The Hilton (Fan Review #2)

The following review, written during Barbra's 1971 Vegas gig at the Hilton, is uncredited. Kevin Hall received this review in the mail in 1971, and contributed it to The Barbra Archives. The original review was mimeographed (remember mimeographs?! The purple ink...) and sent to other Streisand fans.

The author saw two shows, December 28 and 29 at the Hilton.

December 28, 1971

Streisand singing at Hilton

Barbra wore a black silk pants suit (with a red blouse) and a matching black silk hat (the same style hat she wears in the "Barbra Joan Streisand" album poster). She wore her hair down and it's really long. (It's only about an inch above her rear end!) Also, it's very, very blond.

The first thing Barbra said when she came on stage was, "This is my son's favorite song from Sesame Street." Then she went right into her first song. [Note: “Sing / Make Your Own Kind of Music.”]

After the next two songs, Barbra sat down on a stool and began a monologue. She told about the last time she was in Vegas. "Always about this time in the program, I would sit down and drink my tea. Then I told the audience how thrilled I was that I was so much less nervous than the year before. And I told them that I had just been to see Dean Martin and he was so relaxed, and I was so envious. But, of course, he DRINKS. And I never cared for the taste of liquor." Then she went on to say that she was told that some performers take pills, but she has a difficult time swallowing aspirin, so she doesn't take pills. She said the point she had been trying to make last year was that she felt performers shouldn't have any crutches. As she said this, she lit up a "marijuana cigarette" and started smoking it. Then Barbra said that it was unbelievable what happened because of that little story she told last year. Newspapers and magazines printed that she was a dope fiend. "I thought they were really dopes for thinking that I would be dope enough to smoke real dope on stage. Don't they know that this is just ordinary tobacco made to look like pot? Don't they know this is all a part of show business? Excuse me." Then she began sniffing some "glue," and said she didn't need anything to help her perform. It was really funny. Then she said, "They can call me anything they like, but they CANNOT call me a boozer, they CANNOT call me a pillhead, and they CANNOT call me a ... potholder."

Then something in the audience caught Barbra's eye. "There's a lady over there GLOWING in the dark. Do you see that?!?! What do you got on there, lady? Oh, earrings that glow in the dark! FANTASTIC!" Then one of the guys in the band said something to her and she said to us, "Joe just said he'd like to see the extension cord."

During the "Sweet Inspiration/Where You Lead" number, a chorus came out on stage, and as they sang they did little routines with their hands. Barbra did the routines along with them, and it was really neat!! This was my favorite number in the whole show.

When Barbra sang "Second Hand Rose" she jazzed it up and everybody really liked it. And when she sang the line that goes, "Even things I'm wearing, someone wore before," she said out of the corner of her mouth, "Like Hell!"

Then she said, "I come to Las Vegas because it's so historical. Ever since the Mormons came here in 1837, this place has been a hot bed of history, folks. I actually like Vegas, but it is a little weird. There are no clocks, and everything's a plot to get you out of your rooms. That's why your TV sets are broken, and the rooms that have Bibles only have 5 commandments in them. Did you know that you can get married on a Mastercharge here? It's a fantastic place. But I wonder what happens if you don't pay your bill. Anyway, to sum up what Las Vegas means to me, I'd have to say: It's the only place where a big star like Elvis Presley plays the main showroom and Jesus Christ plays the lounge."

After introducing the band members, she sang "One Less Bell / A House is Not a Home". It was fantastic, cause she sang with herself just like on the record. (Of course, one part was on tape.)

After the last song she only came back onstage ONCE for applause.

Streisand's choir dress

(Above) Streisand herself designed this gown for her Hilton concerts. It was auctioned in 2004 for $3,840. The auction description said the gown was “Custom red velvet, with white organdy ... crocheted bodice, organdy sleeves, trimmed with lace apron with wheat motif, cuffs with snap closures, zipper at back with crocheted buttons, over red velvet skirt, together with red velvet matching cape, having one fabric covered button closure, trimmed with lace at neck and shoulder areas, interior straps affixed inside lining, no labels.”

December 29, 1971

Barbra sang all the same songs as the night before, except for "More Than You Know." Instead, she sang "My Buddy / How About Me?"

She wore a gorgeous granny-type gown made of white lace with a red underskirt. Also, she wore a white choker. Her hair was fixed in a simple twist on top of her head, and she had cute curls (wisps, actually) in front of each ear. She wore two pretty rings on her left hand — one on her wedding finger and one on her pinky.

This time during "One Less Bell" the tape didn't work right. Barbra kept singing like nothing was wrong, but soon the chorus (who was offstage at the time) began singing the part that should have been on tape. Before the song was over, though, the tape was working again.

Barbra said and did many other cute little things that would be too hard to put down on paper, so I'll just have to leave it at this. Just let me say that the entire show was GREAT!! (what else?)


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