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Barbra News (Archived)

Welcome to Barbra-Archives! This page contains Streisand news from 2013 ...

December 13, 2013

Barbra Streisand's Fifth Number One Rated DVD, "Back To Brooklyn," Reaches Top Spot

Excerpted from Columbia Records wire release today:

In her sixth decade of providing music magic, Barbra Streisand continues to reach the number one position on the charts.  Her "Back To Brooklyn" concert DVD  has reached #1 on the Billboard Top DVD Music Videos chart. Achieving that distinction with the Columbia Records release, Streisand has now topped the DVD charts five times. Her success in the DVD field also includes having earned nine Gold DVDs, six Platinum and three Multi-Platinum.

On the CD charts, she has reached #1 nine times and is the only recording artist to have accomplished #1 albums in five consecutive decades. She has achieved 51 gold albums, 30 platinum and 13 multi-platinum.

November 27, 2013

Barbra on PBS

Streisand will be featured twice on PBS this holiday season.

The PBS version of Back to Brooklyn will air Nov. 29th on local PBS stations.

Streisand also appears in the American Masters documentary Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love, which premieres December 27 (check local listings).

Streisand in Hamlisch documentary

November 26, 2013

Back To Brooklyn is Here!

USPS and UPS drivers all over America were busy delivering Barbra's Back to Brooklyn CD/DVD yesterday and today, I'm sure! (Mine arrived around 4pm.)

Are you enjoying?

I am!

I've posted my mini-review of the CD, DVD and PBS show below.

I was a very lucky person in 2012 (and March this year) to see this Streisand show six times! From the Dress Rehearsal in Philadelphia to her second show in Amsterdam, I was able to see the show grow, edit, and expand past the Brooklyn theme that is chronicled on Barbra's latest CD and DVD.

Back on October 11th and 13th, 2012, the excitement was palatable at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York where Barbra sang her heart out for an enrapt audience of fans.

Streisand in front of thousands of fans

Barbra's repertoire in Back to Brooklyn is less quirky than the 2006 show. Here, Streisand sings several classic tunes at the top of the show that illustrate why she is the best. The three songs right after her opening set are just perfect, and, frankly, illustrative of her status as a legendary performer: “The Way He Makes Me Feel” is Michel Legrand sensuousness; “Bewitched” shows why Streisand is a master interpreter of musical theater songs and standards (“He was cold; so what of it?”); and “Didn't We” gives us “the actress who sings” performing this soaring and bitter-sweet ballad.

The only thing Streisand can do to top this trilogy of butterness is to introduce us to Il Volo—three tenors who join her on “Smile.” The CD omits “Smile” but Il Volo do appear in the DVD and PBS special. (Although their solo set from the tour is cut from this Columbia Records release.) Chris Botti and Jason Gould also duet with Streisand. Gould's solo song from the tour, “This Masquerade,” is a bonus on the DVD.

Barbra's tribute to Marvin Hamlisch never fails to elicit tears and it works on all versions of Back To Brooklyn. (It's very special that they include the video footage of Annie Leibovitz photographing Marvin and Barbra in the back of the truck with the set furniture from 1994's The Concert!)

Streisand and Hamlisch

The CD departs from the format of the TV special because it utilizes audio of Barbra's Brooklyn neighbors from the1980s documentary I Remember Barbra to introduce the show and make the bridge from the first to second act. The CD — which is 72 minutes in length—also edits down Streisand's patter. (The entire I Remember Barbra is included as a bonus feature on the DVD.)

The second act of the show features Barbra in her beautiful coral-colored Donna Karan gown. “Here's To Life” made me cry every time I saw Streisand sing it last year, and it does here, too.

Back to the CD: listening to this show in audio-only mode, the Bill Ross orchestrations really stand out. The orchestra sounds truly gorgeous, and you can hear a certain piano line or instrument in the stereo mix. The CD is sonically strong and pleasing to the ears.

It's curious that this is only one CD. Past Streisand concert recordings have been 2-CD sets (The Concert, Timeless, Live 2006). Fans aren't missing too much here, however. The only Streisand singing cut from the CD are the Q&A snippets, “Smile,” and “Happy Days.” These are all on the DVD, of course, so it's hard to complain about their omission from the CD. (One wonders why there's no Blu-ray of the concert, though.)

The PBS special differs slightly from the DVD sold in stores. PBS takes a blackout after the Hamlisch segment; the DVD includes some patter with the audience about Barbra and “buttah.” Mostly, the PBS special edits for time—and will include segments not on this DVD of co-director Richard Jay-Alexander speaking about the show when PBS takes pledge breaks. (Watch Back to Brooklyn on PBS Nov. 29th. Check local listings.)

DVD director Scott Lochmus rejects some of the previous Gary Smith techniques for editing Barbra Streisand concerts, so this show has its own unique feel. Gone are fan interviews—and most of the overture! (I miss those rare photos shown during the overture. Seeing that huge kabuki curtain drop right before the Funny Girl overture began was pretty cool, too, but not included in the DVD.) But Lochmus captures some great audience shots, all bathed in colored light. (Below: Look! My Barbra Buddy, Michael, got a closeup!)

Michael in DVD

For this diehard fan, I found Miss Streisand to be in excellent voice on this tour—better than the 2006 tour, in my opinion. She sounds lovely on this package. I even hear that beautiful vibrato that was present in her high register when she was just starting out almost 50 years ago. Several press reviews have characterized Streisand's voice—particularly the high notes—as diminished. I don't concentrate on that, so it's not a bother to me. Simply put: It is one of the joys of my life to see and hear Barbra Streisand in concert. First and foremost to me are her talents as an entertainer and song stylist and actress. That being said, Barbra is still in excellent voice. If the critics are saying that Barbra doesn't sound like she's 31-years-old any more .... well, what other artist is still singing this well and touring at Barbra's current age?

