Streisand: 2013 Concert Tour

Tel Aviv, Israel

June 20, 2013

Bloomfield StadiumStreisand in Israel

This page:

Set List

Act One

Jason Gould segment:

Barbra:

Act Two

Chris Botti segment:

Barbra:

“Diana's Daughters” (Rosyln Kind and Barbra):

Barbra:

Streisand in coral gown in Israel

Press Reviews & Photos

June 16th:

Streisand arrives in Israel

Jewish-American singer Barbra Streisand landed in Israel on Sunday evening ahead of her debut Israeli performances at the Bloomfield Stadium on June 20 and 22 in Jaffa as part of the Israeli Presidential Conference.

Stepping off the airplane in the early evening, Streisand wore a white jacket, pants and hat, and cradled her pet coton de Tulear dog in her hands as she walked down the stairs.

While in Israel, Streisand will stay at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, where the likes of U.S. President Barack Obama have stayed.

Later, on June 16th, Streisand visited the Western Wall.

From The Jewish Daily Forward:

Jewish-American singer Barbra Streisand landed in Israel ahead of her debut Israeli performances at the Bloomfield Stadium on June 20 and 22 in Jaffa as part of the Israeli Presidential Conference.

Streisand at Western Wall

Stepping off the airplane in the early evening, Streisand wore a white jacket, pants and hat, and cradled her pet coton de Tulear dog in her hands as she walked down the stairs.

Streisand later visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

[ ... ] Streisand’s two shows in Tel Aviv are expected to attract a total of 32,000 fans. Tickets for the shows on June 20 and 22 are being advertised as starting at NIS 1,100, with VIP entrance costing NIS 3,400.

June 17th

On June 17th, Barbra Streisand received a Philosophy honorary doctorate at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. Streisand is scheduled to perform at President Shimon Peres' 90th birthday on June 18 and also has two concert performances lined up in Tel Aviv on June 20 and 22.

Streisand and Peres

From Jerusalem Post:

World-renowned singer, actress and social activist Barbra Streisand was feted by Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Board of Governors with an honorary doctorate at the school’s Mount Scopus campus Monday.

The ceremony, which was preceded by the presentation of six honorary degrees to other accomplished professionals, was presided over by university President Menahem Ben-Sasson in the school’s Mexico Hall.

A packed auditorium greeted Streisand with a standing ovation and cheers as she climbed the steps to a podium wearing an elegant black dress and hat. Her husband, actor James Brolin, videotaped her from the front row, while hundreds of others took pictures and recorded the event.

“I’m so grateful to be here to receive this honor,” said the 71-year-old, Brooklyn-born Streisand upon accepting the prestigious “Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa” award.

Streisand at podium

“My father loved literature and I think he’d be proud to know this esteemed institution is awarding his daughter.”

Streisand noted her 30-year relationship with the university; in 1984 she donated to the campus the Emanuel Streisand Building for Jewish studies in memory of her father, a Jewish educator and scholar who died when she was young.

Yeshiva-educated, Streisand first became involved with the university in 1979 via its American Friends Association, and in the early 80s was presented with the American Friends of the Hebrew University’s Scopus Award.

A noted social activist, Streisand used part of her acceptance speech to promote equality in Israel not only among Arabs and Jews, but among women and men.

Streisand receives her doctorate

“It’s distressing to read of women in Israel being forced to sit in the back of the bus, that Women of the Wall [is] having metal chairs thrown at them, and that women can’t sing in public,” she said. “To remain silent about these things is tantamount to accepting them.”

Streisand told an anecdote of an ultra- Orthodox rabbi who shook her hand when they first met while he was advising her during the filming of Yentl, despite the religious restrictions.

“I asked him why he shook my hand,” said Streisand. “He answered, ‘More important than the practice of not shaking a woman’s hand, is the larger lesson of not embarrassing another human being.’ “Human dignity means giving all people a voice,” she added. “It’s only through dialogue that people and countries come together.”

Peres and Streisand

Streisand went on to praise the university’s noteworthy co-existence of Jewish and Arab students.

“Jews and Arabs sit together in classrooms, sit together in the cafeteria and learn from the same professors,” she said. “I wish the world was more like the hallways of Hebrew University… [the university] is proof that people [from different backgrounds] can live in peace.”

Streisand expressed her wish that peace can be attained one day through the university’s example.

“My hope is that we continue to build a world rooted in compassion and peace, and I believe that whenever we get there, HU will be leading the way,” she said.

“As Albert Einstein once said, ‘Example isn’t another way to teach, it’s the only way to teach.’” Following a standing ovation of several minutes, Streisand joined the other honorary doctorates, as well as Ben-Sasson and the Board of Governors, to sing the national anthem.

