Cafe Pompeii, Eden Roc Hotel

45th and Collins

Miami Beach, Florida

March 19—23, 1963

March 25—26, 1963

Eden Roc hotel

Cafe Pompeii was another stop on Barbra Streisand's promotional tour for her first album. Barbra performed for the tanned, elderly Miami crowd.

In his book, Truth Be Told: Off the Record about Favorite Guests, Memorable Moments, Funniest Jokes, and a Half Century of Asking Questions, the venerable Larry King wrote, “I'll never forget when I first met Barbra Streisand. She was relatively unknown and singing at the Eden Roc in Miami Beach. Her manager called me up and said, ‘Nobody's coming. The waiters are standing on the tables applauding, but nobody else is here. Will you put her on the radio?’”

Streisand appeared on Larry King's WPST show, “Miami Undercover,” in March 1963. King said that before her interview she told him, “I know you don't know me. But you are going to know me, Larry King, you are going to know me.”

Ed Roc ad

Miami Herald Review—March 21, 1963


by Jack Anderson

SINGERS Barbra Streisand and Sergio Franchi makes a curious and not altogether harmoniously mixed bag of musical fare in the Eden Roc's Cafe Pompeii this week.

We mean their joint appearances on the same bill, not their respective talent and personalities which are enormous and engaging.

Miss Streisand is the freshest, most provocative singer to walk into the show business clearing in many years, as anybody knows who has seen her appearances on Johnny Carson's NBC Tonight TV show.

Franchi is a lean, strikingly handsome Italian baritone with a voice of unbelievable range and color. He, too, was flushed out of obscurity by television - on Ed Sullivan's CBS show.

To anybody unfamiliar with the technique and repertoire of either singer, their juxtaposition in the Cafe Pompeii on the same show would seem to be a happy combination. A regular Nelson Eddy-Jeanette MacDonald team. But not on your life, cats.

Miss Streisand, a big girl with fey green eyes and the profile of an Egyptian princess of ancient dynasty, is an avante-garde singer.

Her hands grope the air, her head rocks back and out comes singing of the most off-beat exciting kind. And songs of content and arrangement miles outside the standard pale.

The one of two standards she belts out are her own tongue-in-cheek versions -- such songs as "Lover, Come Back to Me," "Big Bad Wolf," and "Happy Days Are Here Again" - done with a sort of mad mockery. The "Happy Days" anthem of the New Deal sounds in Miss Streisand's treatment as if it had been a Republican idea.

[...] Franchi is an irresistible crowd pleaser. He sings in English, French, Italian, and Hebrew a whole row of standard ballads with vocal command and subtlety.

It's unfortunate that two such disparate talents should have to share the same bill. It's debatable whether the same audience can respond with the appreciation they equally deserve.

Miss Streisand, incidentally, will appear on Sullivan's show Sunday. The Cafe Pompeii will be closed that night while she wings to New York and back. The show will resume on Monday.

Below: Streisand in the local Eden Roc ad; Barbra and Elliott Gould snapped by a photographer at Miami airport, 1963.

Miami listing for Eden Roc show with Streisand

Ft. Lauderdale News Review—March 21, 1963

Bravos Greet Rousing Singers Franchi, Streisand

When’s the last time you heard “bravos” ring out in a big plush night club? We don't mean the noise elicited by a jammed-to-the-rafters house, or an emotional outburst of screaming for a popular star with an emotional torch to burn. We mean a spontaneous appreciation of a non-capacity room bestowing praise on two fresh acts.

That is what happened Tuesday night at the Cafe Pompeii of the Eden Roc Hotel. Both Sergio Franchi and Barbra Streisand chalked up personal triumphs in their relatively short nitery careers. Miss Streisand has only recently hit the big time after scoring in “I Can Get It for You Wholesale” on Broadway, and Franchi, while a big club attraction in Europe, has just in the last few months taken this country by storm [....]

The slightly weirdo Miss Streisand achieved an equally vociferous reception. She began quietly, in her odd way, dressed in what can only be described as “empire culottes,” edged at the cuffs in feathers.

A strikingly homely face tops this strange girl, who belts with an emotion you little suspect is there at first. She opens with a fine special material number called “Much More,” turns to rhythm in “My Honey's Lovin’ Arms,” and displays a marvelous feeling for lyrics in “Right as the Rain.”

Act Builds Slowly To Solid Finish

She received a minor ovation with an emotion-charged “Cry Me a River,” and an up-tempoed “Lover Come Back to Me.” Her wild sense of humor, which took a while breaking through the less-than-intimate walls of the Roc, began to grab the audience bit by bit and she wound to a solid finish with “I’m in Love with Harold Mengert,” as bewilderingly funny a song as you're likely to hear.

But that wasn’t all. Barbra came back with her specialty, “Coloring Book,” said “People say I don’t sing enough standards, so how about this one” and it was “The Big Bad Wolf,” with some extra lines Walt Disney never dreamed of.

She really proved her unique abilities when she did “Happy Days Are Here Again” as a closer. And she did it as a heartfelt, emotional ballad, with a slow tempo mounting to a throbbing climax. Top that for inventiveness if you can, and credit Barbra Streisand for being the freshest, most unusual new femme in the nitery field.

Page credits: Newspaper review and Eden Roc ad provided to The Barbra Archives by Rafe Chase.


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