Streisand: 2006 North American Concert Tour
Toronto, ON, Canada
Air Canada Centre
Set List (10/17 & 20)
- Funny Girl (Broadway) Overture - Bill Ross, Conductor
- Starting Here, Starting Now
- Down With Love
- The Way We Were
- Come Rain or Come Shine
- Ma Premiere Chanson
- Evergreen (with Il Divo)
Il Divo set:
- Unchained Melody
- Unbreak My Heart
- My Way (dedicated to Barbra)
- Music of The Night (Barbra & Il Divo)
Funny Girl Suite:
- Funny Girl
- The Music That Makes Me Dance (partial)
- My Man
- Bill Ross Entr'acte
- Where or When (*Oct. 17th only)
- When The Sun Comes Out
- Carefully Taught / Children Will Listen
- Unusual Way
- What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?
- Q&A (w/ Stoney End)
- 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 played with the song order of her show while in Toronto, eliminating Il Divo's Second Act opener. She moved "Music of the Night" to Act One. For one night only (10/17) she replaced "Music" with "Where or When"!
On the Oct. 17th show, Sammy, Barbra's dog, was brought onstage; Barbra introduced "Smile" by saying it was for the Humane Society.
Toronto Star Review
We're people who need Barbara
Air Canada Centre audience smitten with Streisand Singer fondly recalls her romance with Pierre Trudeau
Oct. 18, 2006
By: RICHARD OUZOUNIAN, THEATRE CRITIC
Barbra Streisand and Toronto met each other last night at the Air Canada Centre and it was love at first sight. The first performance the superstar has ever given in this city proved to be a night that no one will ever forget.
A capacity crowd featuring everyone from Karen Kain to Mel Lastman cheered — no, roared — after virtually every number and interrupted the show with standing ovations on numerous occasions.
As for the lady herself, she was in spectacular voice, launching her final notes like arrows high into the air, arrows that soared to the heavens and never fell to earth.
"I don't know what's gotten into her tonight," a member of her staff said to me at intermission. "She's absolutely blazing!"
I didn't say anything, but I knew. There was an unannounced special guest whose presence could be felt in almost every number although he was only mentioned twice in the evening.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
He and Streisand were romantically involved for a brief while in the late 1960s and harboured great mutual respect for each other until his death.
She mentioned him early on in the show, saying how much she had always loved Canada and talking wistfully about their relationship "in my other life, a long time ago." She mentioned an evening they spent together in Ottawa as "one of the most exciting nights in my life" and said she thought of him when she sang "this song."
She then began "The Way We Were," performing it with such exquisite delicacy that she painted a series of "misty water-coloured memories" as we listened. And when she got to the concluding thought that "it's the laughter, the laughter we'll remember," you could see something special shining in her eyes.
In the second act, when Streisand answered questions from the audience, someone asked "What do you remember about Mr. Trudeau?" and she coyly fanned herself with an index card, indicating the memory of many steamy moments.
But when the laughter died down, she quietly concluded that "he was an extraordinary man."
That was all she said and yet, somehow, his presence infused the evening. When Streisand sang the Bernstein-Sondheim anthem from West Side Story, "Somewhere," and soared into the climactic release of the song, imploring us to "hold my hand and we're halfway there," it was the summer of love all over again and everything was possible.
There was something of that born-again spirit about Streisand last night. Answering another question, she referred to this tour as "the last hurrah, when you do all those things you didn't think you could do."
Fearless would be the best way to describe how she threw herself into signature numbers like "My Man" and "People," and when she got to "Don't Rain on My Parade" it had all the energy she possessed 42 years ago on Broadway, but with a new, chilling sense that yes, maybe this would be one of the last times she sang this song.
But this isn't to imply that the evening was heavy or burdensome. Far from it. The audience were in love with this woman and she could sense it. "I waited 20 years to see you," shouted one lady from the crowd. "I hope it was worth it," offered Streisand tentatively and the crowd cheered their agreement.
The much-discussed sketch where George W. Bush imitator Steve Bridges banters with Babs has been cut down considerably and provoked no boos (as in certain U.S. cities), only laughter and cheers.
