Barbra News (Archived)

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Significant news and rumors about Streisand's career are below.

December 27, 2011

New Barbra Book Coming

Barbra A Retrospective book cover

Barbra: A Retrospective is a new, 288-page hardcover book with jacket and color photos from Sterling which is due to publish on Februrary 7, 2012. They describe the book as: "This large-format, fully illustrated book celebrates her uniquely brilliant career with hundreds of rarely published photographs, album artwork, memorabilia, annotated lists, and special in-depth features on everything from her trend-setting style to her transcendent voice. Streisand's millions of fans will delight in the treasures they'll discover inside, as they follow Barbra from her Brooklyn childhood to her nightclub appearances, emergence as a Broadway star, rise to Hollywood legend…and beyond."

You can order it below via the Amazon.com link ...

December 14, 2011

About the Elle Cover Orders

Allison Waldman writes:

Don't delay -- act NOW -- if you want your Elle Magazine cover with Barbra Streisand.

In November, Barbra Streisand was one of six women honored by Elle Magazine for the "Elle Magazine Honors Hollywood 2011." Something happened and instead of Barbra's cover making newsstands and bookstores and supermarket checkout, Streisand fans were given the chance to order the issue directly from the Elle offices.

If you placed an order and have not received your copies, please contact me NOW -- barbfile@aol.com. The powers that be have asked me to compile all outstanding order information to send to them by Thursday, December 15, at which point everything will be fulfilled.

New Streisand Crowdrise Charity Contest

Just received this official announcement:

Could Barbra's Fans Be The Most Generous? (We think so!). From today, Barbra will be joining 11 other celebrities who are competing to win a $25,000 prize for their chosen charity. In Barbra's case – the beneficiary of the contest is the Women’s Heart Center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Last October, Barbra launched an online fundraising campaign to raise $5 million to benefit The Barbra Streisand Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Education Program. Fans were invited to donate online using ‘Crowdrise’ – a fun website which incorporates fundraising with social networking, crowdsourcing and contests.

Starting today - December 14th – Crowdrise is joining forces with Mozilla/Firefox – one of the biggest online search engines – to help 12 celebrities get exposure for their charities. Barbra is one of those celebrities.

Whichever celebrity raises the MOST money – between December 14th and January 11th will win a $25,000 donation from Mozilla/Firefox, which will benefit their chosen charity. We hope it’s Barbra!

How can you help?

Please share the following link with all your friends and family. Post on Facebook. Share on Twitter. Help in any way you can. Any donation, whether it be big or small, will help benefit “The Barbra Streisand Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Education Program.”

http://www.crowdrise.com/WomensHeartCenter

Even better, if you make a donation of $31 or more – you’ll automatically be entered into a draw to win a SIGNED copy of Barbra’s book “My Passion For Design.”

Click here for terms and conditions [PDF].

Don’t forget – Heart Disease is the top cause of death in women in the World! It kills more women in the USA than all cancers combined, despite being labelled as a ‘man’s disease’. Every donation made will benefit this very worthy cause… and will continue to help support the research of this deadly disease.

On behalf of Barbra – Thank You, from the bottom of her heart.

December 1, 2011

Barbra's Speech at TEDxWomen

Watch Barbra's wonderful speech from earlier today ...

Watch live streaming video from tedxwomen at livestream.com

Barbra's Grammy Noms

Congratulations, Barbra!

She was nominated in the following categories for the Grammy Awards:

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)

In related news, it's interesting that the song “Barbra Streisand” was nominated for Best Dance Recording by the group Duck Sauce.

The 54th Grammy Awards will be held February 12 at 8:00 pm and will air on CBS.

November 28, 2011

Streisand to Perform for IDF Troops Benefit

CONFIRMED: Marty Erlichman's office just confirmed Barbra Streisand will be performing a few special songs, along with David Foster and friends at the charity event for the FIDF on December 8, 2011 at the Century Plaza hotel.

(We hear unofficially that Barbra will close the evening with three songs ...)

The event is billed as: “Celebrating 30 years of making a difference in the lives of Israel's brave soldiers at the Friends of the Israel Deference Forces Western Region 2011 Gala.”

IDF Israel poster

Barbra Streisand has top billing; David Foster & Friends to perform; Jason Alexander is the Master of Ceremonies.

 

Barbra Streisand to introduce presentation by MD pioneering discoveries about gender differences in heart disease

Merz and Streisand

(Photo above: Streisand introducing Dr. Merz on December 1, 2011)

Official Press Release:

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, will address thousands of women attending more than 100 TEDxWomen events around the world during the TEDWomen conference on Thursday, Dec. 1. Barbra Streisand -- the legendary actress, singer and women’s advocate -- is scheduled to introduce Bairey Merz, director of the Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. Bairey Merz will discuss how the mentorship of women physicians inspired her to focus on uncovering gender differences in symptoms and treatment of heart disease and why women should push for more research. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer worldwide and often is misdiagnosed in women.

WHAT: Barbra Streisand will introduce C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, who will address the TEDWomen Conference, a bi-coastal live webcast of presentations about leading-edge ideas for women. The conference is produced and curated by the Paley Center for Media and hosted by Pat Mitchell. Presentations will be live-streamed via the Internet to more than 100 TEDx Women events around the globe.

WHEN: Dr. Bairey Merz is scheduled to speak around 11:15 am PST on Thursday, Dec. 1.

WHERE: The day’s events may be viewed via live stream at http://www.livestream.com/tedxwomen. To participate in the conversation via Twitter, use hashtag: #TEDxWomen. WHO: Bairey Merz, director of the Women’s Heart Center of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, is available for interviews. The center provides risk assessment, diagnosis and heart disease care at the hospital ranked among the top 15 in the nation for Heart and Heart Surgery by U.S. News and World Report. The center is designed to help women reduce their chances of heart disease through a preventive approach, including state-of-the-art testing.

Funny Girl Costumes On Auction

Streisand sailor outfitOn June 18, 2011, the first auction of the legendary Debbie Reynolds Collection set numerous Guinness World Records with sales in excess of $22 Million Dollars. Profiles in History, run by Joe Maddalena, is proud to announce the auction of the Debbie Reynolds Collection Part II on December 3 at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.

Two Barbra Streisand costumes from the Funny Girl film will be auctioned on December 3rd—the Irene Sharaff-designed sailor outfit that Streisand wore while singing “I'm The Greatest Star,” as well as her Swan Lake ballet costume.

November 23, 2011

Streisand Honors Karan

Donna Karan and Streisand pose for photographers

Read more about the evening here >>

On November 18th, Barbra Streisand presented Donna Karan with the Founders Award at the 10th Annual Celebration of Dreams benefit.

Barbra said of her close friend, “Donna doesn’t just dress people, she addresses them, mind, body and spirit. She is a creative visionary. Passionate. Forceful. Nurturing. Extremely hands on. And generous to a fault. You can’t help falling in love with her. As a friend, Donna is thoughtful, funny and mothering – she can’t help herself. Years ago, I fell in love with a chenille sweater from Anne Klein. It turned out the fabric was highly flammable. I didn’t care. I even offered to sign a legal waiver should the sweater catch on fire. But Donna said, absolutely not, give it back. She wouldn’t take the chance. Donna doesn’t know I still have that sweater.”

“Donna and I bonded immediately. We were both on spiritual paths and saw everyone, including driving upstate to see Guru Mai for a 15 minute visit that turned into three hours of sitting in the dark. Donna and I even schlepped to Massachusetts to learn to meditate with Deepak Chopra. We were soul sisters.”

“One of the things Donna and I have most in common is our passion for positive change. How to use our voice and creativity to get something done. How to use our platforms and public profiles to bring attention to urgent matters. Every year, we attend the Clinton Global Initiative, where Bill Clinton brings people together to create change. Trust me, few people motivate you more than Bill Clinton. We leave the CGI, inspired to do whatever we can to make a difference.”

“It is most fitting that The Dream Foundation is honoring her. Donna dreams big, and keeps at it until it becomes a reality. Donna dreams for you, for me, for all of us. She brings people and their dreams together.”

November 18, 2011

Streisand's Coming!

As we approach the Holiday Season and 2011 comes to a close, we have 2012 to look forward to. By all signs, 2012 looks to be a very busy year for Barbra Streisand!

Streisand will return to the Silver Screen in a starring role in a film that is either titled My Mother's Curse or Guilt Trip (Paramount is still deciding) — a road trip comedy co-starring Seth Rogen. The film has had a handful of screenings in the Los Angeles area over the last couple of months. The screening audiences that attend are sworn to secrecy about what they saw, but a few people have emailed me and told me generally wonderful things about the film, especially that Seth Rogen and Streisand have great chemistry and that Barbra is very good in it. Paramount originally booked the film for March 2012, then moved it to November 2012. Neither the title nor the release date looks set in stone yet. Stay tuned.

There are no new developments on Gypsy, the movie version of the Laurents/Styne/Sondheim musical starring Streisand as Rose. All the rumors I've heard—if they're to be trusted—say that the film is on track and that Streisand is putting her production together (and I've even heard that Streisand performed the score for her team and she was amazing). I've heard rumors of Academy Award-winning directors and co-stars (not Anne Hathaway as Gypsy! Think more Black Swan-ish ...), but, again, without any official announcements or start date, they're just rumors. Last we heard, Gypsy would start filming in Spring 2012.

There's been no official announcement about Barbra resigning with Columbia Records—just this story from July about her negotiations. 2012, however, is her official 50th anniversary with Columbia, which she signed with in October 1962. There has been a 3-CD “rarities” set planned for several years to celebrate the occasion, as well as DVD releases (like the International Hotel concert from 1969) rumored as well. Apparently, Columbia wants an all-star Duets album from her, too ... we'll see how that plays out.

Streisand tends to concert tour when film projects fall through or get postponed.

And you never know what direction that Ryan Murphy-helmed movie version of The Normal Heart will take ...

November 10, 2011

Elle Streisand Cover For Sale Online

Streisand on ELLE

ELLE Magazine has made the November 2011 issue featuring Barbra Streisand on the cover available online for sale.

Go here to order >>

Note that ELLE has printed a special limited edition cover, on sale for one week only.

November 9, 2011

Streisand Honored by Cedars-Sinai

(Photo above: Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley, Marvin Hamlisch, Barbra Streisand and Alan Bergman are seen at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Tuesday, November 8, 2011.)

Brolin and Streisand arrive

Last night, Barbra Streisand and Robert Barth were honored by the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors at their annual Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Proceeds from the Gala will benefit the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. The Gala was hosted by Seth Rogen, and included a performance by Marvin Hamlisch.

James Brolin and Streisand at Cedars benefit

Here's video from the evening:

October 19, 2011

Streisand on Sue Mengers

Allison Waldman secured a comment from Streisand about the death of her friend and former agent, Sue Mengers. Today, through her publicist, Barbra Streisand said of Ms. Mengers: “She was one of a kind, acerbically funny, witty, brash, tough but cuddly, a powerful woman in a man's world.”

Click here to read Ms. Waldman's excellent article about Mengers >>

October 18, 2011

Streisand at 18th Annual ELLE Women In Hollywood Tribute

Brolin and Streisand arrive

(Above: Brolin and Streisand arrive; Below: Streisand and Jennifer Anniston)

Streisand and Anniston

Here's some of the AP story:

Nine women were honored at Elle magazine's Women in Hollywood event, yet all were dazzled by one lady in particular.

Barbra Streisand wowed her fellow honorees and an audience of Hollywood insiders Monday night at the 18th annual celebration of the industry's leading ladies. Actresses such as Michelle Pfeiffer, Viola Davis, Evan Rachel Wood, Freida Pinto and Naomi Watts said before the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel that Streisand has inspired them, and the love fest continued throughout the private dinner.

Jennifer Aniston told the 69-year-old entertainer that she loved her, and Pinto said on stage that "sharing the same oxygen" as Streisand was an incredible birthday gift. The actress turns 27 Tuesday.

"You're a legend not only in Hollywood but literally all over the world," the "Slumdog Millionaire" star told Streisand. "I can say that because I come from India."

She said Streisand's song "Putting it Together" is "like a reality check that every girl that wants to get into this big entertainment industry needs to listen to."

"That was a truly inspirational song, so thank you so much for that," Pinto said.

Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow introduced Streisand as "a world icon" and "somebody who has mastered virtually every art form imaginable: directing, acting, composing, singing, producing, writing."

Streisand returned the love in kind, congratulating her fellow honorees, which included Pfeiffer, Davis, Wood, Pinto, Watts, Aniston, actress Elizabeth Olsen and DreamWorks Studios chief Stacey Snider.

"They're all so charming, so well spoken, and so thin," Streisand said, adding, "I ate the chocolate cake."

Streisand said that only seven percent of the top 250 films were directed by women and she urged her colleagues to be fearless about moving forward in the entertainment industry.

"Let's be bold and don't wait for the phone to ring," she said. "Create your own material. Tell me a story."

“My Name is Barbra Streisand ... and I'm an Actor.”

Streisand for Elle

Make sure you check out the full-length Elle video featuring interviews with their Women in Hollywood actresses, including Streisand—who shares memories of seeing Marlon Brando on the movie screen, and also her favorite lines from movies. Barbra takes off her curls near the end (she's doing an homage to Sarah Bernhardt with them) and shows us a smooth-haired look, too! Gorgeous!

October 17, 2011

Sue Mengers Dies

According to the L.A. Times, “Sue Mengers, a veteran talent agent who blazed a path for women in Hollywood and represented some of its biggest stars, died Saturday night at her Beverly Hills home after a long illness. She was 79.”

“For two decades,” the L.A. Times writes, “Mengers was one of the entertainment industry's most powerful agents, rising fast in a business dominated by men. She earned a reputation as a skilled negotiator and tough adversary. And she had a knack for putting together packages of talent -- including authors, directors and stars -- that produced box office blockbusters.”

(Photo, right: Mengers and Streisand's hairstylist Fred Glaser are photographed at a costume party for “On A Clear Day,” 1969.)

Streisand fans will recognize Mengers name because she was Barbra's agent in the Seventies and Eighties.

Mengers put together the all-star team of Ryan O'Neal, Streisand, and Peter Bogdanovich for What's Up, Doc?

