences. I would have prefered to see the show somewhere other than L.A., but I'm not complaining.

It's all about the voice for us fans, and her's was in beautiful form. The tone and richness after so many years ( her 46th in show business, as she pointed out on stage) is a sound to behold. She can still hold long notes, and sound as smooth as silk. Her vibrato perfectly in tact. My favorite moments were, What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life?, Unusual Way, Down With Love, and Funny Girl.

I've been a fan for twenty years,and last night was a full circle moment for me. She can still illicit such feeling and emotion. At one point I closed my eyes and just listened, and it was a personal moment that hit me in the heart. She is a treasure and I wish I could thank her personally.

A bit about Il Divo... not good. Sorry to say that, but their vocals aren't balanced enough, and it just didn't work in my opinion, with the exception of Music of the Night perhaps. The Bush skit went over well here, recieved alot of laughs, and wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. At this point in the show, Barbra introduced Nancy Palossi and Barbara Boxer. The audience stood for Nancy.

Some Q&A questions:

— Why do you think you have so many gay fans? To which she replied, jokingly, Do I have gay fans? Are there gay people here?

—Why don't you take the tour to Europe and abroad? To which she replied, I've had so much fun doing this, that I may do six or so shows Internationally. Then she mentioned that she's been asked to perform in China.

I had a feeling this wouldn't be it. I think she should pull a Cher and do more legs of the tour after a break in-between. Which brings me to my final thought, and what I woke up this morning feeling.... I WANT MORE!!!!!

Thanks Barbra, and thank you Matt for all your hard work.

END.

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