She has no precedent.

Streisand toasts audience

The Back to Brooklyn CD and DVD and PBS special are historic—in that show business/musical theater/Tin Pan Alley genre that Streisand occupies. This is Barbra Streisand's seventh live album, and like she says, “It's not over till the fat lady sings, and I ain't that fat!” Back to Brooklyn —her latest live show—is top notch and was captured here beautifully.

Streisand In Studio Recording

David Foster tweeted this photo of himself in the studio with Barbra Streisand last week.

Foster and Streisand in studio

He wrote: Always fun when La Barbra (@BarbraStreisand) is in the studio. She can still hit it out of the park!

Foster and Streisand posed with Nashville songwriter Bernie Herms and Foster's right-hand man, Jochem van der Saag. Foster and van der Saag recently produced the Streisand duet of “When You Wish Upon A Star” for the Mary J. Blige holiday album.

It's unknown what they were recording, although it's possible they worked on a track for Streisand's upcoming duets project.

November 11, 2013

Streisand at Glamour Awards

Streisand gives speech at Glamour Awards

Barbra killed it tonight at the 2013 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall in New York. Accompanied by husband James Brolin on the red carpet, Barbra (wearing a high-collared white blouse, black waistcoat, blazer, slitted skirt, and a black bowtie) appeared last at the awards, giving (by all accounts) a fiery and political speech! Introduced by Katie Couric, Streisand's speech reportedly covered: the Tea Party, pay equity, abortion, gun control and heart disease.

Streisand making her speech

Choice quotes circulated on Twitter from Barbra's speech:

Brolin and Streisand on red carpet

And here's Barbra holding her (orange!) award:

Streisand with Glamour award

Backstage, attendees were encouraged to write their liftetime motto. Streisand didn't pose for a photo with her motto, but here she is writing it:

Streisand writing motto

Barbra wrote: “Believe in the power of your own voice!! Be yourself. Everyone is unique!”

Barbra's motto

NOvember 10, 2013

PBS Promo

PBS has released its Back To Brooklyn promo. It airs on PBS on Nov. 29th.

November 8, 2013

Barbra Sings at the Met

This afternoon, Barbra Streisand made a surprise appearance on stage at the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York City for the Baron Investment Conference.

Read the new Barbra-Archives page (including entire set list) about this performance here.

Posted by @DivaDesign on Twitter:

Streisand on Met stage

And by singsforshoes on Instagram:

Streisand at Met

Barbra Visits Pippin

On Wednesday, November 6, Barbra Streisand went to see the revival of Pippin on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre.

Tovah Feldshuh circulated this backstage photo of Streisand and the Pippin cast. Tovah is currently playing Berthe, Pippin's grandmother, in the show. Tovah played Yentl both off-Broadway at the Chelsea Theater Center and later on Broadway in the Leah Napolin play based on Isaac Bashevis Singer's Yentl in 1975.

Tovah and Streisand backstage at Pippin

Left to right: Rachel Bay Jones (Catherine); Charlotte D'Amboise (Fastrada); Tovah Feldshu (Berthe); Streisand; Patina Miller (Leading Player)

Wednesday night, Tovah wrote:

Could there be a better night in the theater to be visited Barbra Streisand at Pippin? We've been allies since YENTL, and she is truly a kind and generous soul. I am thrilled to share this photo with three great talents: the leading ladies of PIPPIN and the Queen herself. AD ASTRA Barbra.

November 6, 2013

Streisand Stuff

A few Streisand news blips:

All About Barbra number 75

Richard Jay-Alexander interviewed for PBS

October 30, 2013

Barbra is Glamour Lifetime Achievement Winner

Streisand in Glamour

With a new (gorgeous!) photo by Russell James, Barbra Streisand appears in the December 2013 edition of Glamour magazine (out Nov. 5—or download the issue now in the Glamour iPad app here). Barbra wears Donna Karan in the photo; boots by Chanel.

In the article, Barbra offers five tips for young women: “One, find your passion. Find what you love to do. Two, trust your instincts. Three, stay true to yourself—people respond to authenticity, and they can smell a phony. Four, don't fear your self-doubt. Doubt can motivate you, so don't be afraid of it. Confidence and doubt are at two ends of the scale, and you need both. They balance each other out.”

And five? “Take risks. Don't stand on the sidelines. Get involved. It's your life. It's your country. It's your world.”

Fellow 2013 Woman of the Year, Lady Gaga, said this about Streisand: “She's such a pivotal figure in music. As a performer, she's always been so different from everybody else around.”

Gaga was also asked about Barbra in her December Glamour interview: “Yes, I've always admired her, and I always found her to be extremely confident in herself. I think it's the thing that I found the most amazing about her—her confidence.”

The 23rd annual Women of the Year Awards will be held at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Nov. 11.

You can read Barbra's Glamour interview online here.