When "Bush" offered his idea of selling Canada to pay off America's national debt, Streisand asked "But where would people go to buy affordable prescription drugs?" She then booted him offstage and sang "Happy Days are Here Again" on her own, which made everyone happy.
There's also less of Il Divo in the concert now than when I saw it on opening night in Philadelphia and forgive me, Divo fans, but I think that's a good thing.
They're four hunky lads who all have strong voices, but hearing them use their operatic chops to sing things like "My Way" gives you the uneasy sensation of having your radio caught halfway between Classical 96 and 97.3 EZ Rock.
Yet, when all is said and done, what I'll remember best is the way Streisand sat quietly and sang "What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life" with such intoxicating charm that the only possible answer was "sitting here and listening to you forever."
It was a magical evening. I think Mr. Trudeau would have loved it.
Toronto Sun Review
By JANE STEVENSON
Funny Lady. Charming Man. Barbra Streisand, who glamorously dated former prime minister Pierre Trudeau in the late '60s and early '70s, had only good things to say about the relationship last night at the Air Canada Centre as she played the first-ever Toronto concert of her impressive 46-year career.
In fact, not to put too fine a point on it, the singer remembered an outing with Trudeau to see the National Ballet as "one of the most exciting nights of my life."
The comment came early in Streisand's much anticipated show -- part of her first extended tour in 12 years -- just as the singing legend was introducing the third song of the night, The Way We Were which she dedicated to Trudeau, who passed away in 2000.
Their time together was brought up again later in the evening during a question and answer period when Streisand was asked what she remembered about Trudeau.
"He was quite a guy," she mugged while fanning herself, pretending to be overheated.
On a more serious note, Streisand recalled that Trudeau came to London to see her in the opening of Funny Girl and that when she refused his offer to dance (because she didn't like to in public) her girlfriend wound up in his arms and on all the newspaper covers.
"He was an extraordinary man," said Streisand. "I had a wonderful adventure with him."
That last remark had the sold-out crowd of mostly middle-aged and elderly types ooohing but ever the lady, Streisand quipped: "I won't get more intimate than that."
Given her husband, actor James Brolin, was spotted among the concertgoers that was probably for the best.
Otherwise, Streisand made some welcome changes in her show since launching what many see as her farewell trek back on Oct. 4 in Philadelphia, which the Sun earlier attended and reviewed.
There was less stage time for both George W. Bush impersonator Steve Bridges and irritating "popera" quartet Il Divo, the latter who alternately join Babs for some songs -- like Evergreen , Music Of The Night and Somewhere (this one actually prompted a standing ovation) -- and sang other tunes on their own.
It was the Bush-bashing sketch which caused Streisand to tell a persistent heckler last week in New York City at Madison Square Garden to "shut the f--k up," when he didn't get the joke.
"Some of you cringe when I talk about politics," said Streisand last night. "Not here! Not in this country!"
However, while the Bush impersonator stuck around for the sketch in T.O. he disappeared for the musical duet that had followed in Philadelphia leaving Streisand to sing Happy Days Are Here Again -- the Democratic Party anthem -- on her own.
Meanwhile, at least one Il Divo song was cut since the launch and the mix sounded way more balanced so that the four male singers didn't unintentionally overpower Streisand, who was backed by an awesome sounding 58- piece orchestra conducted by Bill Ross.
Overall, it felt tighter with almost a half-hour gone. Missing in action was The Woman In The Moon although It Seems was added to the set for the first time.
Maybe Streisand just wanted to get to bed. When asked if it was harder to sing as she got older, she ad libbed:
"It's harder to stay up past 10!"
And despite the presence of a very large teleprompter, Streisand seemed more in control of her powerful voice on such standouts as Starting Here, Starting Now, My Man, People, What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?, Don't Rain On My Parade (which she moved from the end of the first act to the first encore) and Smile.
Celebrity-wise, it was the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary all over again as figure skaters Brian Orser and Brian Boitano -- The Battle Of The Brians! -- were seated sideby- side in the second row on the floor.
Also spotted at one point in the audience was Babs' beloved dog, Sammie, who was also later brought out on stage by the singer herself who returns for a second sold out show at the same venue on Friday night.
