President Lyndon Johnson's Inaugural Gala
January 18, 1965
The great caricaturist, Al Hirschfeld, sketched all the stars who performed at Johnson's inauguration. From left to right, above: Elaine May and Mike Nichols, Carol Channing, Barbra Streisand, Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett, Bobby Darin, Richard Adler (Director), Alfred Hitchcock, Johnny Carson, Ann-Margret, Woody Allen, Harry Belafonte, Margot Fonteyn.
Now a star on Broadway six days a week in Funny Girl, Barbra performed for President Johnson at the National Armory in Washington, D.C. (Funny Girl closed for that evening to allow Streisand to perform for the President.)
The Inaugural show was produced and staged by Richard Adler — who co-wrote The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees, and who staged and produced numerous Presidential entertainments as White House Consultant for the Arts. Longtime Streisand associate Phil Ramone handled the evening's sound. Colin Romoff was the musical director.
Photographers captured shots of Streisand and Carol Channing rehearsing the show at the D.C. Armory.
For the special performance, Donald Brooks (the award-winning costume designer for Broadway, television and film) created a lotus blossom gown with caviar beading for Barbra to wear.
Variety wrote that Barbra's set list for Johnson included “Happy Days Are Here Again,” “Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home,” and “Don't Rain On My Parade.”
Columnist Dorothy Kilgallen described Barbra's closing number:
Barbra Streisand came on and sang flawlessly, moving her arms sinuously, using her hands with maximum effect, turning her elaborate beehive wig toward all parts of the auditorium as she made “People” sound like the most important song next to the National Anthem...
Variety also reported that President and Mrs. Johnson and Vice President and Mrs. Humphrey met the cast after the show to thank them. That's Johnny Carson shaking the President's hand, and Mrs. Johnson greeting Streisand below.
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