Broadway for Peace

New York, Philharmonic Hall

Lincoln Center

New York

January 21, 1968 at 8:00 P.M.

Gould and Streisand at Broadway For Peace

Barbra Streisand lent her voice to the anti-Vietnam War cause. In January she performed at Broadway For Peace, which raised money for members of Congress who were up for reelection, and who opposed the Vietnam War. Actor Paul Newman and composer Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story) co-hosted the event.

(Below: an ad for the event)

Ticket order ad for Broadway For Peace, 1968

Stars for Vietnam Peace Stage Show

Philharmonic Hall in Lincoln Center was packed with 2,800 persons, who paid from $10 to $250 to show they were against the war in Vietnam.

[...] The performers used songs, vignettes, comedy and speeches to get their peace message across.

Harry Belafonte opened the show with a 20-minute selection of folk and musical ballads, then stopped and said: “We should be here to celebrate something else.”

Barbra Streisand sang a song that bemoaned the results of war. The music was written by Leonard Bernstein and the words by Adolph Green and Betty Comden.

[...] Carl Reiner acted as master of ceremonies. Among others who entertained were Robert Ryan, Tommy Smothers and Tony Randall.

The benefit was the first in a series of scheduled fund-raising events to fill the campaign chest of the peace candidates.

Bernstein and Streisand

(Above: Bernstein and Streisand at Broadway For Peace; photo by Elliott Landy)

Vogue Magazine wrote: “At a concert in New York with Leonard Bernstein she came onstage in a black dress made memorable by the yards and yards of black lace she had wound into a clown's ruff, and peered at Bernstein through her diamond lorgnette 'like a diva soprano looking for her pianist.'”

Entertainers Aid Congressmen Who Oppose the Vietnam War

Mr. Bernstein played the piano accompaniment for “So Pretty,” a short song for which he wrote the music and Adolph Green and Betty Comden the lyrics. Miss Streisand sang it. It went as follows:

We were learning in school today

All about a country far away

Full of lovely temples painted gold,

Modern cities, jungles ages old.

And the people are so pretty, their

Shining smiles and shiny eyes and hair.

Then I had to ask my teach why

War was making all those people die.

Then my teacher said, and took my hand,

“They must die for peace, you understand.”

But they're so pretty, so pretty ...

I don't understand.”

Streisand recorded several of Bernstein's songs in the 1960's, including “I Hate Music” and “My Name Is Barbara”, both of which were from Bernstein's 1943 cycle I Hate Music: A Cycle of Five Kids Songs for Soprano and Piano.

Streisand at Broadway For Peace


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