Ray McLellan's Review 10/20 Show
John Keats wrote; 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,-that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.' How does one describe Beauty in a single word? Streisand! She was beautiful, her voice was beautiful.
My name is Ray McLellan, I am a music teacher / consultant in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I have been a devoted Barbra Streisand fan for over 40 years. I attended Barbra's performance in Toronto, Canada on October 20th, something that I have dreamed of for most of my life. Over the past 28 years of my teaching career, my students have often heard me refer to Barbra as 'the voice of god'. She is without a doubt a musical 'legend' in the greatest sense of the word. In 2001 the graduating class at my high school gifted me with an authenticated signed 'Babs' photo that they managed to purchase off of EBay. It is something that holds a treasured place in my home and in my heart. With the support of my school district and my current students my dream became a reality. Barbra Streisand is a world class icon! I have waited a lifetime to see / hear her perform live and I finally had that opportunity last Friday in Toronto. She brought smiles, tears of joy and touched the hearts of so many. Her grace, style, class, humour, and God given talent is a testament to an outstanding career that most can only wish to aspire to.
My dream would have been complete to hand Barbra a single, perfect, rose to thank her for the unforgettable magical moments that she has given in film, on stage and in recordings. That evening, even if only in my mind and heart I did exactly that. I stood with utmost respect and dignity applauding her lifetime musical and humanitarian achievements.
When she sang, 'Children Will Listen'....I was reminded of a former student who I had spoken with just before I left for Toronto who recalled while he was in grade 10 (1999) while I supervised at a high school dance; I slipped away into the custodians room to watch Barbra Streisand on the 'Rosie' show. He recounted how I told my class the following day how Rosie walked on stage and said 'I just want all the children of the world to know that dreams really can come true. Ladies and Gentlemen.... Barbra Streisand'. In that small dark custodian's room, tears of joy welled in my eyes. That young man today is 26 years old. He congratulated me on finally having my dream become a reality. In a world of war, discrimination, hatred, violence, cruelty and name calling, perhaps we should set an example to those 'children of the world'. Dignity, honour, respect, simple consideration for others might be examples of a good start. Barbra is bringing joy to the minds and hearts of countless many. I stand forever in her debt for the joy and inspiration she has brought into my life and career. Remember this, your own 'Children Will Listen' to what you say and see what you do no matter how small.... they remember!
At the end of the performance I walked to the front of the stage and chatted for a few moments with Barbra's musical director. I gave him the rose and a note that I had brought for Barbra. He kindly assured me that he would make sure she received it.
From the bottom of my heart, Thank you Barbra. Ray
Ricardo Balatbat's Review 10/20 Show
This is a small correction for Mitzi Mitchells' review. Quoting Mitzi "she didn't play Ma premiere chanson, she played Lost Inside of You". True, Mitzi, Barbra played that in the piano in a scene in the movie A Star is Born and followed it with the song Lost Inside of You. Those two songs are close melodically and could even be blended harmoniously as a medley; I do have the cd of Je Mapelle Barbra and I listened to it again....Barbra, in her concert, did play Ma Premiere chanson in the piano.
As for the 2 Toronto concerts, my wife, Angie and I are lucky enough to get tickets to both shows, one in section 110 (left side) and one in section 119 (right side). Both shows are spellbinding, overwhelming, spectacular and amazing. Personally, I fell in love with the Tuesday show, not only that it is my first view live of Miss Streisand but because, where we were seated, she came in too close that I felt I could actually hold her. The left side of the stage is where she enters and leave during the show and when she sang Evergreen she's just right in front of us. I thought section 110 is the best seat in the house.
On the Friday show, we were in section 119 and it gave a different view, we were much farther from the stage yet it didn't diminish the magic and the splendour of the show. As a comparison, in section 119 we now could see 2 big screens suspended on top of the arena where you could see bigger projections of Barbra which we didn't see in section 110, what we could see though, in section 110 were all the teleprompters. Those 2 big screens though were in no match to the real Barbra that we could see clearly during the previous night. If there was a glitch Friday night, it was very minor---after playing Ma Premire Chanson on the piano, Barbra got up and started to sing it...yet she probably lost track of the timing, that she had to repeat the same word 3 times, other than that the show went smoothly and lovingly and when you leave the place you couldn't help but reminisce the event that just unfolded. I was just wondering why the song "Where or When" which she used in to open the second act on Tuesday was cut from the Friday show. I thought that was a really great song. Hopefully when she comes back to the USA for the second leg of her tour, she puts that song back in her repertoire.