Nikki Finke at Deadline/Hollywood writes: “It was [David] Begelman who gave Mengers her biggest client. For a decade and a half, Sue Mengers and Barbra Streisand became Hollywood’s most famous pairing. Their rise to prominence was inextricably linked in everyone’s mind. Their relationship went far beyond the bonds of mere agenting. There was an immediate and total kinship. Both had strong personalities they used to mask the scared insecure girls hiding within. In the meantime, Mengers had befriended Elliott Gould and, through Gould, had met Barbra. Begelman acceeded to Mengers’ pleas to handle Streisand. It served both women well. Mengers had a gut feeling of knowing when to push her clients into projects, and when to ask the moguls to pay for the moon. In 1971, she sold the romantic farce What’s Up, Doc? to Warner Bros, packaging Bogdonavich with Streisand and O’Neal. ”

Mengers brought the script for an updated version of A Star is Born to Streisand and Jon Peters.

Mengers told Vanity Fair that she first saw Streisand on stage in 1961 in Another Evening with Harry Stoones. “When I saw her walk out on the stage I thought, It sure takes a lot of balls for a mieskayt like that to get up in front of people and perform. It was only later, after the Morris office got ahold of her and 'fluffed' her, that I saw how beautiful she could be.”

Much was written about the breakup of the agent/client team Sue Mengers and Barbra Streisand as a result of All Night Long. Mengers revealed that the film “caused a lot of strain between Barbra and Jon [Peters]. Because it was the first thing Barbra had done where Jon wasn’t involved. He liked to get producer credit—and this one announced to the industry: She’s a free agent. Producers didn’t feel, ‘Omigod, if I bring that script to Streisand, I’ll have to bring in Jon Peters.’”

(Photo, below: Streisand smiles with Mengers and Ryan O'Neal on the set of The Main Event, 1978.)

Mengers was very angry when Streisand told her she was leaving, “because I felt I had been an impeccable agent for her. And [Barbra] then said, ‘But we can still be friends!’ My reaction was anger: ‘Of course we can’t be friends. You’ve rejected what I do, you’ve announced to the world I’m not good enough.’ And her reaction was: ‘Oh my god, she only cares about me if I’m her client.’ She couldn’t understand, and it hurt her for a long time. I don’t think we talked for over three years. For me it was not just, ‘Oh, well, I’ve lost a client,’ which would upset me under any circumstances. But Barbra was and is very special to me. She was the jewel in the crown. Not only did I love her, I was proud to be representing her. While I was working with her it was the joy of my life, even though she never expresses gratitude or even acknowledgment of anything you may achieve. It’s such a thin line an agent walks between friendship and a work relationship. You can never forget, no matter how close you are to a client, you’re the employee.”

Despite a few years of an estrangement, Mengers and Streisand did become friends again. “My biggest contribution was nagging her,” Mengers told Vanity Fair. “She has no need for constant employment like other stars. I used to be flattered when she would ask my advice about some artistic problem she was having, until I found her one day talking to the gardener about the same thing. When Barbra works she becomes obsessive and it's the only thing she is able to focus on. I think that's why she doesn't do it as much as the rest of us would like her to. It's just too exhausting. She has less 'star mentality' in regards to What's- the-next-hot-project?-Get-me-a-role-in-it than anybody I've ever dealt with.”

October 16, 2011

Streisand at Clinton Birthday Concert

Barbra Streisand and James Brolin attended The William J. Clinton Foundation's Decade of Difference concert, celebrating ten years of the Foundation along with the former president's 65th birthday.

Streisand and Brolin attend Clinton concert

Streisand appeared in the opening pre-recorded video which was shown before Stevie Wonder took the stage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Calif. [You can watch the entire concert at Yahoo.com. Streisand appears at about 1:22 and 1:50.]

Streisand and Brolin walking the red carpet

October 13, 2011

Elle!

Several Streisand fans have found the November 2011 issue of Elle on newsstands already.

However ... I can show you the big, full-page photo by Art Streiber that appears inside the magazine:

Streisand headshot in Elle

The two-page interview includes these gems:

Although Jennifer Anniston appears on some of the Elle November 2011 covers, Streisand does, too ... her cover image is below (leaning against the column).

October 6, 2011

Streisand In Elle

Barbra will be featured in November's Elle magazine, on newsstands October 17th. Here's a preview of one of the photos .... Hello, gorgeous! We hear that there will be different versions of the magazine circulated and that Streisand will have her own Elle cover ... along with Jennifer Anniston and others. Elle's website says: We shot Barbra Streisand in a hat and spectacles in her Malibu estate; there, Streisand said she hopes to one day write a biopic on French actress Sarah Bernhardt.

Streisand poses for Elle Magazine

On how Warren Beatty got her to sing at a fundraiser for presidential candidate George McGovern:  “Warren and I met when I was 15 years old. I was babysitting for my acting teacher, and it was Warren’s first summer of stock. Can you imagine, he asked if I would cue him! That’s the closest I ever got to a casting couch, not that I could get a part! I saw him a month ago. We’re always, 'I can’t get over it. Here we are. We were both nobodies!'”

On her career:  “I don’t get a lot of offers to either direct or act. I’m still a kind of threatening object. I was offered They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, but you had to dance through the whole movie—I got tired just reading the script. I was offered Klute, but I was seeing someone at the time and didn’t want to work. I was offered Julia, but I was editing A Star Is Born. As I say to Jane Fonda, ‘I’m responsible for your career.’ Because I turned down those movies and she got them and she was wonderful in them. Now people want me for a specific role.”

Barbra Streisand wears clothes from her closet, including a shirt and vest from Mr. Alex Custom Shirtmaker, Beverly Hills, jewelry by Sheryl Lowe Designs, and shoes by Chanel.

Photo: Art Streiber; styled by Ms. Streisand.

Head over to Elle to see more of their Hollywood Women feature >>

September 28, 2011

Barbra Tweets Lea

Check out this cute Twitter exchange between Barbra Streisand and Lea (Glee) Michele.

Barbra tweets to Lea that she'll send her a doll

They're tweeting about the Mattel Barbra Streisand Barbie doll, of course.

Streisand to be Honored by Elle

Barbra Streisand will be honored with the L'Oréal Paris Legend Award at the 18th annual Elle Women in Hollywood Celebration. The event, held by the fashion magazine to honor women's achievements in film, will be held Oct. 17 at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills Hotel. [original story at USA Today]. Look for an upcoming fashion spread in Elle Magazine.

September 23, 2011

Barbra Talks & Is Talked About

September 21, 2011

Streisand News

Photos of Streisand in St Tropez with Rosanna Arquette and also at the Clinton Global Initiative

September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Marty!

Today is Marty Erlichman's birthday. Congratulations, Marty!

Marty Erlichman and Barbra StreisandMarty, as most of you may know, has been Barbra's manager and representative since 1961.

“I had gone down to the Bon Soir to check out an old friend of mine, the comedian Phil Leeds,” Marty told Vanity Fair. “This was back in 1961. Phil had been blacklisted by all that McCarthy stuff in the fifties and had just been reissued his cabaret card. I went to check out his material, but out walked this eighteen-year-old singer as his opening act. She sang five songs and I had chills through all of them. She already had representation, so I sort of kept my distance at first. But three months later I was out in San Francisco and I got a call. She was playing some club in Detroit and was only making $150 a week. She wanted $200 a week plus dinners. Her agent wasn't helping her out, so she remembered I wanted to represent her. She called and told me her problem. 'But I can't pay you any commission,' she warned me. I got on the first plane to Detroit and worked out a deal. The owners— a pair of brothers—only offered her $175 and no dinners. I told them behind her back I'd pay them the twenty-five-dollar difference if they'd throw in the dinners, which is what happened. The brothers said to me, 'Let us get this straight. You flew here at your own expense so you could pay us twenty-five dollars and you're not even her manager? You must really believe this girl is going to be a star.' I sure as hell did.”

September 9, 2011

Streisand News!

I'm back from my vacation with all the latest Barbra Streisand news surrounding her new album and more. Links & info are below ...

August 24, 2011

Re: Barbra-Archives until Sept. 9th

Just a note to all the Barbra-Archives readers ... I'm away on vacation without internet access until around Sept. 9th. I won't be able to do updates to the site during this time. I'll catch up when I return.

I hope everyone is enjoying the new album—and hopefully there will be good news next week about how it charts!

August 23, 2011

“By the Way ...”

Regarding Streisand's look in that Elle video promo for the new album (and what looks like a forthcoming fashion shoot with them — the room they filmed this in is actually Barbra's house! See page 136 of MY PASSION FOR DESIGN — It's “The Federal Lounge” room. You can tell by the rounded back on the couch and the drapes behind it) ... it is the Funny Girl peacock costume (worn in the “add-a-pearl” scene in the film) seen below in Barbra's 1967 costume test photo.

peacock costume comparison photos

I'm so excited for whatever this is!

Happening at Starbucks + Album Release Day!

In the U.S. today, Streisand fans can purchase (or receive delivery of!) the new album, What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan & Marilyn Bergman.

I managed to visit Starbucks on my lunch break and watched the 25-minute MusiCares concert that they are streaming over their Digital Network (make sure you click on the “Entertainment” tab once you've logged in at your local Starbucks store).

Pictures from Starbucks MusiCares concert

It's all of Streisand's segment of the concert, including her patter. She opens with her "hits" medley; sings “Make Someone Happy”; then introduces the two Bergman songs, “Windmills of Your Mind” and “I'll Never Say Goodbye.”

Also ... Starbucks is selling a special digipak/cardboard version of the CD (#88697941942) in their stores which contains the new 10 tracks + 3 previously-released tracks: The Way We Were, You Don't Bring Me Flowers (with Neil Diamond), and What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life? Yes, the Starbucks version contains the 24-page booklet.

Starbucks version of new CD

Meanwhile, Barnes & Nobles stores have free Barbra bookmarks!

Barnes and Noble bookmarks

I hope everyone is enjoying this amazingly-sung, new CD from Barbra.

P.S. How much do we LOVE this photo of Barbra on the new CD?? It's an outtake from the Terry Richardson sitting Streisand did for Harper's Bazaar.

Streisand with hair up and burgundy gown

Here's the published shot from HB ...

Harper's shot by Richardson

And here's a sweet video from Lily, set to the song “Something New in My Life” from the new album ....

August 22, 2011

Streisand Looking Gorgeous at Elle

Streisand in Elle video

Wow! Hello, gorgeous! Streisand speaks about the new album in an exclusive video at Elle.com.

(Was Streisand posing for Elle here??)

August 18, 2011

Streisand Talks Future Projects

Check out the new Streisand interview in 8/19's edition of USA Today. In it, she talks Funny Girl/Lauren Ambrose, Gypsy, and more.

Among the highlights:

August 17, 2011

“Mother's Curse” Moved From March to November, Now “Guilt Trip”

Box Office Mojo is reporting that Paramount has chosen to move the release date of My Mother's Curse (Barbra's upcoming road comedy with Seth Rogen) from March 30, 2012 to November 2, 2012, probably to take advantage of the Holiday box office.

Although not officially confirmed, it looks like the title of the movie has been changed to Guilt Trip.

Discuss amongst yourselves ....

“Gypsy” Update

Streisand as Rose in a new film version of Gypsy is the most exciting news I've heard in a long time. As Streisand herself said, Gypsy would be a “bookend” to her film debut in Funny Girl back in 1968. The thought of Streisand in a big-budget, Oscar-worthy, crowd-pleasing, big screen musical is .... overwhelmingly exciting!

Nothing official has been announced lately about Gypsy. As one film fan mentioned recently, “developing a film is not a spectator sport!” And Streisand, producer Joel Silver, and Universal (who is co-financing the film with Warner Bros.) have been tight-lipped about the status of Gypsy.

The most recent and fact-filled information about Gypsy was back in May ...

Here's the latest information about Gypsy. Please note this is mostly unconfirmed (but well-placed) rumors:

Here's hoping that Barbra will be asked a couple of questions about Gypsy while doing press for What Matters Most and My Mother's Curse.

August 15, 2011

Upcoming Press/Promotions for the New Album

Barbra on CBS Sunday Morning

TV Guide “Windmills” MusiCares Footage

TV Guide has new video up here.

August 11, 2011

AARP Gets Barbra

AARP has an interview with Marilyn and Alan Bergman about Barbra's new album of their songs, including the story behind “That Face” (see video below).

You can read the whole story over at the AARP site.

Here's the video:

 

August 4, 2011

The Bergmans Write about Barbra

... over at The Huffington Post. You can read the original here.

# # #

To hear Barbra Streisand sing a song we've written is to know why we chose to become writers.

She always gets exactly what we mean in a lyric. And more. The actor that she is, the director that she is, the singer that she is gets it. And more. Shadings, feelings, nuances emerge that never fail to surprise and thrill us. How do you sing a question mark? A smile? How do you sing the text and sub-text of a song while never sacrificing musicality for meaning or meaning for musicality? Never choosing style over substance or substance over style?

She was eighteen-years-old when we first saw her. Appearing at a club in New York's Greenwich Village. She stepped on the small stage in an outfit of her own creation: a full-sleeved white chiffon blouse, a vest and long skirt of menswear herringbone. An original. Everything about her was original. Then she sang, "My Name Is Barbara" (a song of Leonard Bernstein's). The sound of her was unique. The beauty of her was unique. Everything was within her and before her.

We met backstage that first night. She had a tiny dressing room which she shared with Phyllis Diller (who was the headliner). One of us asked, "Do you know how wonderful you are?" She didn't answer, but she had to know. You can't be that wonderful and not know. That was 50 years ago. We've never been out of each other's lives since then.

Two years ago the Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences had an evening in tribute to us. Quincy Jones was the host. Many friends and colleagues took part in it. Michel Legrand came from Paris. Dave Grusin came from Santa Fe. John Williams from Boston, Marvin Hamlisch from New York and Barbra. We talked informally with Quincy and Barbra for a short while and Barbra quite suddenly announced: "My next CD is going to be a tribute to you guys." We were speechless!

Not too long after, she began thinking about which songs she would include (she's already recorded over 50 songs of ours). She knew she wanted to do songs that she'd never sung before. She asked us to make a list for her consideration. Then her work of selecting, conceptualizing, singing began. Perhaps unconsciously, creating a dramatic context for herself for each song, as an actress would for a character or a scene.