Hamlisch Film Biography Airs on PBS in December

Composer, conductor, genius, mensch: Marvin Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – Aug. 6, 2012) earned four Grammys, four Emmys, three Oscars, three Golden Globes, a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize before his untimely death, making him one of only two PEGOT winners ever. Hit after hit — "The Way We Were," "Nobody Does It Better" and scores for The Sting, Sophie's Choice and the Broadway juggernaut A Chorus Line — made him the go-to composer and performer for film, Broadway, every U.S. President since Reagan and concert halls worldwide. With exclusive access to Hamlisch's personal archival treasure trove and complete cooperation from his family, Dramatic Forces and THIRTEEN's American Masters explore his prolific life and career in the series' Season 27 finale, Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love, premiering nationally Friday, December 27, 2013, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).

In the first film biography about Hamlisch, award-winning filmmaker and four-time Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Dori Berinstein (Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, Gotta Dance, ShowBusiness: The Road To Broadway) presents a deeply personal, insider portrait of one of the greatest artists of our time. Candid new interviews with Hamlisch's family, friends and A-list collaborators include wife Terre Blair Hamlisch, Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Steven Soderbergh, Quincy Jones, Christopher Walken, Sir Tim Rice, Joe Torre, Woody Allen, John Lithgow, Lucie Arnaz, Ann-Margret, Sir Howard Stringer, Kelli O'Hara, Brian D'Arcy James, Idina Menzel, Melissa Manchester, songwriter Carol Bayer Sager and many others.

"Marvin Hamlisch was a consummate artist: gifted, creative and personable. His music is part of the essential soundtrack to so many of our lives," said Susan Lacy, creator and executive producer of American Masters.

"Marvin's astounding musical genius was certainly breathtaking, but it was his irrepressible joy for life and his unending generosity that constantly had me in awe. What a tremendous honor and challenge to capture the magic of this singular sensation," said Berinstein, who was friends with Hamlisch and collaborated with him on a new Broadway musical before his death. She is working to finish the musical, which will feature his final score.

A musical prodigy accepted to Juilliard at age six, Hamlisch defied classical expectations to create his own music, dedicating his talents to musical theatre and pop music composition. By age 31, he achieved unprecedented success and honors with a string of smash hits, and then his streak ended. Faced with overwhelming pressure and sky-high expectations to repeat his hits, Hamlisch fell into a self-described "period of suffocating despair," before rebounding to find true love worthy of a Broadway musical and renewed passion for creation. Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love reveals the events that led to both his staggering success and, ultimately, his even greater humanity: his creative process, struggles, inner turmoil and breakthroughs.

October 24, 2013

BARBRA STREISAND’S “BACK TO BROOKLYN” CONCERT TO DEBUT NOVEMBER 25 AS COLUMBIA RECORDS CD/DVD PACKAGE

Barbra Streisand's "Back To Brooklyn" Concert To Debut November 25 As Columbia Records CD/DVD Package. (PRNewsFoto/Columbia Records, Russell James, Copyright Barwood)(Columbia Records; New York, NY – October 24, 2013) – Columbia Records has announced the simultaneous release of a CD and a CD/DVD package of Barbra Streisand’s critically acclaimed 2012 “Back To Brooklyn” concert, set to be released on November 25. Filmed and recorded over two nights, the CD and DVD capture the superstar’s celebratory return to her hometown of Brooklyn, NY.

(Photo, right: PRNewsFoto/Columbia Records, Russell James, Copyright Barwood)

A unique and compelling attraction of “Back To Brooklyn” is that the CD and CD/DVD combo features nine never previously performed songs by the star in concert. Ms. Streisand is the only recording artist to have accomplished #1 albums in five consecutive decades. She has achieved 51 gold albums, 30 platinum and 13 multi-platinum. Streisand has also earned eight gold DVDs, six of which have gone platinum and three of which have gone multi-platinum.

The DVD provides biographical video and still photo images of the artist’s childhood and early career. The evening marked her first musical performance in her native Brooklyn since she departed at age 16 to pursue her acting career and became one of the most popular and famous musical performers of her time. Throughout the concert, Barbra reflects upon her years growing up in Brooklyn, and to mark the occasion, she commissioned special lyrics for two songs:

ACT I opens with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “As If We Never Said Goodbye,” which she turns into an homage to “the Brooklyn docks, the nova lox” and other fond memories of the sights and sounds of her youth. When she triumphantly sings, “I’ve come home at last,” the audience rises from their seats with a thunderous welcome back ovation.

ACT II pays tribute to the people and places in Brooklyn today, with a re-written lyric to Cole Porter’s “You’re The Top”: “You’re the top, you’re a Brooklyn trolley…you’re the top you’re a hot bialy!”

In her own words, the evening is also about “the songs that I love, written by people who I love.” Through their words and music, she pays tribute to her friends Alan & Marilyn Bergman (“Nice ‘n’ Easy”/ “That Face”/ “The Way He Makes Me Feel”), Jule Styne (“Gypsy”/ “Funny Girl”) and Leonard Bernstein (“Make Our Garden Grow”/ “Somewhere”). She pays loving tribute to her friend Marvin Hamlisch, who passed away as she was preparing for the concert. Her sentimental rendition of “The Way We Were” featuring Hamlisch’s original movie score arrangement is heart-aching and life-affirming.

Among the many highlights of the evening, the first time ever pairing of Barbra and her son Jason Gould singing Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is The Ocean,” had the audience in awe. Few could have imagined that Gould, an accomplished actor in his own right, also possessed his mother’s way with a song. Blended in harmony, their two voices combined are simply magic. Barbra also shares a special birthday video Jason made for her, which features his highly moving solo version of Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy.”