These 2 shows are very memorable for me because I never thought that she would play Toronto. I've been following her carreer since 1986 when I first saw her "One Voice" concert in TV. She did a tour in 1994, went as far as London; I am very happy that she passed by Canada on this 2006 tour. We are trully hoping that this is not her first and last Canadian concert. Please pass by Canada again Miss Streisand on your next tour, it really wouldn't matter whether it is in the next 12 years or so...you are most welcome here, I know you felt that in your heart. Cheers, you are gorgeous!!!
Babsbabe's Review 10/20 Show
Arising from the depths of the stage to thunderous applause, Barbra stood glimmering before me--and it was a moment that I will never forget. As soon as I heard "the voice", I knew that this would be a wondrous night. In that instant, Barbra and her audience connected and the lovefest began. At the sight of her, my tears flowed, but soon subsided in response to her calm, relaxed demeanour. I was transported to a small cabaret with stage side seats as I watched Barbra embrace each member of the audience with her warmth and exquisite vocal stylings.
The sailor suit, first with skirt and then with pants, was the costume of choice for this "Funny Girl". Her voice soared in "Starting Here, Starting Now" and in "Come Rain or Come Shine". Her mellow, full tones filled the room as "The Way We Were" hung in the air like wisps of sultry smoke. In a very personal moment, Barbra reminisced about Pierre Trudeau saying that they had remained friends until he died. I would have loved to have listened to their political conversations!
On this "international tour" (as Barbra put it), IL Divo added a foreign flare, and many in the audience were swooning at the sight of the four, handsome tenors. They left the stage after dedicating "My Way" to Barbra, and I was glad--too much popera for me. The Funny Girl Suite was a fitting conclusion to the first act. When she sang "My Man" with such tender control, it broke my heart. It's amazing how "People" can get to you every time you hear it. The words are so relevant today.
At the beginning of the second act, Barbra, stunning in her black and gold dress, shone in the haunting "Music of the Night" duet with IL Divo.--it was entrancing. This act was giving us a glimpse of a philosophical Barbra with the tender "Children will Listen" and the thought-provoking "Unusual Way". Even the question and answer period did not interrupt the flow of this more subdued part of the evening.
The Bush skit interlude was hilarious with Steve Bridges going off the teleprompter several times and catching Barbra off-guard, making her laugh. It was great to hear "Happy Days Are Here Again" as a solo with the preamble of her hope that she can sing it for real after November 7! My favourite song of the evening was "Have I Stayed Too Long at the Fair?". Barbra was literally right beside me when she sang it. I felt that I could have stretched out and touched her. It was truly a heart to heart moment. At the end of the second act, Barbra was at her optimistic best with her sincere rendition of the William Saroyan poem. "A Cock-Eyed Optimist" from "South Pacific" led to the awe-inspiring "Somewhere" duet with IL Divo--the best pairing of the night. How apropos that her final song of the set was "My Shining Hour".
The two encores were fantastic! "Don't Rain on My Parade"--one of my all-time favourites, was a showstopper! But, it was the very poignant "Smile" that meant the most to me personally. It is the song that inspired me to keep going through very difficult times.
When Barbra left the stage for the final time, I remained transfixed in my seat, unable to comprehend what I had just witnessed. I was privileged to see Barbra Streisand perform live, in peak vocal form. But, I also caught a glimpse of this wonderful, generous woman who is comfortable in her own skin, and who is no longer afraid to show herself to the world. Thank you, Barbra.
Patti Vickers Review 10/17 Show
I saw Barbra once before, in Detroit, 12 years ago. I had honestly decided I wasn't going this time around, for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I had decided I wasn't going to travel to see her -- I couldn't justify the cost. But then she announced the Toronto dates, and I thought "Well, crap. Can't not see her now, it's a subway ride away!". So we bought tickets, some of the lower priced ones, deliberately, based on placement of the tickets. After the presale, we weren't happy with the higher priced ones we could get, so we made choice: Let's just get in the building.