Once she decided on the songs, with the brilliant orchestrator Bill Ross, the arrangement, the musical environment for each song was decided upon. Then came the most focused, careful work at her recording space which she calls "Grandma's house" -- a small cottage on the grounds of her Malibu home. Rehearsing, discovering the songs.

Finally, the day of the first session arrives. The eponymous Streisand Scoring Stage at Sony Studios was filled with Hollywood's finest musicians. The familiar sounds of setting up, tuning up and chatter in anticipation of the first downbeat and Barbra's arrival. She walks into the studio and the air changes. Bill Ross steps onto the podium. The room quiets. There's excitement mixed with respect. It is always an event when Barbra Streisand sings -- even for these musicians who have heard them all.

After the take, the orchestra responds spontaneously. They know we've all just heard a singer at the peak of her artistry.

She will make suggestions to Bill before the next take. They both know how to make it better. And that's what it's about, making it better. These are artists at the top of their game with the same goal: getting it as close to perfect as possible. And so it goes. She did four songs that first day. And five the next session several weeks later.

How many times have we experienced that rare alchemy of words, music, Barbra? It's always as if it were the first time. And now this CD. How to put into words what we feel when we listen to it? Perhaps if there were a melody, we could find the words. It would certainly be a love song.

"Do you know how wonderful you are?"

August 3, 2011

Barbra Archives Reviews “What Matters Most”

by Matt Howe

What Matters Most logo

I've had a chance to listen to Barbra Streisand's new album, What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan & Marilyn Bergman. In fact, I've been listening to it for the last couple of weeks—here's my review.

cover of What Matters Most CD

Streisand's voice is in great shape on WMM. She's either been working out vocally or has taken the time to do warm ups before her recording sessions because her range here is extraordinary. And her belt is back, sounding strong.

I had to play the album a few times for it to grow on me. 2009's Love is the Answer contained such a great collection of nightclub/cabaret standards that it was instantly accessible to me. Much like The Movie Album, Streisand has chosen lesser-known songs by Alan and Marilyn Bergman for WMM, half of them being film songs. I didn't know a lot of these songs, so I did have to listen closely to take them in.

After several listenings, however, WMM has become one of my favorite Streisand albums. Because of the thoughtful and emotional Bergman lyrics, all the songs on this album are sophisticated and heart-felt. For instance, “The Same Hello, The Same Goodbye” is a master class in singing/acting by Streisand ... and another song Streisand has chosen to sing about “those kinds of relationships that are not easily defined.”

The same hello / a smile and then we knew at once that here we are involved again
The same hello / and all the things we said we couldn't bare again are there again ...
I can't deny I've tried another's arms / and maybe you have too
But even lost inside another's arms / I knew it wasn't you ...

The folks at Sony were wise to release “Windmills of Your Mind” and “That Face” early to whet the appetite of ravenous Streisand fans! They are clearly the best tracks on the album. I really appreciated Streisand's very simple arrangement and interpretation of the lyrics on “Windmills”—because there are some weird arrangements of this song out there! (Johnny Mathis, for example, sang it with piano, harpsichord, and harp and it's very trippy.)

I'm a huge fan, though, of “Alone in the World” from Russia House. Chris Botti's moody trumpet really makes this track special. And Streisand's singing of the lullaby-like lyric “sleep inside my arms, kiss the world away, let tomorrow come, let me face the day with you” is just gorgeous.

“Nice ‘n Easy” and “That Face” are the only up-tempo songs on the album. It's so nice to hear Barbra swing. “Nice ‘n Easy” has a sexy point-of-view with Streisand bah-bah-bah-ing on the musical interlude. And “That Face” has a nice arrangement that builds with Streisand whipping herself into a frenzy over that face, that face, that face!

Out of the two bossa nova-styled songs on the album, “Solitary Moon” is my favorite. Effortless, sexy Streisand vocals on that one! “So Many Stars” has a section sung in Portuguese, but doesn't work as well for me as “Solitary Moon.”

“Something New in My Life,” from the 1984 movie Micki and Maude, is my least-favorite song on the album for the simple reason that its melody just doesn't grab my attention.

The closing songs, “I'll Never Say Goodbye” and “What Matters Most” anchor the album to the heart of the Bergmans lyrics. “Goodbye” has an anthemic orchestral arrangement and Streisand really soars (following a great key modulation) after “our music goes on ... on and on ...”

Streisand explained the track “What Matters Most” the best when she said it “was placed last on the record because it's the lingering thought.”

pictures of Streisand and the Bergmans

The album comes out August 23—just three weeks away! I'm preaching to the choir, I know, but I really think the Streisand fans out there will enjoy this CD. I still haven't seen the packaging or liner notes (I received only a preview CD), so I'm sure there will be some great photos and words from Streisand to peruse.

But without all the packaging, the proof is in the pudding—or in this case, the music. Streisand's artistry—she's been singing for us for over 50 years—has not lost its luster on What Matters Most. She's singing better than ever. And you must admit that the Bergmans have been a huge part of her recording and film career (Yentl !) ... this album is the perfect expression of the love between them.

July 28, 2011

Hear “So Many Stars”

The New York Times has a new video in which the Bergmans and Ms. Streisand discuss the creation of “Stars” and her decision to sing a portion of it in Portuguese. Also ... the complete track of “So Many Stars”— visit them here.

BJS & RJA on QVC

Richard Jay-Alexander

Richard Jay-Alexander (director of 2006 tour and Village Vanguard show) appeared on QVC this morning and chatted about Barbra Streisand's new album, What Matters Most. QVC offered the Deluxe Edition of the album (2 CDs) along with a bonus DVD [runtime is 21:14] which appears to contain a longer version of the Electronic Press Kit (which is currently streaming on Amazon) and footage of Streisand from MusiCares.

You can watch the video and also order the QVC special package here.

We got a good look at the packaging of the CD (love the photo of Barbra in red on the album!)

Screen shots of album on QVC

What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan & Marilyn Bergman will be released on August 23.

The QVC hosts announced later that over 2000 CDs were sold this morning.

July 26, 2011

EPK at Amazon + QVC on Thursday

Amazon.com has put up the Electronic Press Kit for Barbra Streisand's new studio album, What Matters Most, which is released on August 23rd. Marilyn and Alan Bergman join Streisand at Grandma's House for the interviews.

View the EPK here.

Scenes from WMM electronic press kit

Also, according to Streisand's official site, there will be a special bonus DVD offered to those who pre-order the album when it appears on the shopping channel QVC this Thursday. The DVD is “an extended filmed piece which takes you ‘behind the scenes’ with Streisand and her long-time friends, Alan & Marilyn Bergman. The DVD also contains photos, interviews, footage of Barbra singing live at the MUSICARES Tribute earlier this year, etc. ”

Meeting Barbra On Set Winner

Make sure you check out this blog with a story (and photo!) about meeting Streisand on the set of My Mother's Curse.

July 21, 2011

RJA on QVC for WMM

Richard Jay-Alexander (Streisand's tour director) will appear on the shopping channel QVC on July 28th between 7 and 9 a.m. EST (QVC® This Morning) to promote Barbra's new album, What Matters Most. Jay-Alexander did the same duties in 2009 when Streisand released her #1 album, Love is the Answer.

Love Interest in “My Mother's Curse”

Many Streisand fans have been trying to figure out who will play Barbra's love interest in her forthcoming movie, My Mother's Curse (release date: March 30, 2012). Barbrafiles have suggested former costars like Robert Redford or Kris Kristofferson ... some even suspected that Barbra's real-life husband James Brolin would be playing “The Cowboy” (which is how the character is described in an earlier draft of the screenplay).

Well .... I've got the answer for you!

First of all, the character's profession has apparently been changed from a cowboy to an oil magnate.

As for who is playing him ....... First I have to offer a SPOILER WARNING for those who don't want to know.

For those who DO want to know ... click here!

July 18, 2011

Guten Tag! I'm back from my summer travels in Germany and have some Streisand news to report ...

 

Streisand's Negotiations with Columbia

The Hollywood Reporter has an interesting story about Barbra Streisand, her manager Marty Erlichman, and their negotiations with Columbia Records. According to HR:

... the undisputed queen of show tunes and epic orchestral ballads is about to mark her 50th year at the same label, an extraordinary feat matched only by Bennett. But after Streisand renegotiated her contract with the company several times during the past four decades, her current agreement — signed in 1992 and estimated at the time to be worth $60 million — is set to expire with the release of her next album, What Matters Most (out Aug. 23), a collection of songs written by her longtime friends and collaborators Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

To get Streisand to stay could cost Columbia a small fortune — in the vicinity of $20 million for a deal that might include one new album and three reissues, estimates one industry source. But the marketing opportunities for anniversary products and catalog sales are significant, even in the shrinking music business — or so her longtime manager Marty Ehrlichman contends. And that could be reason enough to drive a hard bargain. “I’m not peddling Barbra,” he insists. “I will stay with Columbia unless I can’t make a deal, then I’ll go elsewhere.”

Some insiders, however, point to another view: the difference between perceived and actual value in today’s marketplace. It’s the reason negotiations for Streisand to remain at the label have been described as “heated,” with a source claiming Streisand was pulling a “diva” act. Says Ehrlichman: “It’s a process. [New Sony Music Entertainment CEO] Doug Morris just came in, and we’ve just started negotiating. We’ve been with Columbia since the very beginning. I have no reason to believe we won’t continue to stay there.”

One place they could go: to Morris' former home, Universal Music Group, where Jay Landers, Streisand's longtime producer, is currently a senior vice president of A&R. Says a source: "[Jay] would love to get her away from Sony."

Here's hoping Streisand and Columbia come to an agreement! She signed with Columbia in 1962.

Streisand at BAFTA Bash

Prince William, Brolin, and Streisand at BAFTA bash

William, the Duke of Cambridge, is the president of BAFTA and on July 9 addressed Hollywood luminaries as well as the 42 "Brits to Watch" at Los Angeles' Belasco entertainment complex.

Streisand at Royal table

Seated at the royal table were Nicole Kidman, Barbra Streisand, James Brolin and Donna Langley co-chairman of Universal Pictures, Duncan Kenworthy as well as the prince's private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, diplomat Sir David Manning and British consul-general Dame Barbara Hay...

Streisand and Brolin

The newlywed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in attendance on the ninth day of their first joint overseas tour visiting Canada and the United States.

Arriving at the bash

By the way, Barbra and James celebrated their wedding anniversary on July 1st! Congratulations to the handsome couple!

Mother's Curse ... It's a Wrap!

Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand shot scenes in and around Caesars Palace and along the Las Vegas Strip for their upcoming cross-country comedy "My Mother's Curse," which was scheduled to wrap production following last week's Vegas location shoot.

Rogen and Streisand on set

Filming started Wednesday, July 13 and ended early Friday, July 16. A marathon shoot took place late Thursday into Friday morning. The film will be released to movie theaters March 30, 2012.

Also ... it looks like filmmakers have managed to keep the actor who is playing “The Cowboy” a secret. Isn't your curiosity piqued?!

“Solitary Moon” on BBC

You can listen to the track “Solitary Moon” from Barbra's forthcoming album, What Matters Most over at the BBC. You'll have to forward to about 1:41:50 in the program to hear it.

June 28, 2011

Complete Track Listing + Official Contest

Here is the in-order track listing for What Matters Most, Barbra Streisand's forthcoming CD (Aug. 23) of songs with lyrics by Marilyn and Alan Bergman. Make sure you check out the free downloads over at Streisand's official site — “That Face” is uptempo, amazing, and has a “You're the Top” kind-of feel .... and “Windmills” is sublime! Barbra a cappella .... wow!

  1. The Windmills Of Your Mind
  2. Something New In My Life
  3. Solitary Moon
  4. Nice n Easy
  5. Alone In The World
  6. So Many Stars
  7. The Same Hello, The Same Goodbye
  8. That Face
  9. I ll Never Say Goodbye
  10. What Matters Most

The deluxe edition contains a second CD of previously-released Streisand/Bergman songs:

  1. The Way We Were
  2. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?
  3. You Don't Bring Me Flowers
  4. Papa, Can You Hear Me?
  5. Pieces Of Dreams
  6. The Island
  7. The Summer Knows
  8. How Do You Keep The Music Playing?
  9. After The Rain
  10. A Piece Of Sky

You can pre-order the regular CD from Amazon here [pre-order link] and the deluxe CD here [deluxe pre-order].

The official Barbra Streisand site is having a contest ... [link to contest] Pre-order What Matters Most now and be automatically entered to win a trip to meet Barbra and get free instant downloads of “That Face” and “Windmills of Your Mind!”

June 27, 2011

Official Album Announcement

Columbia Records announced Streisand's new album this morning. Here's a link to the official announcement, which also appears on Streisand's official site.

You can pre-order the regular CD from Amazon here [pre-order link] and the deluxe CD here [deluxe pre-order]:

What Matters Most official cd art work

The incomparable Barbra Streisand's long-cherished desire to release an album of music with lyrics exclusively written by her collaborators and friends, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, will be achieved with her latest release What Matters Most- Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman for Columbia Records. The ten song album, and deluxe edition, will be available August 23, 2011.

"What Matters Most" is Ms. Streisand's first new album since the September 2009 release of "Love Is The Answer," which debuted at Number One, making her the only artist to achieve number one albums in five consecutive decades.

The new album, which Streisand personally produced, is comprised of ten Bergman songs which Streisand has never previously recorded. Included in the set are the Academy Award winning songs "The Windmills of Your Mind" (from the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair); "So Many Stars" (originally a hit song for Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66); "Nice 'n' Easy" (popularized by Frank Sinatra); and "That Face" (first recorded by Fred Astaire) . The CD will be packaged in a jewel box with a 24-page color booklet.

The deluxe edition CD will include ten previously released performances of Barbra singing the lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman including "The Way We Were", "You Don't Bring Me Flowers", "Papa Can You Hear Me?" and "Pieces of Dreams".

Reflecting on her long-held desire to devote an entire album to the amazingly varied and consistently inspired music of the Bergmans, Streisand noted, "Alan and Marilyn Bergman have a remarkable gift for expressing affairs of the heart."

The affection and respect between lyricists and artist is quite wonderful. "When we write a song, we hear Barbra," said lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman. "She makes the connection from the heart to the mind, and it emerges through her voice."

Check back with http://www.barbrastreisand.com and http://www.facebook.com/barbrastreisand often for more information on pre-orders, including a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity from The Official Barbra Streisand Music Store!