Barbra also shares the stage for three songs with the extraordinary trumpet player, Chris Botti. Botti adds his instrumental sophistication to a medley of “What’ll I Do” and “My Funny Valentine.” Then he weaves in and around Barbra’s vocals on two of her own compositions from the soundtrack to “A Star Is Born”—“Lost Inside Of You” and the Academy Award-winning “Evergreen (Love Theme from “A Star Is Born)."

The young Italian singing quartet, Il Volo, accompanies Barbra on a moving version of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile.” For the entire concert, Barbra is surrounded by a 60-member strong orchestra comprised of New York’s finest musicians, conducted by the renowned composer and arranger, William Ross.

Jason Gould and Streisand

(PRNewsFoto/Columbia Records, Russell James, Copyright Barwood)

The DVD contains two standout bonus features—Jason Gould’s solo performance of the classic Leon Russell song, “This Masquerade,” and a documentary entitled “I Remember Barbra,” featuring interviews and anecdotes with people who either knew or remembered Barbra as she was growing up in Brooklyn.

Unanimous praise of Streisand’s performance included Stephen Holden’s enthusiastic review in The New York Times, where he observed, “Like few singers of any age, she has the gift of conveying a primal human longing in a beautiful sound.”

With the CD, DVD and Deluxe CD/DVD, Barbra Streisand achieves yet another career milestone and proves along the way that you can take the girl out of Brooklyn, but you can’t take Brooklyn out of the girl.

Subsequent to the Brooklyn performances, Ms. Streisand presented a slightly revised version of the concert in record-breaking tours in the US, Canada, Europe and Israel, her first concert appearances in six years.

The concert performance is directed by Barbra Streisand and Richard Jay-Alexander, and written by Barbra Streisand, Jay Landers, Richard Jay-Alexander and Jeffrey Richman.

“Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn” will air on Great Performances on Friday, November 29 at 9 p.m. (check local listings) as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival.

Deluxe Back to Brooklyn package

DVD

1. Back to Brooklyn
2. As If We Never Said Goodbye
3. I Remember Brooklyn (Dialogue)
4. Nice ‘n’ Easy / That Face
5. The Way He Makes Me Feel
6. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
7. Didn’t We
8. Smile (w/ Il Volo)
9. Q & A
10. Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long
11. No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
12. The Way We Were / Through The Eyes Of Love
13. Being Good Isn’t Good Enough
14. Rose’s Turn / Some People / Don’t Rain On My Parade
15. I Remember Barbra
16. You’re The Top
17. What’ll I Do / My Funny Valentine (w/ Chris Botti)
18. Lost Inside Of You (w/ Chris Botti)
19. Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born) (w/ Chris Botti)
20. Nature Boy (Birthday video performed by Jason Gould)
21. How Deep Is The Ocean (Duet w/ Jason Gould)
22. People
23. Here’s To Life
24. Make Our Garden Grow / Somewhere
25. Some Other Time
26. Happy Days Are Here Again

INCLUDES ADDITIONAL BONUS MATERIAL:

27. “This Masquerade” (Performed by Jason Gould)
28. I Remember Barbra Documentary Film

CD

1. I Remember Barbra #1
2. As If We Never Said Goodbye
3. Nice ‘n’ Easy / That Face
4. The Way He Makes Me Feel
5. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
6. Didn’t We
7. Marvin Hamlisch intro
8. The Way We Were / Through The Eyes Of Love
9. Jule Styne intro
10. Being Good Isn’t Good Enough
11. Rose’s Turn / Some People / Don’t Rain On My Parade
12. I Remember Barbra #2
13. You’re The Top
14. What’ll I Do / My Funny Valentine (w/ Chris Botti)
15. Lost Inside Of You (w/ Chris Botti)
16. Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born) (w/ Chris Botti)
17. Jason Gould intro
18. How Deep Is The Ocean (Duet w/ Jason Gould)
19. People
20. Here’s To Life intro
21. Here’s To Life
22. Make Our Garden Grow
23. Some Other Time intro
24. Some Other Time

You can pre-order the DELUXE CD & DVD at Amazon here.

You can pre-order the CD-only at Amazon here.

October 15, 2013

The "Greatest Star" Returns Home in Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn on Great Performances Friday, November 29, 2013 at 9 p.m. as Part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival

Streisand backstage in Brooklyn Barclays Center

The official PBS press release was posted today:

NEW YORK, Oct. 15, 2013 -- "I love people from Brooklyn. Because they're real. Down to earth. They tell it like it is." So Barbra Streisand informs an adoring audience at the opening of her heralded hometown return at the brand new 19,000-seat, billion-dollar Barclays Center. Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn airs on THIRTEEN's Great Performances Friday, November 29 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN's as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival (check local listings).

Mixing her trademark classics with rarer older material and selections from her more recent albums, Streisand, in her first concert appearance in six years, and backed by a 60-piece orchestra led by William Ross, keeps the capacity house enthralled. In all, she sings 27 songs, nine of which she never before performed live, and three which she sings in different ways; that is, either with different arrangements or with newly composed lyrics.

Streisand masterfully holds the stage for two hours, joined by special guests Il Volo, trumpeter Chris Botti, and (making it a true family affair) son Jason Gould, who thrilled the audience singing solo and in a duet with his mother.

Elegantly gowned by Donna Karan, she plays to those in front, to the sides, and behind her. Some had flown halfway around the world to see this iconic and beloved performer in person. Utterly at ease, Streisand chats with the audience as casually as if they were in her living room.

