San Jose Civic Auditorium
San Jose, California
December 4, 1963
Two reviews of Streisand's show from local papers:
Popular Singer Wows Audience
by MARTA MORGAN
San Jose Mercury News, Dec. 5, 1963
Barbra Streisand, a 20-year-old Brooklyn girl with small sad eyes and a face that is hard to take seriously, has had a meteoric rise to fame.
Last night she made her first appearance in this area and completely captivated the relatively small but highly enthusiastic audience which braved the cold night air to hear her.
Her only Broadway show to date was last year's "I Can Get It For You Wholesale," she has only two record albums to her credit and her television appearances have been sporadic.
Yet she has become a sensation on the New York night club circuit, ranging from the jazzy basements of Greenwich Village to the elegant bistros of up-town Manhattan.
This no doubt accounts for the intimacy, which is the key to her particular way of projecting a song. When she sings "As Time Goes By" or "Quiet Night" the audience feels as though it is eavesdropping on her most private thoughts. yet she can belt out "Down With Love" and galvanize her listeners into rapt contentment. On the other hand, when she bursts into "When the Sun Comes Out," the sunshine floods her elfin face and it is as though no one had ever sung the trite ditty before, and she can be extremely funny in "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now" or her impish version of "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf."
While she does not have the warmth of Ella Fitzgerald, the deadpan humor of Keely Smith or the boppish spice of Sarah Vaughan, she is a highly individual song stylist. She has an off-beat, high voltage personality and an elusive, haunting vocal quality all her own — a curious mixture of adolescent rebelliousness (she even spells her first name in defiance of convention) and bitter-sweet sophistication. You might say her vocal mannerism fluctuates between a kind of choir boy innocence and a Cole Porter leer.
The span from light lyrics to blues is broad, but Miss Streisand's strength lies in her versatility. Her voice is hardly beautiful — some of her tones are rather shrill— but her phrasing is fresh, her diction is irreproachable, her dramatic sense unfailing, and she manages to evoke the proper mood and atmosphere of each lyric she presents.
Between songs, she throws in sly patter—kidding herself and her audience — and she has a snappy, sometimes macabre, sense of fun. Into one of her numbers she injected: "You better not shout, you better not cry, you better no pout, I'm telling you why — Santa Claus is dead." And her ethnic Ethiopian "folk-song" with its droll yet strange humor, fractured the audience.
I suspect that Miss Streisand would be even more effective in a small supper club, rather than a large auditorium, where she would not have to cope with amplification and her mobile facial expressions could be seen.
Barbra Streisand Here Wednesday
It's been barely a year since Barbra Streisand first took a crack at show business, yet in that short span of time she has emerged as one of the hottest singers in show business.
Barbra, who will be appearing in concert at San Jose Civic Auditorium on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m., earned a little over $250 a week a year ago at the Blue Angel night club in New York. Today, Barbra earns more than thirty times that amount for her concerts.
When she performed at the Blue Angel she looked strangely out of place in that ultra-sophisticated waterhole of the upper class, with her sad, piquant face and little-girl hair falling about her shoulders. But when she began to sing, the room instantly became hushed and a star was born. It seemed almost mystical for a voice of such range and expressiveness to emanate from such a young, unprepossessing person. Needless to say, she broke all records at the club.
Since her early days at the Blue Angel, Barbra has appeared in just about every major supper club in the United States including Mr. Kelleys in Chicago, the hungry i in San Francisco, and a few months ago she had a record-breaking engagement at the famed Coconut Grove.
Accompanying Miss Streisand in her concert appearance here will be the Jerry Gray orchestra under the direction of Peter Daniels.
The show is being produced by Irving Grantz.
Page credits: Articles on this page courtesy of Rafe Chase, from his collection.
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