# # #

In no particular order, here's the 9 tracks that have been reported as being on the album ... still wondering what that tenth track is!

Also, don't forget to read my interview with Alan and Marilyn Bergman from 2007!

Finally, Richard Jay-Alexander will be on air in August at QVC selling the album, much like he did for Love is the Answer in 2009.

June 14, 2011

New Streisand Album in August

What Matters MostBarbra's new CD is titled What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings The Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman and will be released August 2011.

The CD (and cover art—which is a photograph from Streisand's design book) was revealed on PBS during a showing of Streisand's 2009 Village Vanguard concert. No official announcement has been made by Columbia Records yet, and no release date has been announced. (UPDATE: I hear this is the cover.)

According to the PBS show, there are ten songs on What Matters Most.

The following songs were named by PBS as being on the album:

"The Promise (I'll Never Say Goodbye)," "Solitary Moon," "Windmills of Your Mind," "The Same Hello, The Same Goodbye," "Alone in the World," and "What Matters Most."

Barbra Archives can reveal that Bill Ross was arranging/conducting for Streisand on this album, and that Randy Waldman played piano on some of the tracks.

Barbra Archives has also heard that “So Many Stars” was recorded for the album.

[See Michael Roman's original story on this here]

Somewhere Outtakes in Evancho Video

Wanted to point this out ... On the David Foster concert that has shown on PBS, Jackie Evancho sings “Somewhere” with a pre-recorded Barbra Streisand track.

Evancho and Streisand

Well, the video features outtakes from Barbra's 1986 music video for “Somewhere” — mostly her closeup camera. You can see Barbra raise her arm and walk backward out of the spotlight at the end of the video, too. Very cool! [watch on YouTube if still available]

Barbra Archives Posts—an update

Just another update for the fans out there ... I've been enjoying my "Barbra break" and will be off doing summer things until late-July (including a trip to Germany!) I'll post any major Streisand news if it happens, but will be somewhat out-of-pocket for the rest of June and first half of July.

Streisand & Brolin At Chanel Benefit Dinner

Brolin and Streisand

On June 4th, James Brolin and Barbra Streisand attend Chanel's benefit dinner for the Natural Resources Defense Council's Ocean Initiative at the home of Ron & Kelly Meyer in Malibu, California.

Streisand in Malibu

May 25, 2011

Barbra Archives Update

Just letting my readers know that I'm taking a break from posting news for a while ....

In the meantime, please enjoy the 500+ pages of Streisand career information, articles, interviews, and stories here at Barbra-Archives ... since 2003!

I will continue to update information on the historical/archive pages as they warrant attention. Keep an eye on my twitter feed above-left, where I'll post updates & links.

I am deciding how much, if any, news I'll be reporting in the future ... besides the considerable time it takes to stay on top of Streisand news, it is also difficult for me to navigate the politics of publicity, paparazzi photographs, etc.

I will still keep updating the album, live, television, radio, and movie pages as I do more research, and as people send me more info & scans ... and as new Streisand milestones are surpassed.

Thanks for your patience!

Matt :)

May 16, 2011

Listen to Evancho/Streisand

Wall Street Journal is streaming the Jackie Evancho/Barbra Streisand duet, “Somewhere,” which appears on Evancho's new album, Dream With Me.

You can listen to it here >>

“Nothing's Impossible Project” Update

Allison Waldman, a friend of this site, and the author of The Barbra Streisand Scrapbook, as well as the Barbrafile magazine is doing better with her uterine cancer. She writes: “I'm happy to report that my personal health issues have taken a turn for the better. The current chemotherapy I'm receiving has worked well and I'm feeling pretty good. The cancer seems to be under control. The bad news is that my health insurance premium has gone up significantly.”

You can still donate to Allison's cause by clicking here.

[Thanks to Michael Roman for posting and hosting the page!]

May 9, 2011

An Arthur Laurents Flashback

When I heard the news that Arthur Laurents had died, I remembered meeting him here in Washington, D.C. way back in 2004 (when I didn't have a beard!) It took me a few days but I found the photographs from that day and I even found a story I wrote for All About Barbra magazine about meeting Laurents. So I posted it all here. Enjoy it! I'm honored I got to meet him.

May 7, 2011

Streisand on Kramer + Normal Heart

Streisand talked exclusively with Entertainment Weekly about the movie version of Larry Kramer's play, The Normal Heart.

Barbra Streisand and Larry Kramer trade blame for failed 'Normal Heart' film

EXCLUSIVE by Adam Markovitz

Film legend Barbra Streisand and gay activist Larry Kramer would both like to set the record straight about their failed attempt to bring The Normal Heart — Kramer’s 1985 play about the dawn of the AIDS epidemic — to the big screen. The problem is, each of them says it’s the other’s fault. In an exclusive interview with EW, Streisand calls Kramer “brilliant, courageous, stubborn, and self-destructive.” The writer’s response? “She never put her money where her mouth is.”

“I love this play, and I love its cause,” says Streisand, who first purchased the film rights to The Normal Heart after seeing its original Off Broadway incarnation in 1985. (A Tony-nominated revival is currently running at Broadway’s John Golden Theatre.) Over the next ten years, she worked with Kramer and another screenwriter to adapt the story, which focuses on the struggles of writer Ned Weeks (Kramer’s literary alter ego) during the early days of the AIDS crisis in NYC. Streisand intended to direct the film and take the part of strong-willed Dr. Emma Brookner, a supporting role in the play.

But a movie never materialized. According to Streisand, Kramer was unwilling to allow adjustments that were necessary to make the script more cinematic. “I was using the best of [the play]. But there are certain things you do for film,” she tells EW. “Larry only wanted to use his screenplay. I couldn’t have my hands tied artistically.”

Kramer has another version of the story. He says Streisand rewrote the script to make her character the star, marginalizing the gay characters who are at the center of the play. “She cut Ned’s part so much that when she offered the movie to a major star who had played the part on stage, he said, ‘I can’t play this. The character has no motivation anymore,’” claims Kramer. “She subsumed all of the motivations into her part, as the doctor.” (A rep for Streisand did not immediately reply to request for comment on Kramer’s remarks.)

Streisand also says Kramer rejected a deal from HBO to turn the play into a TV project after major studios balked at its subject matter. “Larry wouldn’t accept their highest offer of $250,000. He wanted a million dollars,” says Streisand. “Larry held out for the money. I didn’t. Why not advance your cause? Why keep this movie unseen for all these years?” Kramer claims he never heard about such an offer and says Streisand repeatedly abandoned the project to work on other movies.

Even after the rights to the play reverted back to Kramer in the mid-nineties, Streisand says she never stopped supporting the project. Then, last year, Kramer posted a missive on the website of AIDS-awareness organization ACT UP, calling Streisand a “hypocrite” for failing to make The Normal Heart. “When he printed that diatribe on the web, I was very hurt by it, because it’s not true. I started to write [a response] but then decided not to do it,” says Streisand. “It was wonderful to read some of the comments from the gay community about this. They fought the battle for me. It was really lovely for all these people to come to my defense.”

Streisand says she was most upset by Kramer’s accusation that she had sabotaged the fight for gay rights. “At a time when we are all pulling together to achieve such giant steps for gay equality, it is anguishing to me to have my devotion to this cause so distorted. I think my efforts for the gay community and my immersion in securing its constitutional entitlement and other equitable rights is quite evident and a matter of record.”

On that point, at least, the two agree. “She’s a mighty force, and I certainly agree she has done a good deal for the gay world,” says Kramer. “She just wasn’t going to make this movie right.”

But there’s still hope for fans who dreamed of seeing Streisand in a movie version of The Normal Heart. The Oscar winner says she would consider playing Brookner in Glee creator Ryan Murphy’s planned adaptation starring Mark Ruffalo, although it would be difficult for her to let go of her creative vision for the movie. “If I could direct it today, I would direct it today,” Streisand says. “Because it’s been very hard for me to find a piece that I feel as passionate about. I mean, I love this play.”

Streisand on Laurents + GYPSY

Streisand released the following statement today:

Arthur and I go way back to I Can Get It For You Wholesale in 1962. Then we did The Way We Were in 1973 and we were about to do Gypsy together. He created people you care about because he cared about people. I spoke to him a few weeks ago and he sounded so strong, as always. He was lucky to have lived a full and creative life up til the very end. I’ll miss working with him again.

Laurents, who died at age 93 this week, had reportedly concluded negotiations with Universal Studios for a new feature film version of "Gypsy" with Streisand in the lead.

May 6, 2011

Arthur Laurents Has Died

Sad news.

Laurents’ relationship with Barbra Streisand goes back to 1962 when he cast her as Miss Marmelstein in I Can Get It For You Wholesale—Streisand's first Broadway role. Laurents then re-connected with Streisand in Hollywood when he wrote the screenplay for The Way We Were, the 1973 tear-jerker with Robert Redford. Most recently Arthur Laurents was involved with the deal for making a movie adaptation of Gypsy, the Broadway musical which he wrote the book for. Last we heard, Universal and producer Joel Silver were attached to Gypsy, with Streisand starring as Mama Rose.

The Hollywood Reporter has a great summary:

The legendary scribe wrote the books for "West Side Story" and "Gypsy" and the scripts for "The Way We Were" and "Turning Point."

Arthur Laurents, who penned the librettos for the Broadway classics West Side Story and Gypsy as well as screenplays including The Way We Were and The Turning Point, died Thursday of pneumonia complications in Manhattan. He was 93.

Arthur Laurents photographLaurents also was an accomplished director during a more than 70-year career that began with radio plays in college and continued through the 2009 Main Stem revival of West Side Story he directed. He won Tony Awards as author of the book for best musical Hallelujah, Baby! in 1968 and best director (musical) for La Cage aux Folles in 1984.

He was best known in Hollywood for his acclaimed scripts for The Way We Were (1973), which featured the romantic chemistry of its characters as played by Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand, and Turning Point (1977) — which he also produced — the story of a lifelong friendship between two women played by Shirley MacLaine and Anne Bancroft. He earned best picture and original screenplay Oscar nominations and a WGA Award for Turning Point.

The movies’ box office and critical popularity served notice of Laurents’ strong skill in creating well-rounded female characters.

Laurents was born July 14, 1918, in Brooklyn. He studied at Cornell and received his B.A. in English in 1937. During college, he performed in a satirical nightclub revue and wrote radio plays for such series as The Thin Man.

He enlisted in the Army in 1941 and worked on military training films, as well as writing radio scripts for such service programs as The Man Behind the Gun and Assignment Home. He distinguished himself during World War II, winning a Variety radio award in 1945 for his script The Face, a drama about a maimed veteran’s rehab.

While researching for Assignment Home, Laurents visited veterans hospitals and began work on his first play, Home of the Brave, about a veteran’s amnesia. It opened on Broadway in 1945, winning critical praise. The play garnered him a grant for the American Academy Arts and Letters, and UA released a film adaptation by Carl Foreman in 1949.

During the early 1950s, Laurents began work on a contemporary musical based on Romeo and Juliet with Leonard Bernstein. Stephen Sondheim was signed to write the lyrics, and West Side Story became a sizzling, gigantic hit when it opened in 1957.

Laurents was widely praised for his book for the project, including a rave from The New York Times, calling Laurents’ contribution “the essential one.” He shared a Tony nom for best musical for the production.

After a successful two-year run on Broadway, the musical was adapted into a film and won 10 Oscars including best picture. The musical enjoyed many subsequent revivals, including a Broadway production that Laurents directed that ran from March 2009 through January and is touring the U.S.

Propelled by the success of West Side Story, Laurents went on to collaborate with Sondheim and Jule Styne on Gypsy (1959), which starred Ethel Merman as Gypsy’s titanic stage mother. Laurents’ writing was hailed by Kenneth Tynan as “an exemplary mixture of gaiety, warmth and critical intelligence.”

Laurents shared Tony noms for best musical for both West Side Story and Gypsy but lost to, respectively, The Music Man and The Sound of Music and Fiorello! (which tied in 1960).

He also was Tony-nominated as best director (musical) for a Gypsy revival in 1975 and 2008 and directed such other Broadway fare as I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1962), which marked Streisand’s Main Stem debut as an overworked, unsung secretary, and 1991’s Nick & Nora.

He was given a National Board of Review career achievement award for his screenwriting, and many of his plays were published in 2004 as Selected Plays of Arthur Laurents.

His play The Time of the Cuckoo, which starred Shirley Booth as an American single woman who finds romance with a married Italian shopkeeper while on a holiday, was a hit and served as the basis for the 1955 motion picture Summertime, starring Katharine Hepburn.

He divided his talents between movies and the stage during the 1950s. He wrote the movie adaptation of Rope (1948) for Alfred Hitchcock and the screenplays for Otto Preminger’s Bonjour Tristesse (1958) and Anastasia (1956), starring Ingrid Bergman as the heir to the Romanov fortune.

He also wrote the such Broadway plays as The Bird Cage (1950), A Clearing in the Woods (1957) and Invitation to a March (1960) and the books for Main Stem musicals including Anyone Can Whistle (1964) and Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965).

More offbeat, Laurents wrote The Enclave, which opened in Boston in 1973 with its plot centered on a tony housing unit in New York that has its liberal sensibilities challenged by a gay tenant and his lover.

Actor Farley Granger revealed in his 2007 memoir Include Me Out: My Life From Goldwyn to Broadway that he was bisexual and had an affair with Laurents. Granger died March 30. Laurents was predeceased by his partner of more than 50 years, Tom Hatcher.

May 4, 2011

“Mother's Curse” & More

Update 5/5/11: Pics of Streisand on set!

Barbra Streisand's 19th film, My Mother's Curse (with Seth Rogen) started filming on Monday. Seth Rogen was spotted in L.A. on set, but there are no shots of Streisand in character as Joyce Brewster yet. I've created a dedicated page to My Mother's Curse over in the Film section of Barbra Archives. Check it out for all the news! I've already posted filming info!!

Other Streisand news:

May 2, 2011

AAB Back in Print, Shipping Soon

The new issue of All About Barbra is close to shipping. Editor Lynne Pounder confirmed to me that they have included color pages in this edition, which is a rarity!

All About Barbra magazine

You can order AAB here.