Because of the nasty rain, I made a choice to drive downtown. Parked my car, and started the short walk to the ACC. LONG line up to get in. Seriously long. Like I'm sure some people were in line for well over an hour before they got in the door. Metal detectors, bag searches... slowed up getting into the place. The same procedures were in place when I saw her last, but it was handled much better in Detroit, I think. The concert, scheduled to start at 7:30, started at 7:58... and I suspect most of that had to do with getting people in the doors. It took us about 30 minutes, and we walked to a "not as busy" entrance. Made a bit of a mad dash for our seats, but then got side tracked by the merch stands. Sad but true. $105 bucks later we made it to our seats. This time, there was fewer "odd" souvenirs -- no crystal paperweights, silk scarves, woven throws. Standard t-shirts, programmes, postcards, mugs, cups, coats. Nothing too out of the ordinary (except the dog coat.).
And the one thing about Streisand concerts? EVERYONE talks to each other. We talked to atleast seven people around us. Everyone feels a ... connection. Everyone is equally excited to be there. Which is so cool. And with the prices, it GENERALLY keeps the really casual fans away. Which, honestly? I'm cool with. Snobby? Sure. But man, I don't want to be sitting with people who are talking on their cell phones and asking what song it is during "Starting Here, Starting Now". We have the set list, which is similar to most of the shows, but she's throwing a few changes in here or there. "Where or When?" was one of them tonight.
She sounded amazing. Her voice was in fine form -- a little bit of roughness in "What Are You Doing With The Rest of Your Life?", but that's it. Stunning. Clear. A little husky here and there, just when it should have been. And she held everything as she should have - no copping out on long notes, or high notes. Which was truly a pleasure. Sure, she still had the prompters, but she wasn't NEARLY as reliant on them as in the past, I didn't think.
She looked gorgeous -- hair a little longer than we've seen her of late, and a little lighter. Very straight. And nice, casual looking make up. First in a black sequined two piece outfit, long skirt, slit up the top of the thigh. Then she kept the same top on, and changed into matching pants. Second act? She was wearing a black gown, low cut, with gold piping. But the jewelry was her jewelry from the party scene in Prince of Tides.
She made references to spending time in Canada while she was dating Trudeau, and in fact, in the "Ask Barbra segment (there is a segment in each concert where questions are taken from the audience), one of the questions was "What do you remember most about being with Pierre Trudeau?". As we all laughed, Barbra cleverly kept it PG rated. There were a couple of canned questions thrown in.... as evidenced by the reviews I've read from other cities. She did the little bastardized version of a chorus of Stoney End she's done elsewhere. Also comments about the food in Toronto -- specifically Penrose Fish and Chips, a specific brie pizza from Il Fornello, and desserts from Demetre (apparently on a little city tour today, on her way to the ROM, she decided food was a better idea -- and never made it to the ROM.).
There has been much made of the Bush impersonator who comes on stage with her, and their little routine. Afterwards, she acknowledges that the impersonator, Steve Bridges, is a friend of George Bush's and has, at his invitation, performed at the White House and other official gatherings, noting that Mr. Bush has a remarkable sense of humour. But back to the little routine. It's honestly just a bit of fun. It's not horrible, I didn't think it went on too long as has been mentioned by others. I was, however, glad that she did "Happy Days are Here Again" without his assistance.
Il Divo. Well, they're fine, I guess. I mean, three out four of them have good voices (one of them sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me), but they were completely unneccessary to me. The people around me? LOVED THEM. But my opinion? Singing "Evergreen" with her??? Please, just don't. Seriously. Signature song. Please sing it alone. They did three songs alone, and then Music of the Night with her, which was lovely for the most part, and added a nice depth to the song. And then they came back out for Somewhere, and they seriously pumped up the volume on Barbra's mic to avoid her getting lost in their four voices during the song.
She did two encores, which has been typical of late. She first did "Don't Rain on My Parade" (the Broadway lyrics) and then "Smile", bringing her dog, Samantha, on stage briefly. Smile is a curious song to end an evening, because it's a bit of a downer, but her performance was lovely.