The songs are framed by multi-faceted video montages of Streisand's childhood and early career. Her alma mater Erasmus High School, the Loews Kings Theatre, the Dodgers, her yeshiva, Brighton Beach and Brooklyn Heights all figure in her reminiscences. The superstar left her fourth-floor apartment at 3102 Newkirk Avenue (one of three residences at which she lived as a child) when she was 16 to pursue her acting career, and the rest is history. She joked that "the last time…(she) sang in Brooklyn was on a stoop on Pulaski Street."

Specially adapted lyrics to "As If We Never Said Goodbye" and "You're the Top" pay humorous homage to the borough.

Among the vocal highlights is a medley of Jule Styne show tunes. Styne wrote the music to Streisand's Broadway and Hollywood megahit "Funny Girl."  In that medley, Streisand also gives us a tantalizing glimpse of what her Mama Rose might sound like if she proceeds with her hoped-for remake of Styne and Sondheim's "Gypsy."

Throughout the concert, she sings selections from every stage of her career, including "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" (which she sang during her memorable appearance on "The Judy Garland Show" in 1963); "Enough is Enough (No More Tears)" (her disco hit with the late Donna Summer; "My Funny Valentine" (from her 1967 album "Simply Streisand"); and "The Way We Were" (in loving tribute to Marvin Hamlisch who unexpectedly passed away in August 2012).

And then there are songs from her more recent albums like "Nice 'N' Easy," "That Face," "Some Other Time," and "Here's to Life."

The concert also includes "Make Our Garden Grow" from Leonard Bernstein's "Candide," a song she recorded for an unreleased Broadway album in 1988. Here, she's backed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

Her two nights in Brooklyn were followed by a national tour which included Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Chicago, Vancouver, Las Vegas, San Jose, and Los Angeles, continuing on to Europe in 2013, with stops in London, Amsterdam, Cologne, Berlin, and Tel Aviv, where she was greeted by more devoted crowds and critical accolades.

Critics all over the world were unanimous in praise of Streisand. Stephen Holden in The New York Times observed, "Like few singers of any age, she has the gift of conveying a primal human longing in a beautiful sound." Charles McNulty of The Los Angeles Times wrote that her performance provided "a chance to spend quality time with a legend and enjoy the sights and sounds of her alternate reality." And Bernard Perusse of The Montreal Gazette observed, "Streisand has always done it with elegance and a peerless voice. She is truly, it seems, the last of her kind."

The full musical program follows:

As If I Never Said Goodbye (with special lyrics)
Nice N Easy / That Face
The Way He Makes Me Feel*
Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered
Didn't We
Smile (with Il Volo)
Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long*
No More Tears (Enough is Enough)*
The Way We Were/Through The Eyes of Love
Being Good Isn't Good Enough*
"Gypsy" medley: Rose's Turn/Some People*
Don't Rain On My Parade
You're The Top (Brooklyn Version)
What'll I Do* / My Funny Valentine (with Chris Botti)
Lost Inside of You* (with Chris Botti)
Evergreen (with Chris Botti)
Nature Boy (Jason Gould)
How Deep Is the Ocean* (with Jason Gould)
People
Here's To Life
Make Our Garden Grow* (with Chris Botti, Il Volo, Jason Gould, & the Brooklyn Youth Chorus)
Somewhere
Some Other Time
Happy Days Are Here Again

*live performance premiere

Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn will be available on CD and DVD from Columbia Records.

Directed for television by Scott Lochmus, the program is produced by Lochmus and Eileen Bernstein, with Barbra Streisand and Marty Erlichman as executive producers. The concert performance is directed by Barbra Streisand and Richard Jay-Alexander, and written by Barbra Streisand, Jay Landers, Richard Jay-Alexander and Jeffrey Richman. William Ross is music director.

Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America's most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its 40 year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America's most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Over the course of its four decades, the series has been the home to the greatest artists in the areas of drama, dance, musical theater, classical and popular music, providing many with their very first television exposure.

Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn is a co-production of the Jack My Dog Corporation and THIRTEEN Productions LLC in association with WNET.

For Great Performances, Bill O'Donnell is series producer, and David Horn is executive producer.  

 

October 7, 2013

Back to Brooklyn CD & DVD

Streisand's big fall release will be the CD and a deluxe CD/DVD combo of her 2012 concert, Back to Brooklyn. Amazon.com has posted cover art and basic information about the video and CD, which will be released November 19, 2013—that's one week before the concert airs on PBS.

You can pre-order the DELUXE CD & DVD at Amazon here.

You can pre-order the CD-only at Amazon here.

Back to Brooklyn CD cover

Specifics (tracks, bonus features, a Blu-ray disc, etc.) have not been officially announced yet—so stay tuned for a forthcoming news release from Columbia Records.

Barbra's Back To Brooklyn concert was filmed over two nights at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, October 11 and 13, 2012. Streisand sang many of her classic songs (Bewitched, People), songs from recent albums (Some Other Time, Here's To Life, Didn't We), and she shared the stage with trumpeter Chris Botti (What'll I Do/My Funny Valentine) and her son Jason Gould (How Deep is the Ocean).

October 3, 2013

The Way We Were U.S. Blu-ray

Twilight Time has sent Barbra Archives cover art and details on their forthcoming The Way We Were Blu-ray ... and I think fans will be very pleased! Please note the ordering details below:

Way We Were cover

Special Features:

back cover of blu-ray

Several of the special features have been brought over from the 1999 25th Anniversary DVD, and a few of the features on this Blu-ray are new—including Marvin Hamlisch's 1973 Oscar-winning score on an isolated track. The Blu-ray will be Region-Free, as well.