April 22, 2011

Tweet Barbra For Her Birthday

Barbra's official Twitter and Facebook accounts posted this yesterday:

Streisand twitter

Barbra's birthday is Sunday, April 24th.

April 20, 2011

Bid to Meet Barbra

Barbra Streisand and The Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center are sponsoring a new charity auction: a visit to the Los Angeles set of My Mother's Curse where you and a guest will experience film making from behind the scenes and have the rare opportunity to meet the one and only Ms. Barbra Streisand. The set visit will take place in June or July 2011. In addition to Ms. Streisand, the comedy, which is set for a March 2012 release, stars Seth Rogen and is directed by Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses, The Proposal).

contest graphic

Here is a link to CharityBuzz and the Streisand auction >>

Michael Sarrazin—“Pete”—Has Died

Barbra's costar in For Pete's Sake has died at the age of 70.

Read Allison Waldman's wonderful story (“Goodbye Pete: Barbra's Costar, Michael Sarrazin Passes Away”) about him here.

You can read more about Sarrazin and Streisand in For Pete's Sake here at Barbra-Archives.com.

Barbra News Bits

Here's some quick Streisand updates ....

April 14, 2011

“All About Barbra” In Print Again

The newest issue of All About Barbra magazine is available for ordering right now.

Newest issue of All About Barbra

Inside: A Star Is Born – Filming at Sun Devil stadium/Funny Girl – picture & Info retro/Mirror, Mirror on the wall (great picture feature)/ Barbra Timeline we begin with the 40’s & 50’s as we lead up to Barbra’s amazing 50th year in Show business! PLUS a round up of recent events, latest info and pictures Grammys-Musicares-D.C. ..and lots more! As always, it’s just packed with Barbra!

Go to the AAB website to order your copy >>

A Few Streisand Items At Julien's Auction

Streisand in Juliens Auction catalog

Julien's Auctions is holding another of its Hollywood Legends auctions on May 7, 2011. There are a couple of interesting Streisand items up for auction:

You can check out the catalog and auction items over at Julien's website.

[Thanks, Mitzi, for the tip!]

Simply Showbiz Interviews Streisand Author

Over at the Simply Streisand companion site, Simply Showbiz ... check out this interview about celebrity fans who have taken their fandom to the next level. They chat with author and Barbra Streisand historian, Allison J. Waldman.

Interview link >>

April 11, 2011

Dolly Dress Up For Auction

Gold Streisand dress is on the left

Since the 1960s, show business legend Debbie Reynolds has been stockpiling and promoting the preservation of Hollywood costumes, props and other memorabilia. Now she is selling her whole collection. The auction is to be held in several stages by Profiles in History, a leading dealer of autographs, manuscripts and vintage signed photographs.

Dolly dress

The auction begins June 18, 2011.

Streisand fans will be interested to know that up for auction is the gorgeous, gold-beaded gown that Streisand wore in her 1969 film, Hello, Dolly!

March 30, 2011

Streisand News Updates

Updated 3/31: A duet of “Somewhere” will appear on child soprano Jackie Evancho's new album. Streisand's vocals on the duet are not newly recorded.

Evancho's album is due June 14th. Press release is below.

Pre-Order Evancho's album from Amazon.com >>

Announcing Dream With Me – the highly anticipated, full-length album from 10-year old soprano prodigy Jackie Evancho — available everywhere June 14!

The year’s most eagerly awaited classical pop crossover album, Dream With Me, fulfills the promise of O Holy Night, Jackie’s major label debut, a seasonal collection released last November which became the year’s #1 best-selling debut recording with sales exceeding 1 million copies. The new record, Dream With Me, is produced by the legendary David Foster, a 16-time Grammy winner (including three Producer of the Year trophies) who’s worked with Céline Dion, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé, Beyoncé, Prince, Barbra Streisand and many others.

Jackie Evancho comes into her own with Dream With Me, collaborating with Foster on a repertoire ranging from classical arias to pop classics to Oscar-winning show tunes with highlights that include two extraordinary superstar duets showcasing the young vocalist performing with music legend Barbra Streisand (“Somewhere” from West Side Story) and international phenomenon Susan Boyle (“A Mother’s Prayer”).

“I can say without a doubt that working with Jackie on Dream With Me was truly phenomenal. Her natural ability and the depth of her understanding of the musical process left me speechless. I think we have created a musical experience that will thrill audiences of every age. She was a pure joy to work with and I had a front row seat to one of the next great talents of our time,” said David Foster.

“We are incredibly proud of Jackie and thrilled at how fantastic her album turned out,” said Lisa and Michael Evancho, the singer’s parents. “Making her first studio album for Columbia has been a wonderful and exciting experience for Jackie, helping her grow as an artist and learn about music from some of the masters in the field.”

Tracklisting:

When You Wish Upon A Star
Nella Fantasia
A Mother’s Prayer featuring Susan Boyle
Nessun Dorma
Angel
O Mio Babbino Caro
Somewhere featuring Barbra Streisand
All I Ask Of You
Ombra Mai Fu
Lovers
Imaginer
The Lord’s Prayer
To Believe
Dream With Me

More news:

March 21, 2011

Gypsy Resuscitated at Universal

Marquee with Funny Girl and Gypsy playing

Good news! (I had a feeling all those websites and online comments were giving too much credence to Arthur Laurents' earlier comments to the Hartford Courant.)

Deadline is reporting:

... a deal is close to being made at Universal Pictures, with Joel Silver producing. Streisand’s still in as Rose and so are book writer Arthur Laurents and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. Those reports were based on an interview that Laurents did with a Hartford Courant blogger, in which the book writer proclaimed he was withdrawing permission because he and Sondheim decided they didn't want a movie. I think they've changed their minds. Multiple sources said that the deal that’s closing gives the show creators a strong say over the screenwriter, director, choreographer and who’ll play the roles of Herbie and Louise. Warner Bros retains the rights to be co-financier after it rejected a deal that would have granted those same approvals to heirs.

I have heard from many Streisand fans out there via email about this project, and I know there are strong feelings (I am on record as not being a fan of that other movie musical linked to Streisand—Sunset Boulevard, LOLs).

However, this is very exciting news for me. Sounds like Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) is out as director. And Streisand is not directing. So .... who will helm this movie musical remake? Mike Nichols? Sam Mendes? Even better—Steven Spielberg? They all seem to have relatively open schedules.

I love everyone's suggestion that Anne Hathaway play Gypsy. And Tom Hanks (or even John Travolta?!) would be amazing as Herbie. I also hope they hire a screenwriter who can open this backstage musical up—I found the Bette Midler TV version of Gypsy a bit too claustrophobic and stage-bound.

Looks like we'll have Streisand as Mama Rose in 2012 or 2013!

Now .... who's writing the screenplay?

Fockers Coming

Little Fockers arrives on DVD April 5th, for Streisand completists out there. The DVD comes with the following Special Features:

You can pre-order the DVD from Amazon.com here.

You can pre-order the Blu-ray from Amazon.com here.

As always, anything you buy through Amazon supports my work here at Barbra Archives ... gracias!

March 19, 2011

Streisand awards Clinton

Clinton and Streisand pose with award plaque

President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the 42nd President of the United States, last night received the 2011 William O. Douglas Award at Public Counsel's 40th Anniversary Award Dinner. Barbra Streisand presented the award to President Clinton and delivered special remarks.

pictures of Streisand on stage presenting award, and backstage with Clinton

(Photos by Kevin Winter)

The 2011 Public Counsel's Annual Event Honoring President Bill Clinton was held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Public Counsel tweets about Streisand and Clinton

(Above: Public Counsel's Twitter feed from last night)

March 18, 2011

Seth Rogen on Streisand

E! Online reports that Seth Rogen, while appearing at the 19th Annual A Night at Sardi's Fundraiser—where he hosted the Alzheimer's Association Event—talked about working with Barbra Streisand on their forthcoming mother/son road trip comedy, My Mother's Curse. They start shooting the movie, directed by Anne Fletcher, next month.

“I am excited about it!” he said. “I've met her only a couple times so far but she's really funny and nice and really reminds me a lot of my actual mother, which is very odd ... My girlfriend's like a huge Barbra Streisand [fan].”

When asked if Streisand would sing in the movie, Rogen replied, “No, there's no singing in the movie.”

Willie Wants a Duet

Country singing legend Willie Nelson told the Chicago Sun-Times that Barbra Streisand is the person he'd most like to sing with.

“In fact, I was on the set when Kris [Kristofferson] worked with her on ‘A Star is Born’ (in 1976). I got on her bus, we sang some songs and she was great. She’s a really good singer. I don’t know what we’d do, but we’d think of something.”

March 15, 2011

Gypsy ... No-Go?

Marquee with Funny Girl and Gypsy playing

(Above photo: A precient and retro photo of a New York movie theater marquee showing a double-feature of Streisand in FUNNY GIRL [1968] and Rosalind Russell in GYPSY [1962].)

UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times adds another tidbit to the GYPSY story:

Warner Bros. said Monday that the project was no longer active there.

3/12/11: Arthur Laurents has told The Courant that he has changed his mind and now does not want a movie version of GYPSY made starring Streisand. [In order for a film to proceed, apparently, Laurents (book writer of the Broadway show), Stephen Sondheim (lyric writer), and the estates of Jule Styne (music) and Jerome Robbins (director) have to approve it.]

Talking to The Courant, Laurents said:

"[Stephen Sondheim] said, 'What is the point of it?' And I said, 'They have this terrible version with Rosalind Russell wearing those black and white shoes.' And then Sondheim told me something that he got from the British -- and it's wonderful. He said, 'You want a record because the theater is ephemeral. But that's wrong. The theater's greatest essence is that it is ephemeral. You don't need a record. The fact that it's ephemeral means you can have different productions, different Roses on into infinity.'

"So I don't want it now. I don't want a definitive record. I want it to stay alive.

"I think [Streisand] is disappointed. She wanted very much to do it. That would have been a good exit for her career. Tom Hopper ["The King's Speech"] wanted to direct it. I think he's wonderful."

How would she have been in the film?

"She could have done it," he says.

March 10, 2011

Mother’s Curse Gets Release Date

The road-trip comedy, My Mother's Curse, starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen as mother and son has been given a release date by Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. Look for My Mother's Curse in wide release on March 30, 2012.

Barbra Archives hears (unofficially) that the movie will start filming in April, and that its post-production is scheduled for August.

New Barbra Bio Coming 2012

From Boston.com:

There have been dozens of quick and dirty tell alls about Barbara Streisand. But now, according to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, acclaimed biographer William Mann will write the definitive biography.

"As far as I'm concerned, previous books have failed to capture the importance and influence of this woman, her complex personality, and the dimensions of her artistic drive," said Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Sr. Executive Editor, George Hodgman.

The biography, titled, HELLO, GORGEOUS, will publish in fall 2012 to coincide with Streisand's 50th anniversary in show business.

[ ... ] "All of Streisandia, of which I am a founding resident," says Hodgman, "has been waiting for the real, class act Barbra bio. William Mann has set out to do nothing less than a book that will stand the test of time as the definitive record and truly a portrait of an artist."

The book will cover Streisand’s childhood and growing up along with the birth of her career in the clubs of Greenwich village, the recording of her early albums and stage appearances, Funny Girl on Broadway and later the filming of that musical, which won her the Academy Award, in Hollywood. HELLO, GORGEOUS will climax with her triumphant “Happening in Central Park” concert which drew 135,000 New Yorkers in September of 1968.

March 2, 2011

Streisand Tidbits

Here's the latest Streisand news:

Streisand's Grammy tweets

February 24, 2011

Streisand & Karan at Pier 59, Santa Monica

Photo of Donna Karan, Russell James and Barbra Streisand by Alexandra Wyman

Streisand appeared at this 2/23/11 event, as per the L.A. Times:

Fashion photographer Russell James and designer Donna Karan welcomed nearly 500 guests to Pier 59 in Santa Monica on Tuesday to preview the multimedia exhibition “Nomad Two Worlds.” The Australian-born James, the project’s creator, said the artworks celebrate and support indigenous cultures and his country's reconciliation efforts toward its native population.

[...] Barbra Streisand quietly slipped into the shindig for an informal tour by James and Karan, and expressed her admiration at the artworks. "It’s all absolutely beautiful," she said. "What they’re doing here is fantastic."

February 16, 2011

Kenneth Mars (Hugh in “Doc”) Dies

From Variety:

Character actor Kenneth Mars, best known for roles in "Young Frankenstein" and the original film version of "The Producers," died Saturday of pancreatic cancer in Granada Hills, Calif. He was 75.

In Mel Brooks' 1974 comedy "Young Frankenstein," Mars played the police inspector with a malfunctioning prosthetic arm; in Brooks' earlier, 1968 film "The Producers," Mars was the Nazi playwright who creates "Springtime for Hitler."

Mars employed a Mitteleuropean accent once again for Peter Bogdanovich's 1972 Barbra Streisand starrer "What's Up, Doc?," playing a Yugoslavian with dubious motives.

Ken Mars in WHATS UP DOC

Read more about Streisand's 1972 comedy film What's Up, Doc? here at Barbra Archives.

Fockers DVD & Blu-Ray

Little Fockers will be out on home video April 5, 2011 from Universal Studios. Both the Blu-ray Combo Pack and the DVD are packed with extras, including deleted scenes, a hilarious gag reel, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Little Fockers and a never-before-seen alternate opening and ending not shown in theaters.

Second Sondheim Book Coming

Hot on the heels of his first best-selling book (Finishing the Hat), Stephen Sondheim is releasing a second volume on October 25, 2011. Titled Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Wafflings, Diversions and Anecdotes, the book is a collection of Sondheim's lyrics, as well as an insider's look into his creative process and his thoughts about songwriting.

The second book will, no doubt, mention Sondheim's work with Barbra Streisand on 1985's The Broadway Album and 1992's Back To Broadway. (In the first book, Sondheim wrote a little about his work with Streisand on the songs “Send in the Clowns” and “I'm Still Here.”)

Amazon.com Pre-Order link for New Sondheim Book >>

Sondheim lyrics for Streisand

February 15, 2011

Grammy Wrap-Up

Here's official CBS video of Streisand and Kristofferson presenting Album of the Year on Sunday's Grammy show:

And here's Access Hollywood's interview with Streisand backstage at MusiCares:

February 13, 2011

Streisand and Grammy

UPDATE: 11:41 PM EST

Barbra was ageless and evergreen on the Grammys tonight as she sang her award-winning song, Evergreen. Barbra looked simply amazing! It was doubly exciting to see her and Kris Kristofferson come back onstage at the end to present Album of the Year!