Bottom line: She was truly lovely. Her voice was liquid and even, beautiful as expected. And I enjoyed myself thoroughly.
And yes, I'm going back Friday, as far as I know :-)
Mitzi Mitchell's Review 10/17 Show
My evening with Ms. Streisand could not have been more perfect! The rain fell hard as we waited outside the Air Canada Centre; nothing was going to “rain on my parade that night”!
Once inside, the energy in the building was like nothing I had ever felt before. Barbra was here! In our city! In the building! It was a wonderful feeling that I cannot describe. It was so exciting to have her in “our hometown”. She gave us such a gift by coming to Ontario.
I looked into the arena and saw the stage – it was beautiful! Purple lights, roses, and room for a full orchestra! I began to cry! I walked to our seats and could not believe how close we were going to be – row 6! I began to cry more!
Once I sat down, a gentleman asked me how I got my tickets – I told him; I paid an arm and a leg for them and told him that it was worth every penny! He told me that he was there celebrating his Birthday with this friends, who had got him tickets. As I looked at this man, I knew I had seen him somewhere before; then it hit me – I was sitting behind Mr. Phantom of the Opera himself – the man who played Phantom of the Opera in Toronto at the Pantages theatre for a decade. I said that Barbra and Il Divo will be singing “Music of the Night”. He seemed very excited about the upcoming show & joked about his version being better. He asked me if I knew who the man was right in front of me who had got him his tickets. I looked at him and again he looked very familiar; WOW! it was Mr. Ted Rogers of Rogers Communications! I began to shake again as this evening was becoming more and more unbelievable. I took Mr. Rogers hand and said to him what an honor it was to meet him. He was friendly, kind, witty and a pleasure to speak with!
Ok, now on with the show… The lights went down and the orchestra began to play the Overture to the Broadway show “Funny Girl” – THEN, Barbra appeared! The audience cheered for about 5 minutes (I cried yet again) and she began to sing “Starting Here, Starting Now”! It was gorgeous.
I was so thrilled when during her performance of “Down With Love” she came near to the left side of the stage where I was sitting. I stood up and waved and yelled “Hi Barbra” – To my surprise, she smiled and said “HI”, laughed and waved back at me! My wobbly knees sat me back down in my chair! I was shaking and so happy. I think I shook in my seat for about 10 minutes after that!
About half way into Act 1, Barbra sat down at the piano to play a song she had written. Prior to playing the piano, she told us that the song was called “Ma Premiere Chanson” and that it was on her Je m’appelle Barbra record which had just gone Gold after 40 years! Well, when she sat down to play the piano, she didn’t play “Ma Premiere Chanson”! She played “Lost Inside of You” from “A Star is Born” (which she also wrote the music for). It was so wonderful! She made a few errors and laughed and continued to play. It was the same scene as in the movie; I was watching Ester Hoffman and John Howard at the piano. Unreal. Ok, after she finished playing the song on the piano, she again said it was “Ma Premiere Chanson” – which it wasn’t! Oh well. She then sang beautifully “Ma Premiere Chanson”.
Next! She spoke about being in love and remembering a Canadian man she once loved – Mr. Trudeau. She began to sing another song she wrote the music for, Evergreen. Il Divo then appeared. Barbra introduced them and then… they began to sing Evergreen in French! It was so beautiful and sounded spectacular. Il Divo then sang three songs. Honestly, the American, David Miller, needs to buy a new suit! It looked like he had slept in it. The other three men looked great! Ok, going on, Barbra then came out again after Il Divo’s “My Way” and did her Funny Girl songs, then there was a 20 minute intermission.
The 2nd half of the show did not have the energy or the pace of the first half. The Mr. Bush actor was funny and I think the audience thought the skit was cute – He said they would sell Canada to ease the US debt – it was funny and in good fun.
For “Smile”, Barbra introduced us to Samantha! Now, that dog looked gorgeous! She was cute as a button with her tail wagging as Barbra gave her a big hug. It was sweet. Barbra sat in the middle of the stage on the step and sang us Smile – we all were ! I loved my evening! I loved every minute of it! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share this with you all. I wish you all Love! Mitzi.
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