Concert Reviews

Streisand singing in Israel

(Photo: Yonatan Sindel)

Jerusalem Post Review

Barbra Streisand doesn't let anyone rain on her parade

By YONI COHEN

Singing legend gets 16,000 fans on their feet with heartwarming rendition of the Hatikva at first of her two sell out shows in Tel Aviv.

In the lead-up to her much-anticipated performance in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening, Barbra Streisand promised her Israeli fans some surprises. As expected of a performer of her stature, she didn't disappoint one bit. As if talking about her Jewish roots and her love for Israel wasn't enough, her emotional rendition of the Hatikva at the end of the show is something that the 16,000 or so audience members at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv will remember for the rest of their lives.

With a legend as professional and as classy as Streisand it was pretty much obvious that she would belt out some of her biggest hits to standing ovations from the crowd. But what made this particular concert so special was Streisand's connection with the audience. It was impossible for the Israeli crowd not to fall in love with her after her opening comments in Hebrew of "Shalom Tel Aviv, Bruchim Habaim" (Hello Tel Aviv, Welcome). While audience members around the world have a special connection with the singer that they have been listening to for decades, when Streisand talked about being in Israel and coming back to her roots, the tone was set for a unique connection between performer and crowd.

Even before she had opened her mouth, the Israeli crowd took to their feet for a standing ovation to welcome the international superstar that they had waited so patiently for so long.

While the 71-year-old didn't look her age at all, dressed in an elegant long black number and perfect make-up and hair, there were certain times during the first half of the show when she experienced a few "senior moments." There was an instance when she mixed up the words to one of her songs and another when she forgot what song was coming up. But for some reason it didn't seem to matter. She was able to recover from these moments with her sharpness and professionalism that have made her what she is today. She even made fun of the teleprompters that she famously uses to help her with the words.

For the first half an hour or so it was Streisand's Jewish references and jokes that won people over. It wasn't until a heartfelt rendition of "Woman in Love" that she really showed off her full vocal capabilities. With most people singing along and a standing ovation at the end it was clear why this concert was so worth the wait. 

While Streisand is a multi-platinum selling world superstar she is still a Jewish mother at heart. It was very apparent that she was schlepping a lot of nachus when her son Jason Gould joined her on stage for a heartwarming duet of "How Deep is the Ocean." She was every bit the fussy Jewish mother while he was on stage, making sure that he looked the part and reminding the audience that he had a Bar Mitzva.

With the Tel Aviv heat getting too much for her, Streisand left her son on stage and changed into a sparkly black trouser suit. From the second she started talking about her father it was obvious that she was going to launch into "Papa Can You Hear Me" from the film Yentl. The standing ovation at the end of the number was testament to the heart and soul that she put into the performance.

During the busy show filled with many of her greatest hits, Streisand found the time to sit and answer questions written on special cards by audience members before the show. Only Barbra Streisand could sit on stage during a classy show and talk about singing the Manishtana in yeshiva school and how chicken soup is at the forefront of Israeli and Jewish medicine.

At the end of the first half she gave her fans a few treats. The first of which was an emotional rendition of "The Way We Were," which she dedicated to Marvin Hamlisch. Then, hankering back to her musical theater roots, she belted out a medley that started with "Gypsy" and ended with "Don't Rain On My Parade." In true diva style, she gave an exaggerated performance full of energy and left the stage in a dramatic fashion.

Yet another costume change, this time into a stunning long red number, and Babs was back in action. She showed her vocal range with the likes of "What'll I Do," "Lost Inside of You," and "Evergreen." While all these songs received rapturous applause, and rightly so, it wasn't until she finished an emotional version of the classic "People" that the audience were once again on their feet clapping and cheering.

As if Barbra hadn't already won the hearts of her Israeli fans, she continued to tell stories that made them clap and cheer in admiration. She talked about how last time she was in Israel she planted trees in honor of her father and on this visit she went back to visit the site and saw that the trees had grown. With this she invited her 60-piece orchestra as well as the Tel Aviv chamber choir and special guests to join her for a resounding performance of "Make Our Garden Grow." The crowd once again were on their feet.

In what was a slightly awkward moment of the evening, Streisand invited her sister Roslyn Kind to join her on stage for a duet. There seemed to be some sibling rivalry with both sisters taking   small jabs at each other where possible. Despite the slight tension, their performance of "Smile" was simply magical.