Kristofferson and Streisand

Streisand singing on Grammys

Streisand in burgundy gown

Here's video:

Barbra's everywhere this weekend!

First, Streisand posted a clarification about her statement about GLEE on her official website. Streisand said:

When asked if I would ever appear on ‘Glee, I should have said, “You never know.” It was wrong to say, “Not if I can help it.”

What I meant was that I’ve been overwhelmed preparing for my performances on MusiCares, the Grammys, recordings, and two movies. So I couldn’t take on any more work, and besides that, I wasn’t asked.

I’m so honored that a lead character on “Glee” is so admiring of my work. In my speech at MusiCares, I thanked them “for exposing young people to music they might otherwise not hear today: Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, and Darren Criss…you’re all so gifted."

Then Barbra addressed rumors about her Grammy rehearsal on Twitter:

Grammy tweet

Barbra's Grammy category —Love is the Answer, Streisand's 2009 #1 album, was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album — will NOT be presented on the live show on CBS tonight. Instead, it was part of the pre-telecast show, which was being streamed online at Grammy.com/Live.

Unfortunately, Streisand did not win in her category. Instead, Michael Bublé won for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Still, Barbra's prophecy about being at the Grammys 24 years after her win for THE BROADWAY ALBUM came true: how can anyone say this weekend did not belong to Barbra Streisand and Grammy? After Friday night's MusiCares extravaganza and tonight's live performance, Streisand is hotter than ever!

Streisand (who we hear will CLOSE the Grammy show) will perform live tonight, introduced by Kris Kristofferson. We hear she's singing “Evergreen” for sure—we've also heard she'll also sing “Make Someone Happy.”

Stay tuned! Grammys air at 8:00 PM tonight EST on CBS.

February 12, 2011

Streisand at MusiCares

Prince, Portnoq and Streisand

(Photo, above by Lester Cohen: Prince, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences President Neil Portnow and Barbra Streisand pose onstage at 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute to Barbra Streisand at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.)

Updated 2/13, 9:49 AM EST.

Here's official Grammy video recaps of Friday night's historic Streisand concert, including excerpts of Barbra singing Happy Days, Evergreen, and more.

 

and another one ...

Another nice report ...

News stories online that were cited in my report below ... Photos on this page by Kevin Mazur.

Video, above: Streisand sings “I'll Never Say Goodbye”

Video, below: Streisand sing “I Finally Found Someone”

view of the LA Convention Center

Streisand in audience with Alan Bergman

It sounds like it was an amazing evening! Barbra looked simply gorgeous ... and the video of her singing .... wow!!

Streisand sat at a prime table with her inner circle – husband James Brolin, son Jason Gould, songwriter lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman. Also present that evening: producer David Foster, Cornell West, LA Reid, Joel Katz, Marty Bandier, Nikki Haskell, Rosanna Arquette and James Newton Howard, producer Tommy LiPuma, Cheryl Tiegs, Mo Ostin, and Barbara Orbison. From Sony Music: Rob Stringer and Jay Landers, Barbra's long time A&R guy, as well as Richard Jay-Alexander, who directed her 2006-7 tours and her show at the Village Vanguard.

At the end of the program, Streisand was introduced by Prince: “Without further ado, (please welcome) the MusiCares Person of the Year,” Prince said, as the crowd rose to its feet. “The incomparable, the one and only, Barbra Streisand.”

Streisand singing

“Oh my god. Where to begin?” said Streisand, taking the stage.

“I said yes because it's such a wonderful organization that takes care of their own — the people who actually create the music.”

Streisand thanked her associates and colleagues, including longtime manager Marty Erlichman. “Marty discovered me in the neonatal unit of Brooklyn Hospital,” she joked.

A few moments later, Streisand almost choked up, quipped: “I feel, deep in my heart, kind of verklempt!”

Streisand continued: “I love music for what it does to the soul, how it elevates the moment, the emotions. I love music for what it's given me. It gave me a job when I couldn't get a job as an actress. It let me express myself when I had no other outlet. I love how music binds us together. It also reflects the times we live in.”

Streisand quoted Hans Christian Andersen: “When words fail, music speaks.”

“My niece recently watched a DVD of `Funny Girl' for the first time and asked why I was singing songs from `Glee'.”

Streisand at MusiCaresBarbra was also a little political when she mentioned Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. “As anyone watching the news can see, the potential for democracy triumphed over the tyranny of dictatorship, and I just hope this historical moment leads to freedom, prosperity and lasting peace between great nations,” Streisand said.

By the time Streisand took her turn at the mike to close the evening with a medley of hits, she joked, “I'm stuck with the leftovers.”

Streisand then sang "The Way We Were," one of several renditions of her classic numbers that she performed for an audience of 2,500 people at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Barbra's set list:

Here's what some of the other artists said onstage as they honored Streisand:

Manilow and Streisand

Barry Manilow (singing Memory): "Neither one of us know what the heck the lyric means," he said of the song from the Broadway musical "Cats." Later, Streisand said, "I think it's about a vampire."

Bill Maher: "I don't like to get political, but I have always loved her politics ..." Maher also called Streisand a Lady. “There was never a picture of her getting out of a car without her underwear on,” he said.

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder (photo by Larry Busacca): "I want you to know when I was 12 years old, I said, `I wish she could be my girlfriend because she sounds so good.”

Lea Michele singing

"She's pretty good," Streisand said of Lea Michele, who sang “My Man.”

Matthew and Kristen

Photo above by Rick Diamond: Matthew Morrison and Kristen Chenoweth sang “One Less Bell to Answer / A House is Not A Home.”

Darren Criss

Darren Criss opens the show with The 'Dalton Academy Warblers' from Glee singing “What Kind of Fool.”

Seal

Seal sang “Guilty.”

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett sang “Smile.”

The Red Carpet ...

Streisand and others at MusiCares

Kristen Chenoweth, The Warblers from GLEE, Streisand and Paul Williams ... walking the red carpet at MusiCares.

Streisand walks red carpet

Broadway World got ahold of the MusiCares set list for tonight's show. According to them, this is how Streisand will be honored:

Streisand walks red carpetfollowed by: Barbra Streisand herself!

* The last two songs are from her upcoming album of songs by Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

Streisand Interview @ Grammy.com

Grammy.com has posted a two-part interview with Barbra Streisand. Part one is here and part two is here.

Entire interview is reproduced below ...

By Paul Grein

Barbra Streisand will be honored as the 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year on Feb. 11 at a special tribute performance and dinner in Los Angeles, recognizing her accomplishments as an artist and humanitarian. MusiCares' mission is to ensure that music people have a compassionate place to turn in times of need while focusing the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. Watch Person of the Year arrivals and other highlights Friday, Feb. 11 at GRAMMY Live.

Barbra Streisand has a history of making a big splash her first time out.

She received a Tony nomination for her first Broadway show, "I Can Get It For You Wholesale." She won two GRAMMYs, including Album Of The Year for her first LP, The Barbra Streisand Album. She won an Emmy for her first TV special, "My Name Is Barbra." She won an Academy Award for her first movie, Funny Girl.

And she did all that before her 27th birthday.

Fortunately for all of us, Streisand didn't rest on her laurels. She kept going, and kept adding to her list of firsts. She won another Oscar for the first song she composed for a movie, "Love Theme From A Star Is Born (Evergreen)." She won two Golden Globes for the first film she directed, Yentl.

At last count, Streisand has won eight GRAMMYs, four Emmys, two Oscars, and a special Tony. She has received (to name a few) the GRAMMY Legend Award, the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, and France's Legion d'honneur.

Streisand has made a big impact on both movies and music. She's one of only two artists to have received both a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute and a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. The other? Fred Astaire.

In both of these fields, Streisand has shown exceptional versatility. She has starred in musicals, comedies and dramas. Her hit songs range from the timeless "People" (one of the classiest signature songs associated with any performer) to the trendy disco romp "The Main Event/Fight." She has received GRAMMY nominations in the Pop, Traditional Pop and Classical Fields (the latter for her 1976 album Classical Barbra).

Streisand has been the first female to achieve many feats. With "Evergreen" in 1976, she became the first female composer to win an Academy Award for best song. With Yentl in 1983, she became the first woman to produce, direct, write, and star in a major motion picture.

Streisand has long been a GRAMMY record setter. She was just 22 when The Barbra Streisand Album was named Album Of The Year, which made her the youngest winner in that category (a distinction she held for more than three decades). Streisand has amassed six nominations for Album Of The Year and five for Record Of The Year. In both cases, that's more than any other female artist in history.

Streisand's philanthropic activities are just as impressive. She founded the Streisand Foundation in 1986 and has since gifted it with nearly $25 million. The foundation has made nearly 1,000 grants to nonprofit organizations that focus on protecting the environment, advocating for civil rights, promoting democratic values, advancing world peace, educating at-risk children, and providing funds for research and education in the field of women's health.

Recent gifts include $5 million to endow the Barbra Streisand Women's Cardiovascular Research and Education Program at Cedars-Sinai's Women's Heart Center, and the lead gift of $1 million to establish the William J. Clinton Foundation's Clinton Climate Initiative.

Streisand and actor James Brolin were married in July 1998. Streisand also has a son, Jason Gould, from her first marriage to Elliott Gould.

Streisand has been especially busy in the last couple of years. Her book, My Passion For Design, combining reflections on her life with her love of design and architecture, was published by Viking on Nov. 16, 2010. Her 18th movie as an actress, Little Fockers, was released on Dec. 22.

And this year, her latest studio album, Love Is The Answer, is nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. It's her eighth nomination in that category, and her 41st overall.

I did a little research, and you and Fred Astaire are the only two artists to receive both the Life Achievement Award from the AFI and The Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award.

You're kidding. I love that. I admired him so. I didn't know that.

Did you ever meet him?

I did. I actually have a picture with him somewhere. It was taken at some awards ceremony that we were both at.

You have a track record of making a big impact your first time out. Is the initial challenge what drives you? To prove to yourself that you can do something, more than to do it over and over?

That becomes boring to me, like singing the same songs over and over. It is sort of boring to stay in the same spot. You know, I didn't set out to become the first to do this, the first to do that. It was just that my interests were so diversified. What's that famous saying about how one's reach should exceed one's grasp?

From the start, you had a defiant streak. You didn't want to sing standards in your early nightclub appearances or have guest stars on your TV specials.

People would say, "Well, she should shorten her nose" or "Change her name to something simpler." I didn't know the rules, so I just did what I thought was right.

Is a certain amount of defiance part of being a great artist?

I would think so. I guess if you have an original take on life, or something about you is original, you don't have to study people who came before you. You don't have to mimic anybody. You just have a gut feeling inside, an instinct that tells you what's right for you, and you can't do it in any other way. It would be defying who you are in a sense. So I always questioned everything that I saw. I started going to acting school when I was 14, and I would always have my own take on things. Once, I wanted to play Juliet and I had a total concept for her that was what I thought would be right for a 14-year-old girl, but I was so embarrassed that it wouldn't be good. You see, it's the combination of the doubt and the confidence.

How do you mean?

You can't have one without the other. It's not just confidence. It's enormous insecurity as well. It's the combination of the insecurity and the confidence that I think maybe makes someone special.

In the '60s, you stood apart from the contemporary pop/rock scene. Did you want to be on pop radio and be part of the contemporary scene? I know the record company wanted it, but did you want it too?

Well, I didn't care about it. I did my thing and the Beatles did their thing. I was listening to Johnny Mathis when rock and roll started. I thought he was the bee's knees. That's what I love about the GRAMMYs and the music industry. People can respect other performers. There's not as much jealousy, put it that way, as in the movie business. In the movie business they say, "Oh, I could have played that role." In the music business, we all do different things, but we sit there and admire other people who can write a song differently or sing differently. It's not so competitive. Anyway, it wasn't like I needed to be in rock and roll. I was pushed into doing certain songs like "Stoney End." Or remember that song "Woman In Love" [from Guilty]? I think it was my biggest single and I never performed it live.

Because?

I never agreed with the philosophy — that "I am a woman in love and I'll do anything for my man" kind of thing. I felt funny. It was fine on a record, but I didn't want to perform this song [in concert].

How do you feel about your hits from the '70s and '80s now? Are you glad you recorded them or do you wish you'd said no a little more often and stayed with the music you know best, and I think like best?

It was interesting to try. That's why I wanted to do the classical album, because I love classical music. So I thought, "Let me try this." As a matter of fact, I had written on the album cover, "It's a work in progress," but the record company didn't want me to say that. They said, "Don't apologize for it." I always felt that I could have made it better, but I had to release it at the time. But I don't regret things I did. No.

It sounds like you're glad you made those records when you made them and you're glad you came back to traditional pop when you did.

Exactly.

When Just For The Record… came out in 1991, it looked like kind of a career capstone. Since then, you've recorded six more studio albums. Did you expect to stay this active after the box set?

Oh yeah, sure. I love recording. I love anything private. I love the privacy of just me and the music. Not performing, not in front of anybody. Not waiting for applause. I don't like performing very much.

That's surprising because you've toured so much in the last 17 years.

I didn't sing and charge for more than 20 years until I went back in 1993. And even then, I wouldn't commit to a tour until I saw how I liked it.

How did you like it?

Um, I liked it, sort of. Not enough to do what my friend Diana Krall does and play 300 days out of the year. I don't enjoy it like that. The most I could do was 24 shows [per tour]. The last tour was great, the European tour, because I was buying things for my house. I sang every five or six days so I could shop. It was a flea market tour.

I had assumed that you had come to enjoy performing live, but I'm starting to think that a key reason for all the touring you've done since 1993 is to fund your charity work.

That's the key reason. In order to do really good things in the world and give away money that will support organizations that I believe in, you have to raise a lot of money. [Because of taxes,] in order for me to be able to give $5 million to start the Women's Cardiovascular Research and Education Program at Cedars-Sinai, I have to earn $10 million.

Some people reading this may wonder why you specified women's cardiovascular research and education. Do you want to explain that?