Life Photographer Bill Eppridge Dies

Former Life magazine photojournalist Bill Eppridge has died.  He photographed the iconic cover picture of Barbra Streisand for a 1966 Life Magazine.

Eppridge photo of Barbra Streisand

He also shot photographs of 20-year-old Streisand in 1963, including this one in her New York flat:

Streisand in New York apartment by Eppridge

And here's an historic image by Eppridge of Dwight Hemion, Marty Erlichman (in glasses), and Streisand in the television booth making her 1966 television special Color Me Barbra:

Eppridge photo of Streisand in booth

National Press Photographers summarizes:

Shooting for Life and Sports Illustrated, Eppridge covered wars, political campaigns, Olympic games, and heroin addition. During his career he taught photojournalism in many college classrooms and at intensive workshops, including his friend Eddie Adams's Barnstorm workshop in New York. He also taught at Yale University, the Missouri Photojournalism Workshop, Rich Clarkson's Photography at the Summit, and SportsShooter workshops.

September 18, 2013

Barbra on Mary J. Blige Holiday CD

Mary Christmas cover

Barbra has recorded a duet of the Disney classic “When You Wish Upon A Star” with Mary J. Blige for Blige's holiday CD, A Mary Christmas. Trumpeter Chris Botti is featured on the song, too. The track was produced by David Foster.

The CD will be released October 15th.

You can pre-order the CD from Amazon here.

September 8, 2013

Streisand News

I'm back from my travels and have a few news items to alert Streisand fans about ....

Way We Were Blu-Ray

Here is information on the U.S. Blu-ray of The Way We Were.

Way We Were Bluray cover

Pre-order date: Wednesday, October 23rd at 4 pm EST.

Release Date: November 12th, 2013.

UPDATE: A few fans have wondered about this Blu-ray release, specifically why a limited run?

I advise you all to check out this interesting interview with Nick Redman who founded Twilight Time— and who also produced the Hello, Dolly! soundtrack CD in 1994. Redman explains what is happening to the home video business. A few choice quotes:

Today, almost none of [the film studios] can ship 100,000 units of anything except the very big titles. That delivery system - mass distribution - is over. Everything’s being tailored toward streaming and downloading ... What will remain of physical media will be the boutique labels; Criterion, Shout! Factory, and hopefully, Twilight Time.

Repackaged Christmas CD

Streisand Classic Christmas Album

Legacy Recordings' Classic Christmas Album series rings in this year's holiday season with new collections by Alabama, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, George Jones & Tammy Wynette, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Martina McBride, Barbra Streisand, and Andy Williams. The eight new titles will be available everywhere October 8, 2013 through Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

You can pre-order the Streisand Classic Christmas Album at Amazon.com.

The Classic Christmas Album by Barbra Streisand (Columbia/Legacy 88883 76933 2 5) has selections pulled from both of Streisand's previously released holiday albums (1967's A Christmas Album and 2001's Christmas Memories)—not all songs have been included here. The Classic Christmas Album's tracks are:

  1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  2. The Christmas Song (Chest­nuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
  3. I'll Be Home For Christmas
  4. A Christmas Love Song
  5. The Best Gift
  6. It Must Have Been The Mistletoe
  7. I Remember
  8. I Wonder As I Wander
  9. Sleep In Heavenly Peace (Silent Night)
  10. Snowbound
  11. Jingle Bells
  12. My Favorite Things
  13. Christmas Lullaby
  14. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
  15. Christmas Mem'ries
  16. White Christmas

Il Divo CD Features Live Streisand Track

Il Divo, the record-breaking classical crossover group who has sold more than 26 million albums worldwide, is set to release their 6th studio album A Musical Affair, on Syco/Columbia Records on November 5th.

A Musical Affair is Il Divo's first compilation of songs inspired by Broadway shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Carousel and West Side Story and features stellar duet partners Barbra Streisand, Kristin Chenoweth, Nicole Scherzinger, Heather Headley and Michael Ball. The album showcases Il Divo's signature romantic and emotional interpretation of heartfelt classics like "Some Enchanted Evening" (South Pacific), "Bring Him Home," (Les Miserables), "Tonight," (West Side Story), and more. Il Divo has also provided new arrangements for these much-loved songs, as well as invited familiar Broadway and pop artists to appear on certain tracks as their duet partners. These top musicians lend their talent in songs like "Music of the Night" (Phantom of the Opera) - LIVE duet with Barbra Streisand; "All I Ask Of You" (Phantom Of The Opera) - duet with Kristin Chenoweth; "Memory" (Cats) - duet with Nicole Scherzinger; and "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" (The Lion King) - duet with Heather Headley.

You can pre-order Il Divo's album at Amazon.com.

The Streisand track is the previously-released live duet from her 2006 concert CD.

More on Duets

Interesting tidbit from Billboard about Streisand's duet with Mary J. Blige:

Blige spices up the holidays with her first Christmas album. Helping the Grammy winner wrap up soulful interpretations of holiday classics is legendary producer and Verve Music Group chairman David Foster. Blige takes on "This Christmas," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and highlight "When You Wish Upon a Star," a tree-topping duet with Barbra Streisand. Their pairing marks the first time Streisand has allowed a duet to be released first on the other artist's project.

Blige's album is due to be released October 15, 2013. There has been no official announcement about Streisand's forthcoming album of duets yet.

David Frost Dies

David Frost, journalist and entertainment figure, died last week.

Streisand and David Frost

Frost and Streisand were friendly and had a history of working together.