Even though it was apparent that the show was coming to an end, everyone in the audience knew that Streisand wouldn't come all the way to Israel and not sing in Hebrew. When she mentioned that she had already sung "Avenu Malkenu" at President Shimon Peres's 90th birthday party it was apparent that this was the point that she would give the fans what they really wanted. Instead of simply repeating "Avenu Malkenu," she chose to go one step further by singing the Hatikva. If at any point during the evening not all the crowd stood up during one of the many standing ovations, when it came to the national anthem, there wasn't one person seated. Even though she mispronounced some of the most important words, it didn't really matter. The passion and emotion in her voice while singing the national anthem of her nation while 16,000 people sang along with her was more important than anything else. 

While the Hatikva would have been a perfect note to end on, the energetic diva had one more song up her long flowing sleeve. If it was up to her she would have taken a longer break before coming back to do an encore but even Barbra Streisand isn't immune from the law in Israel that prohibits making loud noises in public after 11 p.m. She rushed back on stage and did a rushed but excellent performance of "Some Other Time."

Never being a nation to hold back when it comes to expressing their opinion, the Israelis making their way out of the packed stadium at the end of the night had lots to say about the concert which they had paid hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of shekels to see. While there were some little criticisms here and there, the vast majority only had good things to say. And rightly so. It may have taken a long time coming, but good things come to those who wait.

Streisand in black and gold gown

Haaretz Review

Barbra Streisand takes Tel Aviv with a brilliant mix of talent, humor and schmaltz

The opportunity to see this icon in such fine form at the age of 71 - funny, touching, and powerful - left her Israeli fans overcome with emotion. In a word, verklempt.

By Allison Kaplan Sommer

How many performers can be aptly labeled both 'diva' and 'icon,' manage to dazzle an outdoor stadium packed with 16,000 Israeli fans with their breathtaking talent, while at the same time making their audience feel as if they are sitting with a beloved Jewish aunt over a cup of tea in her living room?

As far as I can tell - there is only one - Barbra Streisand.

Today’s divas are fierce and invulnerable. One can’t imagine Beyonce or Mariah Carey letting their audience know about their often-paralyzing stage fright or mourning the loss of a dear friend like Marvin Hamlisch. Not to mention that neither would be able to sing in Hebrew, quote Rabbi Hillel, sing the Israeli national anthem, HaTikvah, in flawless Hebrew, or sprinkle Yiddishims throughout the evening.

Streisand wears her insecurities and vulnerability on her sleeve, just as she has since her “Funny Girl” days. She knew she was idolized by the audience in front of her and yet you still could feel the effort she made to win them over with her winning combination of schmaltz and humor. The friend who accompanied me said it best: “It’s really simple. She’s just a nice Jewish woman who wants people to like her.”

She didn’t have to worry about this crowd. They loved her even before a perfectly-pitched note came out of her mouth - and every note was, indeed perfect. Bloomfield Stadium is normally packed with loud rambunctious soccer fans, probably never experienced the presence of so many older women, many of whom came with their grown sons and daughters in tow for an intergenerational family outing. Streisand’s famous gay fan base was also out in force, with many same-sex couples of both genders. Spotted in the audience were Israeli celebrities including many singers who can only hope their voices hold up as well over the decade as Streisand’s. Naturally, American and other English-speaking immigrants to Israel, as well as tourists, were out in full force.

With a career like Streisand’s, there aren’t many ‘firsts’ left on the checklist. But this was indeed her first concert in Israel, though she’s visited here before and performed one or two songs live, as she did two days earlier at Shimon Peres’ birthday extravaganza.

She admitted at the outset that she was not used to performing in a stadium but that performing in Israel was “special” and “different” because it represented a “very special connection to my roots and my family.” She joked that the performance with her 60-piece orchestra was the last in what couldn’t be called a “mega-tour” or even a “mini-tour” of Europe. With only five cities, she said, “it’s more like a micro-tour.” Tel Aviv was last on the list after London, Paris, Amsterdam and Cologne - but the city will mark a milestone for Streisand, as Thursday night’s performance was the 99th live concert of her career - and Saturday night’s second show at Bloomfield will be 100.

And then she took the stage herself. Her first outfit was a heavy-looking black and gold caftan. While it was locally appropriate with its Middle Eastern style – it looked like she borrowed it from the wardrobe of one of Israel’s iconic Yemenite singers like the late Shoshana Damari – it was all wrong for Tel Aviv’s hot, humid weather and seemed difficult for her to move around in.

It was a relief to all - probably most of all, to Streisand herself, when she swapped it for a black sequined pantsuit, and later a long red gown with Cleopatra-styled shoulder pads.

Streisand didn’t try to hide her complicated relationship with performing live. At the outset, she acknowledged the teleprompter that projected the lyrics to her songs in front of her. She recalled how in 1967 she forgot the words to three songs in Central Park and the experience was so traumatic that “after that, I didn’t perform live again for 27 years, until they came up with this wonderful invention called the teleprompter, which is my safety net.”