Yeah. We're 50 years behind in research because there was no research done on women. The research was done on men. Men and women are very different in terms of their hearts. They have different symptoms, even. Where you may think of heart disease as a man's disease, now more women than men die of heart disease. More women die of heart disease than all cancers combined. Isn't that amazing? So we want to educate women in terms of talking to their doctors; understanding the warning signs. I'm going to make a PSA about this.

What led you to set up your foundation in 1986?

That was about Chernobyl and the fire they couldn't put out. It really scared me as to how fragile the planet is, and the radioactivity going in the air and getting into the soil. Climate change started to interest me. I was for nuclear disarmament. That's when I decided to start my foundation and give away the proceeds from that concert [One Voice].

In a 1995 speech at Harvard, you explained your feelings about the rights and obligations of artists to participate in the political process. I understand how it's an artist's right, but what did you mean when you said "obligation"?

It's just that we have a big responsibility because people look to celebrities and sort of take to heart what they say. So they have to be informed. They have to read. They have to do research.

Have you ever worried about a backlash if you were too outspoken?

No, I never did, obviously. Because if I did, I wouldn't say so many things. I don't think that way. I don't care. If some people don't buy my records because they don't like my politics, so be it.

After Sept. 11, you had a post on your website that you were going to refrain from criticizing President Bush.

That wasn't the time. It's like going and meeting George [W.] Bush at the Kennedy Center Honors [in December 2008]. People were waiting to see us come together, and I said, "This night, art transcends politics." So you have to approach it differently. That wouldn't have been the proper or appropriate time to blast him for going into the Iraq war. There's a time and a place for things.

In the '90s, there was talk in the media about Sen. Streisand.

Oh no. God.

I figured it was a media fantasy, but we've since seen Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sen. Al Franken. Did you ever even consider running for office?

No. Every time I give a speech, they think I'm running for office. No, I'm not cut out to be a politician. Politicians have to be political in their actions and in what they say. I would never do that. I'd rather be free to say what I feel and not care about losing votes; not care about raising money.

You're a role model — the role model — for a couple of generations of female artists, from Celine Dion to Beyoncé. That must be very gratifying.

It's very nice. It's very flattering. Did you see the Kennedy Center Honors? Queen Latifah had a wonderful introduction about her childhood in Newark and how she looked up to me. It was really lovely. I'm glad to be a role model for these women.

You have never burned out or gone off the deep end. There are so many cases where stars were burned by fame, especially when they achieved fame at an early age. How were you able to steer clear of the excesses that have brought so many artists down?

Hmm. Maybe because I never liked alcohol and never liked drugs.

That's a big head start right there.

I just never liked to…I don't know. That's an interesting question. I was always kind of normal.

And I would say "centered." You have a life with husband James Brolin, you have a son, Jason Gould. You have a life apart from it. There are some artists who didn't. They lived and died by their chart numbers.

It's not about results for me, really. It's the journey, the process. And yet, when I was younger, I must have had results in mind. When I was younger, I wanted to be a star. I wanted to be famous. I wanted to have people know I existed, which I never felt as a child; that I counted or was thought of in a way. And when I achieved stardom, I didn't like it. I didn't care about stardom. As a matter of fact, I run away from it.

Have you made your peace with it, I hope?

I try to avoid things that have to do with stardom. I don't go to opening nights. I was always too lazy to do that. You've got to get a dress. You've got to do your hair. That wasn't my speed. And then be photographed. And then they pick the lousiest photograph. It never interested me to be in the public eye. I just thought that the work was enough, and that's the way I still feel.

Your performance with Neil Diamond of "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" on the GRAMMYs in 1980 is one of the most memorable GRAMMY moments. The staging couldn't have been simpler. It proves that "less is more."

Do you know that I staged it?

No, I didn't know that.

Well, what happened was I came to the rehearsals and they wanted to have three stools there. The one in the middle would hold a bouquet of flowers. And then Neil and I would sing this song. I said, "Do you mind if I give you my opinion on how this should be staged?" I said Neil and I would come onstage from two different sides. There would be no announcement of our names. I made up a whole backstory about this couple. We've [been] married for 15 or 20 years and we're breaking up. We really are sad to do it, but we've had it. We don't give each other anything anymore and so we slowly walk together. To me, that's the way it should have been staged — very simply and coming together to say goodbye in a sense.

You were basically directing the performance, and this was three years before Yentl.

I always kind of functioned as a director. When I was 19 and I was sent up to see Arthur Laurents and David Merrick for "I Can Get It For You Wholesale," I said to them, "I have an idea for how this should be presented. I think it would be very funny to sing this song ['Miss Marmelstein'] while I'm sitting in a secretarial chair." So I was always thinking of the production; of the whole; of the staging.

In each of the three films you have directed, you directed another actor to an Oscar nomination, Amy Irving in Yentl, Nick Nolte in The Prince Of Tides, and Lauren Bacall in The Mirror Has Two Faces.

I like that. I'm proud of that.

Have you ever had the desire to produce an album by another artist?

No.

In the cases where another artist produced you, did their being an artist make a difference?

Well, the easiest album I ever made was with Barry [1980's Guilty, which Barry Gibb co-produced with Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson]. It was like three weeks. He just had me sing each song 10 times and he did it. It was just a delightful experience.

How about Guilty Pleasures, the 2005 sequel?

That was harder.

It's hard to recapture magic.

Yeah. I don't remember the songs on it, even.

You're not one to move around. You've been with Columbia since 1962. And you've been with manager Marty Erlichman even longer.

It will be 50 years [this] year since we started together. I'll tell you a great story. After I wrote "Evergreen," I played it for several people. When I played it for Marty on the phone, he said, "That will be a hit" and he even gave me the month. And it came true. He really was amazing. When I played it for certain other people, they thought it was nice, but Marty went nuts. That's what I love about him. He's very strong in his opinions. I like opinionated people. A lot of people don't. I do.

Never mind charts and GRAMMYs. What do you think are your best albums?

I would say The Broadway Album and Back To Broadway. It's where the material was so extraordinary. The record company didn't think I could have success with The Broadway Album. They wouldn't pay me until it sold 2.5 million copies. They wouldn't even let it count as an album on my contract. They wanted me to do a pop album and I said no.

We've seen Tony Bennett and Clint Eastwood remain active and vital well past the standard retirement age. Do you still want to be professionally active when you're their age?

It all depends on what I'm inspired by, what charges me up. I'd like to direct a movie that I'm not in. That would be fun. I might go sing in countries I haven't been to.

How was the experience of writing your book?

I like the process of writing because it's private again. But it's very hard to look back at your life. I don't like looking back. I like looking forward.

 

February 10, 2011

Streisand Quotes as MusiCares & Grammys Approach

Barbra Streisand was interviewed in Variety and USA Today about the upcoming MusiCares concert and Sunday's Grammy Awards. She also elaborates on GYPSY.

When asked by USA Today what she'll sing Friday at MusiCares, Streisand replied, “I'm not saying what.”

Make sure to read Variety's story, in which Recording Academy president and CEO Neil Portnow tells how he got Streisand for this year's MusiCares.

Streisand commented on receiving the award by saying in a statement: “For me, being able to create is both a gift and a responsibility, and I have seen firsthand the power of philanthropy to make the world a safer, healthier and more peaceful place. I have so much respect for the work (MusiCares) does to create a lifeline of resources...for music people in times of need.”

Streisand's longtime collaborator and A&R man, Jay Landers, is producing the MusiCares event. Phil Ramone (who did the sound on her 1967 concert in Central Park) is also producing Friday night's show.

As for GYPSY, Streisand told USA Today, “We're still in negotiations [for GYPSY], but Arthur (Laurents, the show's librettist) let the cat out of the bag.”

Regarding the Grammys on Sunday night, Streisand said, “My lucky number is 24. I was born on the 24th and had my son at 24. When I won my last Grammy, I said, 'Maybe I'll see you in 24 years.' That was 24 years ago. We'll see.”

Note on MusiCares: The Friday night concert will NOT be streamed online. Grammy.com is covering the red carpet, but stops web-broadcasting at 9:00 PM, which is when the concert begins. If I hear any news about Streisand's MusiCares show coming out on DVD or being broadcast, I'll post something here — however, this is unlikely. (In 2006, MusiCares released the James Taylor show on DVD; Brian Wilson's 2004 concert was also released on DVD ... but none since then!)

Make sure to watch the entertainment shows on Monday (Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, etc.) for footage from MusiCares, as well as YouTube and Grammy.com. I'll post links to whatever is available online.

 

Little Fockers DVD & Blu-Ray News

Digital Bits is reporting:

Universal is getting ready to announce the Blu-ray and DVD release of Little Fockers (SRP $39.98 and $29.98), likely for sometime in March or April. Extras will include an alternate open and ending not seen in theatres, a gag reel, additional deleted scenes, The Making of a Godfocker featurette and more.

February 8, 2011

Barbra Streisand to Sing Live @ Grammys

From the official Grammy Awards, which air on CBS this Sunday, Feb. 13th:

Eight-time GRAMMY® winner, current nominee, and 2011 MusiCares® Person of the Year Barbra Streisand will appear in a rare performance on the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards® (www.grammy.com), and three-time GRAMMY winner Kris Kristofferson will introduce Streisand's performance.

Love is the Answer, Streisand's 2009 #1 album, was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.

Do I need to remind Streisand fans out there about what Barbra said in 1987 at the Grammy Awards when she won for THE BROADWAY ALBUM? At the end of her acceptance speech, Barbra said “I might just see you again 24 years from tonight...”

All signs point toward a win for Barbra on Sunday. If so, I can't wait to hear her 2011 acceptance speech!!

Some Grammy Trivia: The last time Barbra sang [an entire song] at the Grammys was February 27, 1980 (“You Don't Bring Me Flowers” with Neil Diamond)—31 years ago!

Barbra also sang one a capella line from “You'll Never Know” at the Grammys in 1992 when she was presented the Legend Award.

 

Streisand Interviewed Pre-MusiCares

Streisand photo by Russell JamesSusan King interviewed Streisand by phone for the article which ran in today's L.A. Times. Streisand talks about her Bergman album (recording sessions are not finished—they've recorded 1/3 of the album to date) and also confirms GYPSY—although she adds that “the deal wasn't finished...”

She's recording a new album and getting ready to star in a remake of the musical "Gypsy," but Barbra Streisand isn't too busy to be honored this week by MusiCares, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences foundation that aids musicians in crisis.

"I love musicians," she explains. "I love people who create music, play music, sing music — whatever. It is a very unified profession. We admire each other's work."

Tony Bennett, Jeff Beck, LeAnn Rimes, Seal, BeBe Winans, Stevie Wonder, Diana Krull, Barry Manilow and the cast of "Glee" are among the performers who will be offering their interpretations of Streisand's classic recordings at the benefit Friday evening at the L.A. Convention Center, two nights before the Grammy Awards. The annual MusiCares person of the year event honors an artist for his or her "creative accomplishments and philanthropy."

An eight-time Grammy winner who is nominated again this year for best traditional pop vocal album for "Love Is the Answer," Streisand, 68, will be performing at the conclusion of the tribute. "I am singing and talking for about 12 to 15 minutes," she said over the phone from her Malibu home, which she wrote about in her bestselling coffee-table book, "My Passion for Design." A portion of the book's proceeds go to the Barbra Streisand Women's Cardiovascular Research and Education program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

But that is all she will reveal about her appearance. "I want it to be a surprise!"

What isn't a surprise is that two of the tribute's co-chairs are Streisand's longtime friends, the Oscar-winning lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman, who penned the lyrics to "The Way We Were" and the songs from Streisand's 1983 directorial debut, "Yentl," among numerous other renowned tunes ("The Windmills of Your Mind," "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," "I Believe in Love").

"I have sung 52 of their songs," Streisand says.

But there are others she hasn't yet sung, so she's recording an album of them. "I had the most wonderful session a few weeks ago," Streisand recalled. "It was lovely to walk into the Sony scoring stage, which is now called the Barbra Streisand Scoring Stage. It was great."

Ever the designer, Streisand had Sony redesign and redecorate the stage. "It is such a beautiful space — the height of the ceiling and the size of the room," said Streisand.

"The artist's booth used to be way across the orchestra. So every time you want to go into the booth, you would have to run across all of these people and the instruments. The bathroom was outside in the street! So I remember saying it would be fabulous if the artists who recorded there have their booth right by the control booth and a separate bathroom. It was such a treat to work in the room. I worked with so many people I loved — the incredible arranger William Ross; Jay Landers, my longtime A&R man; Marty Erlichman [her manager, who discovered her] and Marilyn and Alan Bergman, who I have known since I was 18. We have a third of an album done."

Streisand said she was singing at the Bon Soir night club when she was 18 when she met the Bergmans.

"I guess they were in the audience," she said. "Marilyn told me this later, that she was crying through my set. I remember the door opening to this tiny little dressing room that I shared with Phyllis Diller. You could hardly turn around to change your dress. The door opened and she said to me, 'Do you know how wonderful you are?' And I didn't. I was always very uncomfortable with compliments for many, many years."

The following year, the couple were present with her at the apartment of composer Jule Styne, who, with Bob Merrill, would write the legendary 1964 Broadway musical "Funny Girl," which made Streisand a superstar as Fanny Brice and for which she won the lead actress Oscar for the 1968 film version.

"I had come there because he wanted to play a song for me," Streisand said. "I was 19 and I was in 'I Can Get It For You Wholesale.' Marilyn tells the story in great detail. I always forget these stories and she reminds me. I was designing clothes then and so I designed myself a black mink cape lined with the paisley that was on my couch — the leftover fabric — a black Russian Cossack-like hat and boots. She remembers I had long, dark fingernails. I asked for a sandwich. She said when they were playing the music for me I never looked up. I was just eating my sandwich."

But Streisand did look up when they finished. "I said, 'You know, that is not right for me. It's right for Carol Burnett.' She said what was amazing to them was that Julie had told them this [musical] was originally written for Carol Burnett. She said I proceeded to describe the kind of musical I would like to do. She said it was like describing 'Funny Girl,' which wasn't around at that time."

Though she has appeared in "Meet the Fockers" and the recent sequel, "Little Fockers," Streisand hasn't done a major film since starring in and directing 1996's "The Mirror Has Two Faces," and she hasn't done a movie musical since "Yentl." But last month, news broke that she would be starring in a new version of the Styne-Stephen Sondheim 1959 Broadway classic "Gypsy," playing the ultimate stage mother, Mama Rose.