Frost attended one of Streisand's 2013 London O2 performances. Frost presented Barbra with her Tony Award for Star of the Decade in 1970. In 1971, after taping a full-length interview with Frost that did not air due to Streisand's contract with CBS television (Frost's interview was to air on the competing Group W Network), Streisand was introduced by Frost at a live performance for The Motion Picture Relief Fund.

August 7, 2013

“Clear Day” at Warner Archive

Clear Day new DVDStreisand fans may have noticed that the On A Clear Day You Can See Forever DVD went out-of-print several months ago.

Warner Archive—a DVD-on-demand service—yesterday released Barbra Streisand's 1970 musical On A Clear Day You Can See Forever via their online store.

Warner Archive began in 2009. According to a news report:

The on-demand service allows Warner Bros. to avoid the risk of manufacturing too many copies of old or obscure titles and shipping them to retailers because customers directly order only the titles they want to buy.

"This way you've completely eliminated the risk of not selling them. You're not going to make them until they're sold," said Tom Adams, president and senior analyst with Adams Media Research.

In 2012, Paramount licensed 600 of its catalog films to Warner Archive to distribute ( Clear Day is a Paramount film).

Previously, Clear Day was released in 2005 by Paramount. The DVD was widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs, and included a Dolby Digital English 5.1 surround mix, as well as mono and French mono audio.

The Warner Archive site says its new DVD is Dolby Digital.

Order Clear Day on DVD direct from Warner Archive here.

[UPDATE 8/14: I have reviewed the Warner Archive DVD. To my eyes, it appears to be an exact copy of the first Paramount DVD, including artwork, menu, and film print.

STAY TUNED for Blu-ray news ...]

And, if you're a Clear Day fan, make sure you check out my very excellent pages all about this film here at Barbra-Archives!

August 6, 2013

“Back To Brooklyn” This Fall

PBS has been publicizing their fall lineup:

The 2013 PBS Arts Fall Festival returns in October with seven weekly programs that highlight Broadway classics, music from around the country, and legendary superstar Barbra Streisand.

GREAT PERFORMANCES “Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn”

Friday, November 29, 2013, 9:00 p.m. ET

Superstar Barbra Streisand makes a historic homecoming at the new Barclays Center arena with her first Brooklyn concert. Joined by special guests Il Volo and Chris Botti, Streisand performs an extensive selection of songs from throughout her five-decade career, and duets with son Jason Gould on “How Deep is the Ocean.” The seemingly endless collection of hits and fan favorites includes “Nice N Easy,” “Didn’t We,” “No More Tears (Enough is Enough),” “Rose’s Turn,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Some Other Time,” “Make Our Garden Grow,” along with “Evergreen,” “The Way We Were,” “People,” and “Happy Days are Here Again.” Reviewing her opening night, Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote, “Like few singers of any age, she has the gift of conveying a primal human longing in a beautiful sound.”

Look at the PBS brochure [link to a PDF]

Streisand Brooklyn promo shot

July 30, 2013

Duets and More

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! I've been traveling a bit, and there has not been a lot to report about Barbra Streisand's doings lately.

UPDATED 7/30: There are signs that Barbra's album of duets is being worked on, —although there has been no official announcement from Barbra's record company yet.

Streisand started talking about a duets album last year before her concert tour. She told Katie Couric, “First of all, Babyface has a great voice. He’s wonderful. I’m doing this with him producing and Walter Afanasieff, Walter A.”

When Couric pressed for some names of people Streisand would like to sing with, Barbra replied, “Well, there’s so many people. [Andrea] Bocelli. We’ve been talking about singing together for a long time, but I send him songs, he sends me songs. The twain hasn’t met yet, you know? I like Keith Urban. I like Usher. John Legend. There’s some really good guys around.”

On May 28th Streisand's duets album producer Walter Afanasieff posted a picture of country artist and The Voice judge Blake Shelton: “Me and the great Blake Shelton recording for Streisand's duets album!”

Also visible on Afanasieff's website is a recording studio photo of his duets album co-producer Babyface and Lionel Ritchie.

In the June 26 Charleston Scene, it was revealed that R&B artist Mary J. Blige has recorded with Streisand:

For her next project, Blige plans to release a holiday album dubbed “A Mary Christmas” this fall, featuring singers such as Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and even Barbra Streisand, with whom she duets a “jazzy version” of “When You Wish Upon a Star.”

On July 25th, Blige's record company, Interscope Records, put out a press release that said:

"A Mary Christmas" is the first collaboration between legendary producer and hit-maker David Foster and Blige for Matriarch Records/Verve Records/Interscope Records.

Barbra Archives has learned that William Ross (Barbra's tour music director) arranged ten songs on the Blige album which were recorded at AIR Studios in London last month. (I am assuming that the Blige/Streisand duet would appear on Streisand's own duet album ... but who knows at this point?)

Meanwhile, we know that a duet between Willie Nelson and Streisand has already been recorded. In August 2013, Nelson told the L.A. Times: “I also did a song with Barbra Streisand. For 20 years I've been saying I'd like to do a song with Barbra Streisand. She evidently heard about it, had a song written for her and I to sing, recorded her part and sent it to Austin, and I put my part on it and now it's a finished product. Not sure exactly what she wants to do with it, whether she just wants to put it on the duets album or just sit home and listen to it, I don't know."

Willie Nelson, meanwhile, has an album of duets with women coming out. TitledTo All the Girls, it is due to be released on Sept. 20, 2013. I've seen the track listing and there is no Streisand duet on his album. Perhaps it's being saved for Barbra's album? Or maybe it didn't make the final cut? Time will tell.