Streisand has so many hits that she knew from the start she wouldn’t be able to sing everyone’s favorites, even in two-and-a-half hours. Instead her repertoire was full of medleys and snippets. She gave her audience a mix of all of the Barbras - the standards Barbra: “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” and “Funny Valentine,” Broadway musical Barbra: with a Jules Styne combination of “Roses Turn” that segued into the “Funny Girl” song that everyone wanted to hear - “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” She even offered up 1970’s pop radio Barbra with hit songs that she confessed she hadn’t sung live in decades: “Woman in Love,” her hit duet with the late Donna Summer “Enough is Enough” and “Guilty” (an emotion, she joked, that being Jewish, she and her audience were very familiar with.)

And of course, she served up the Streisand classics that were practically a requirement: “People,” “Evergreen,” “My Man,” and the song that she emotionally dedicated to her late friend, composer Marvin Hamlisch, “The Way We Were.”

The concert was, to a great extent, a family affair, beginning with childhood photographs of Streisand projected on the screen, in a photo album that traced her from a Brooklyn toddler to her early triumphs on Broadway and in film and television. She dedicated songs to both her mother and her father (“Papa” naturally, from the film “Yentl” which she said she had not performed in 13 years) brought her sister Roslyn Kind and her son Jason Gould, the actor and filmmaker who only recently began a singing career. After she greeted him with a Jewish motherly “Do you feel OK, honey?” she told the audience in an aside in regard to his singing, that, “He’s a late bloomer.” Gould, looked back at his mother and shot back, “Well, you did cast a long shadow.” When he greeted the audience with “Shalom, Aleichem!” she stroked his cheek and pointed out proudly: “He had a Bar Mitzvah!”

Streisand kept up the cabaret-style banter with the stadium audience throughout the performance. When she sipped from her teacup, she raised it to the audience with a “L’chaim!” and then looked up at the audience and said, “don’t worry, it’s only tea.”  In a particularly amusing segment, she answered questions from her fans in the bleachers that had been written on cards, stumbling a bit over the Hebrew names and hometowns of the questioners.

When asked what she thought of Tel Aviv, she said there wasn’t much difference between it and her home base in Malibu. “There’s the sea and there are a lot of Jews.”

Naturally, many of the questions from Israelis dealt with her Jewishness and she said she appreciated the “Jewish emphasis on learning, because learning is the opposite of hate and bigotry.” When asked what Jewish accomplishments she was proudest of she paused and answered “it’s contribution to medicine and whoever invented chicken soup.”

Before singing a song about the environment “Make Our Garden Grow” - in which she was joined by the Tel Aviv Chamber Choir, she said that she had gone back to visit trees she had planted on her visit to Israel in 1984 and had been thrilled to see that they were full-grown. When she brought her sister to the stage, she preceded their duet with a recording of her mother singing - who, she said, had been a talented vocalist but too shy to perform. She looked up at the sky and said “Mom, you just sang at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv - what a mitzvah!”

Streisand is known for her outspoken liberal politics, but she soft pedaled her messages for the audience who had come to hear her sing, not speechify. In the question and answer period, she was asked what she remembered from her meeting with Golda Meir, and after noting the combination of “intellect and grandmama warmth” she noted that Israel had a female head of state long before the U.S. but “maybe we’ll catch up in 2016,” a subtle shout-out for a presidential run by Hillary Clinton.

The closest she got to mentioning the Middle East conflict was noting that “while cultures may differ, don’t we all want the same things: love, family, and peace?”

And as she introduced HaTikvah, Streisand noted that the Israeli national anthem's "deeply moving words are a prayer that suggests that as long as the heart within a Jewish soul still yearns, hope is never lost. So tonight on this very special occasion, I sing this with the continued hope that we may learn from with yesterday, live for today, and continue to strive for a better tomorrow."

As funny, touching, and talented as she is, those of us who handed over outrageous sums for a ticket to Streisand’s first Israeli concert ever (this being Barbra, I feel as if I should pronounce the word “EVAH”) filed out of the stadium feeling as if we got our money’s worth. Even the intermission reflected her characteristic mix of humor and sincerity, with a video detailing her contributions to research in the field of women’s heart disease, followed by the recent dance hit by the group Duck Sauce titled “Barbra Streisand” which features several drag queens imitating her.

The opportunity to see this icon in such fine form at the age of 71 - funny, touching, and powerful  - singing the songs that for many make up the soundtrack of their lives - left her Israeli fans - who were excited to be there from the outset - overcome with emotion - in a word, verklempt.

Fan Reviews & Photos

END.

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