Rosalind Russell had the role in the 1962 film version; Bette Midler played it in the 1993 CBS-TV adaptation.

The news leaked "a little early, because the deal wasn't finished," Streisand said. "I am not sure about directing it. It may just be too much. I know I will be playing the part. It's like a bookend starting with 'Funny Girl.'"

How exciting is the GYPSY news?! If the project proceeds, I'm betting GYPSY could be in theaters by Holiday 2012.

R.I.P. Bruce Jackson

Bruce Jackson died Saturday, January 29 when the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed near Death Valley National Park.

Barbra Streisand works with the best. And when she went on her last few concert tours (1994, 2000, and 2006) she wanted her sound in the best hands: Bruce Jackson.

Jackson told Mixdown' Monthly in 2000:

[Streisand] was uptight about going and playing at all, let alone in big arenas. So it was the same deal, where she said, ‘I don’t care what it costs, I just want you to make it right for me.’ So for her I developed these new monitors. And she had said that she hated everything that she’d ever heard since the 60s, and I thought, ‘That’s interesting. The common thread there as far as I’m concerned is compression drivers.’ You know, the metal drivers with horns. And back in the 60s it was all cones, and with my other company, Apogee Electronics, I had developed a bunch of digital audio stuff, but also, we were distributing Klipsch monitors, which is the big studio monitor in Europe, and their whole big thing was that they used soft domes.

Jackson also solved a sound problem that has plaqued many big live acts: reverb in the venue.

How can you make it comfortable? We want to control the reverb, so what’s the best thing to do? Well you know, if you walk into a carpeted room it’s much better than one with a wood floor, so we carpeted all these places. We carpeted Wembley, Madison Square Garden, and the Pond here in Los Angeles. All over, everywhere we went we carpeted, and also hung lots and lots of drapes to improve the sound.

Streisand in L.A.

Barbra Streisand, John Travolta and Quentin Tarantino toasted director David O. Russell (The Fighter) at a pre-Screen Actors Guild party in Brentwood, Calif. Friday night, January 28th.

Streisand in Travolta's car

Pictured is Kelly Preston, Streisand (with her 70s-styled hair! Fabulous!) and Travolta leaving the party.

January 28, 2011

Streisand + Rogen = Mother's Curse!

Barbra's back!

From Variety:

Paramount is ramping up mother-son comedy "My Mother's Curse," with Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen starring and David Ellison's Skydance co-financing.

The studio is planning to start shooting this spring with Anne Fletcher ("The Proposal") directing from Dan Fogelman's script. Project's been in development at Par for several years.

Lorne Michaels and John Goldwyn are producing along with Evan Goldberg.

Story follows a young inventor and his mother on a road trip, ostensibly to sell his organic cleaning product but actually to reunite mom with a man she loved earlier in life -- while she attempts to help the son overcome his "curse" of non-commitment to relationships. Fogelman wrote the script based on an actual road trip that he took with his own mom.

Rogen, Streisand, Fogelman and Ellison are exec producing.

Streisand's currently onscreen in "Little Fockers" and was in talks earlier this month for a remake of "Gypsy" for Warner Bros. and Joel Silver. Rogen's currently starring in "The Green Hornet." Fogelman penned "Crazy, Stupid, Love" for Warners and will make his directorial debut for the studio in "Imagine," starring Steve Carell.

Streisand's repped by WME. Rogen and Fletcher are repped by UTA.

Barbra Archives has learned that, most likely, My Mother's Curse will start shooting mid- to late-April 2011. It'll go into post-production at the end of August.

Although there is no official release date yet, it's very possible Paramount could have it out in theaters by Christmas 2011 (much like Little Fockers). It's also possible Paramount could hold the picture until Mother's Day (May 2012), which would be an appropriate release date considering the film's subject matter.

Of course, I'll post anything official or rumored that I hear about MMC!

 

Lea Michele on Streisand

Lea Michele, the Grammy-nominated GLEE star shares why she's thrilled to pay tribute to the 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year, Barbra Streisand in the newest issue of People Magazine:

I grew up in this typical New Jersey town where everyone looked the same. If you didn't have a nose job, you were about to. Agents and casting directors told me to get one, but my mother said, “Barbra Streisand never did—and neither are you.”

When I met [GLEE creator] Ryan Murphy, he asked if I'd ever seen FUNNY GIRL. I said no. When I did see it, I cried my eyes out. My life changed. Her character felt and looked so much like me! From then, I've been obsessed with Barbra. Her voice is perfect. She doesn't need any tricks. What makes her a rare talent is she can just stand there and sing.

On GLEE I've sung four of her songs. Every time I do “Funny Girl” I cry. Singing her music [at the MusiCares gala Feb. 11] isn't about getting to be in the same room as her or having her hear my voice. (Though I'm nervious—hopefully I won't vomit!) It's about me just saying thank you.

Streisand in People Magazine

January 27, 2011

Barbra Updates

My boyfriend and I are going on a warm weather get-away (much needed! Oy! The snow!!) I won't update Barbra-Archives while I'm gone, but look for new news around the week of Feb. 7th. — Matt :)

January 19, 2011

Streisand in D.C.

Photo by Kevin Dietsch

Brolin and Streisand at White House

Brolin and Streisand

James Brolin and his wife singer Barbra Streisand arrive at the White House for a state dinner in Washington, DC.

Obama and Streisand at state dinner

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are hosting resident Hu Jintao for a state dinner during his visit to the United States.

Streisand in suit

From Greta Van Susteren's blog:

Barbara Streisand was asked why she was invited tonight. She deadpaned: “I worked in a Chinese restaurant.” Babs wore a dress of “my own design” – a navy pin-striped three piece skirt suit with rhinestone buttons – plus lots of diamond necklaces. "Come closer you say?" she asks ... but doesn't budge an inch towards the press. Read more >>

Hmmm, where have I seen that "get-up" before?

Streisand at Clinton Inauguration

(Above: Streisand performs for Bill Clinton at An American Reunion: The 52nd Presidential Inaugural Gala, January 19, 1993.)

Streisand and Hu

Barbra Streisand was at the State Department today for a lunch in Chinese President Hu's honor. Streisand is pictured here beside Henry Kissinger, saying hello to Pres. Hu—who, reportedly, is a fan.

January 14, 2011

Streisand Recording

Barbra Archives can confirm that Barbra is in the studio (presumably at The Barbra Streisand Scoring Stage in Culver City) with an orchestra this week recording her new album — songs with lyrics by the Bergmans. Marilyn and Alan Bergman are there, too, in the recording booth.

Barbra Twittered about it, too:

Streisand twitter

January 10, 2011

Director Peter Yates Dies

Peter Yates and Barbra Streisand

Deadline reports that Peter Yates passed away in London this weekend. Yates was a 4-time Oscar nominated director who helmed such pictures as Bullitt, The Friends Of Eddie Coyle, Breaking Away, Suspect, and The Dresser.

Streisand fans will recognize Yates as the director of Barbra's 1974 comedy, For Pete's Sake. [read more about that film here]

Boy, a whole generation of filmmakers seems to be passing away.

January 5, 2011

Streisand in Gypsy

Update 8:24 PM EST

The Hollywood Reporter has the most sober assessment of today's Gypsy news:

Talks with Streisand are far from the deal-making stage. The icon has met with the play's lyrics writer, Stephen Sondheim, and book writer, Arthur Laurents, to discuss her role in the new movie, sources inside the actress' camp confirmed.

Earlier today, from the New York Times' Patrick Healy ...

More quotes and info about Streisand as Gypsy. This time, Warner Brothers, Joel Silver, Tom Hanks, and a Dick Guttman quote ...

Barbra Streisand has met with Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents to discuss starring as Rose, the mother of all stage mamas, in a film version of their 1959 musical “Gypsy,” the two men said in telephone interviews on Wednesday. Mr. Laurents, who wrote the book for “Gypsy” and directed its 2008 revival on Broadway starring Patti LuPone, said that Warner Brothers and Joel Silver were attached as producers, but that no director had been chosen.

Contrary to a report in The New York Post on Wednesday, Mr. Laurents said that Ms. Streisand would not direct the film; she once wanted to, he said, “but playing Rose is enough to make her happy.” Ms. Streisand, who won an Academy Award for best actress in 1968 for the film musical “Funny Girl,” has been interested in doing “Gypsy” for many years, Mr. Laurents said, “but now things are serious and a movie is truly in the works.” He said that he had suggested Tom Hanks to play the role of Herbie, Rose’s love interest and the talent manager of her two daughters, Baby June and Louise. “Barbra loved the idea,” Mr. Laurents said.

Asked whether Ms. Streisand, who will turn 69 in April, was too old to play Rose, who is a young mother in the first act of the musical, Mr. Laurents said: “First of all, they can do magic in Hollywood. Second, does it really matter?”

“Gypsy” was made into a film in 1962, starring Rosalind Russell as Rose, which has its fans and detractors. Mr. Laurents said, “I would be very pleased if we had a different film version for the historical record.” He said he had met with Ms. Streisand twice over the last month or so; Mr. Sondheim, who wrote the “Gypsy” lyrics for Jule Styne’s music, said that he met with her a few months ago and that “she wants to do it.” He referred other questions to Mr. Laurents. “There have been conversations,” said Dick Guttman, a spokesman for Ms. Streisand. Mr. Guttman declined to elaborate.

This is exciting news, however it is not a “done deal” and no studio is attached yet.

Michael Riedel at The New York Post reports:

The role of Mama Rose in "Gypsy" has always attracted great divas, from Ethel Merman to Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly to Patti LuPone.

And now comes word that the greatest diva of them all -- Barbra Streisand -- is next in line.

Streisand is deep in negotiations to direct, produce and star in a movie version of "Gypsy."

She recently cleared a big hurdle -- 92-year-old Broadway legend Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book to the show.

He's also directed several productions, including the scorching 2008 Broadway revival for which LuPone won a Tony.

"Barbra and I have been getting along very well now for some time," Laurents told me yesterday. "We've talked about it a lot, and she knows what she's doing. She has my approval."

Laurents shares control of "Gypsy" -- perhaps the greatest Broadway musical -- with Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the lyrics, and the estates of Jule Styne, the composer, and Jerome Robbins, the original director.

But everybody on Broadway knows that you can't do "Gypsy" without Laurents' blessing. And he's very particular about who plays Mama Rose and how she plays it.

He was, I'm told, concerned that Streisand might be reluctant to embrace the brutality of the role.

In her drive to make her daughters stage stars, Mama Rose can turn psychotic in a flash. The real Mama Rose killed an agent by pushing him out a window.

But Streisand's a movie star, and movie stars want to be adored.

A lovable, human Mama Rose would be a disaster.

"Barbra and I have had long talks on this very subject," Laurents acknowledged. "She had a mother who she always thought was Mama Rose. I don't want to get into the details, but the point is she knows. She's got it in her. She's going to be much more than people expect."

"Gypsy" was made into a movie in 1962 with Rosalind Russell as Rose. It's a much softer version of the stage show, marred by the fact that Russell never goes for the jugular.

Asked if he'll write the screenplay to the new version, Laurents said: "No! Hollywood is Hollywood, and I've already been there. But I'll be around."

Laurents and Streisand have been friends for decades. He directed her in her first Broadway show, "I Can Get It for You Wholesale," in 1962. She had a small role, but the critics raved, and her career took off. A decade later, he wrote "The Way We Were" for her.

"We're talking about 'Gypsy' being a bookend for us," he said. "She began with me, and this will be a grand farewell for us."

Patti Lupone and Bernadette Peters have both starred as Mama Rose in recent Broadway productions of Gypsy. And Bette Midler played her in a 1993 television version of the play.

Streisand has circled the property for years. She worked on Some People and Rose's Turn for The Broadway Album in 1985, but didn't include them on the final version of the album.

We'll see how this develops ...

January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here's wishing all the Barbra Streisand fans out there a Happy 2011! I hope you all had fantastic New Years Eves and Days.

I've done some house-cleaning here at Barbra-Archives. All of the 2010 News has been archived on its own page, which is now located here.

All the Streisand news for 2011 will be here on this page.

I finally made it out to the movie theaters yesterday to see Barbra in Little Fockers. Although the Fockers movies are not my favorite genre of films to watch, it wasn't as bad as I thought, LOL. Streisand did great with what they gave her.

I have to admit, though, that I'd much rather spend my $12 on a movie starring only Barbra and Dustin Hoffman! Or ... just Barbra! Imagine: Barbra on screen — for an entire movie!

What is there to look forward to in 2011 from Ms. Streisand? Much!

January 2011 — NEW ALBUM SESSIONS, Los Angeles

Streisand begins recording her new album in January. Although no official announcement has been made, the album will most likely feature songs with lyrics by her friends Alan and Marilyn Bergman—including several new songs written just for the album (I suspect Marvin Hamlisch has contributed some melodies, including a new love song titled One Washes, One Dries.)

There's no release date yet ... but it'll be out in 2011.

February 11, 2011 — MusiCares Concert, Los Angeles

The Recording Academy and the MusiCares Foundation will honor Streisand with the Person of the Year award on Feb. 11 at a dinner and concert in Los Angeles. Streisand sings/closes the evening.

February 13, 2011 — Grammy Awards, Los Angeles, Staples Center

Barbra's 2009 album, Love is the Answer, is up for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. We're assuming Streisand will attend ... and it'd be fantastic if she won!

And further afoot in 2011 ....

These fall into the RUMOR category ... and the Blu-Rays are simply a WISH LIST!

 

Goodbye Anne Francis

Anne Francis in FUNNY GIRL

The LA Times reports:

Anne Francis, who costarred in the 1950s science-fiction classic "Forbidden Planet" and later played the title role in "Honey West," the mid-1960s TV series about a sexy female private detective with a pet ocelot, died Sunday. She was 80.

Francis, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007 and underwent surgery and chemotherapy, died of complications of pancreatic cancer at a retirement home in Santa Barbara, said Jane Uemura, her daughter. Friends and family members were with her, said a family spokeswoman, Melissa Fitch.

Anne Francis played showgirl Georgia James in the film version of Funny Girl. Many of her scenes were cut out of the film, and Francis complained about it for years. She did, however, mend fences a few years ago (see her open letter to Barbra Streisand).

 

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