Barbra: The Music, The Mem’ries, The Magic
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
August 23, 2016
Air Canada Centre
- Overture/Video Package
- The Way We Were
- Being at War with Each Other
- You Don't Bring Me Flowers
- Woman in Love / Enough is Enough
- With One More Look At You
- Being Alive
- Papa, Can You Hear Me?
Intermission: Lior Suchard (Master Mentalist works his amazing mind tricks on the audience)
- Pure Imagination
- Encore Video Package
- Who Can I Turn To? (with Anthony Newley)
- Losing My Mind
- Isn't This Better?
- How Lucky Can You Get?
- Children Will Listen
- Don't Rain On My Parade
- Happy Days Are Here Again
- By the Way
By Jane Stevenson
Memories - light the corners of her mind.
That’s right, 74-year-old music legend Barbra Streisand brought her strangely spelled The Music ... The Mem’ries ... The Magic! tour to the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night to wrap up her nine-city summer tour of North America with her only Canadian date.
“Hello Toronto!”said the the tiny Streisand, who walked out in a shimmering black pant suit with lace while her straight blonde hair fell perfectly on her shoulders and a nearby table held a small bouquet of red roses and a teapot and cup.
“Save the best song for first,” she joked launching into one of her signature songs, The Way We Were.
“I love Canada and it’s great to be back here. I can’t believe this is the end of my tour. I went shopping today and the storekeeper said, ‘You’re American, have you got any loonies?’ And I said, ‘Just one - Donald Trump!’
“It’s so hard to turn on the TV,” Streisand, a well known Hillary Clinton supporter, added.
“A least you can turn on the television and you can see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I was also a pretty big admirer of his father (they dated). He’s like all the nice Jewish boys in Brooklyn. He went into his father’s business!”
Other than thanking fans for their support, the reason Streisand’s hit the road again for the first time since her 2012-13 Barbra Live tour is that she’s releasing a new duets album, ENCORE; Movie Partners Sing Broadway - her 35th studio album - on Friday.
The disc finds her pairing up with other actors ranging from Star Wars heroine Daisy Ridley, who played Rey, to vets like Hugh Jackman to sing show tunes.
For this tour however, Streisand was not only performing some of those ENCORE songs but hits from every decade of her storied and celebrated six-decade career which has seen her pick up two Oscars, 10 Grammys, five Emmys, four Peabody Awards, a Tony, nine Golden Globes and a Kennedy Center Honor and many more accolades all while selling 145 million albums worldwide.
A notorious perfectionist, Streisand joked in concert about how the record company removed the bump on her nose on the cover of The Way We Were album - “If I wanted a nose job, I would have gone to a plastic surgeon!” - and criticized her choice of appearing with her back to the camera for the cover of the People disc, and it won a Grammy for best album cover.
“I felt vindicated,” she told the crowd.
Streisand, backed by an orchestra, also took great pleasure in telling us she had called Apple head Tim Cook and gotten him to upgrade Siri so she correctly pronounced her last name - like sand on the beach - on the latest iPhone upgrade happening Sept. 30.
After being a bit shaky during The Way We Were, her voice grew in strength as the show progressed on such tunes as You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, Woman in Love and No More Tears (Enough Is Enough), Evergreen and With One More Look at You (the latter two from A Star is Born with bonus clips of a very hunky Kris Kristofferson during the second song.)
She also gave the new A Star is Born remake with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga her seal of approval but of all the films she’s directed she said she “has a soft spot for Yentl,” before she lit a candle (really a candle with a fake flame) and sang a stirring version of Papa, Can You Hear Me?
But it was during the second half of the show, following an intermission and a rather unnecessary 20 minute performance by mentalist Lior Suchard, that Streisand really came alive as a vocalist.
Decked out in a beautiful grey chiffon gown, the singer excelled during Pure Imagination, Losing My Mind, Isn’t This Better, and Children Will Listen but upped the ante with a blowout versions of Don’t Rain On My Parade (complete with that famous tugboat scene from Funny Girl) and ending the song by proclaiming “You Bet Your Ass!” People and Happy Days Are Here Again.
Streisand also told the crowd she’s writing an autobiography despite the fact that she “likes looking forward, not looking back.”
John McEachen Photos
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