Afanasieff's site has said for months that the duets album he is producing for Streisand “will feature singers and musicians like Usher, Babyface, Willie Nelson, Robin Thicke, Lionel Richie, Yo yo Ma, and many others...”

Alicia Keys, when she went to visit Barbra backstage after her June 6th Amsterdam concert, said that Streisand wants to duet with her.

And Josh Groban recently said that he and Streisand exchanged emails regarding song selection.

Of course, Barbra has already said she wants to record a duet with her son, Jason Gould, who toured with her and sang a duet of “How Deep is the Ocean” with his mother on stage.

So ... although nothing official has been announced, and with other artists releasing their own duets albums this fall, I can't imagine Streisand's album will be far behind them. I'll post news, if and when it's announced by Sony/Columbia.

(By the way ... in case anyone is confused ... Streisand released an album in 2002 called Duets. It was mostly a repackaging of previously-released duet songs plus two new ones with Josh Groban and Barry Manilow.)

Back to Brooklyn ...

PBS announced a few weeks ago that they would air Barbra's Back to Brooklyn concert this November. That concert was videotaped the two evenings she played at Brooklyn's Barclays venue. It is true that the last two shows of the European tour were recorded by cameras as well at Israel's Bloomfield Stadium. It is not known what will become of that footage or how it will be utilized.

June 23, 2013

Barbra On Tour

Barbra performed her 100th live show last night in Israel, and by all accounts she was on fire and in excellent voice. Her "micro-tour" of Europe is done. Thanks for all who send photos, reviews, and set lists for this site!

FYI, there were cameras and big, swooping cranes at the Israel shows, so I'm sure they're filming both shows for posterity or a possible future DVD release.

A new page on Streisand's performance at Israel President Shimon Peres' 90th birthday celebration is up!

Click to see photos and the songs that Barbra sang for Mr. Peres.

# # #

Berlin set list is up. Barbra was *golden*

# # #

June 13th: Barbra's Europe tour is amazing! I'm just back from Amsterdam where I was very lucky to see the June 10th show and also go backstage and meet and have a picture taken with Barbra—who was warm, beautiful in person, and appreciative of this site.

Here's my partner, Dan, Barbra and me!

Dan, Barbra and Matt

Many thanks to Richard Jay-Alexander, who orchestrated the whole evening. Not only is he a great show director ... he's also very kind! Here we are, below: Richard Jay-Alexander, Craig Hall (BarbraStreisand.com content), super-fan Robin Lipman (who finally got to meet Barbra, too!) and me.

Fans backstage

Meanwhile, Barbra killed it in Cologne last night (from what I hear)—21 standing ovations from an appreciative crowd. And wait till you see what she sang (complete: not a snippet!)

Set Lists & More:

Please, concert-goers, email me with the upcoming set list, pics, or any reviews or celebrity sightings! matt@barbra-archives.com

“The Way We Were” Blu-ray Coming

Barbra's classic romance film will be released on November 12, 2013 by the Twilight Time label.

“TWWW” was a Columbia Pictures film, and in 2011 Twilight Time struck a deal with Sony to license and release titles from the Columbia Pictures library (which Sony owns).

All titles are sold online exclusively through Screen Archives Entertainment.

Note: PRE-ORDERS begin approximately 25 days BEFORE the release date listed next to each title. Dates are subject to change without notification.

There is no word yet about what, if any, bonus features will be on the Blu-ray. I'll report it here as soon as I find out.

June 1, 2013

Barbra at the O2

Streisand at O2

Streisand was in excellent voice tonight at London's O2. The show was retooled with Roslyn Kind taking a solo in Act One (in place of Il Volo from the 2012 shows), and with Jason Gould singing an extra song in Act Two (“Misty” and “Morning Prayer” were his two solos).

Set list and photos here.

May 29, 2013

Europe Tour!

Barbra Streisand's 2013 European tour opens this Saturday at London's O2 arena. Team Barbra is in London right now rehearsing for the shows.

As usual, I'll be updating this site with tour info and set lists — The timing is bad for me and I won't be able to attend any of the Europe shows ...... so please email me all the details: matt@barbra-archives.com

(Use one of the set lists from the 2012 North American tour and adjust it as necessary. For example: Il Volo is not part of the show this time, but the rest of the structure will probably be very similar.)

Meanwhile, Jason Gould has talked to David Munk over at Stargayzing again and offers a few tidbits about his part in the tour:

Barbra Archives Turns 10 Years Old

Matt Howe

Wow! I started this website in May 2003 ... and “I'm Still Here!”

Back then I got the idea of doing a website all about Barbra Streisand because I had all these facts in my head about her career and wanted to keep them straight. So I bought some website software, taught myself HTML, and started Barbra Archives.

It's been a fun time for me, because I'm such a fan of Barbra's. I've had amazing access behind-the-scenes, met some very cool people on Team Barbra, met amazing Streisand fans around the world who I am friends with, and I've been to some great Streisand concerts, and even a taping of the Oprah show!

Talk about “following my bliss!”

Well, it's Barbra Streisand who has been blissfully entertaining me all these years, and she's the reason this site exists. I am so grateful I got to meet her face-to-face in Brooklyn (she was exactly as I imagined! So sweet and pretty!) And I am very grateful as a fan that Barbra is still a vital and working artist, still striving for the best, and still busy doing albums, concerts, movies, and more. She is truly an inspiration!

Here's a look back at some of the various front pages that I posted over the last ten years ... and thanks for all the Barbra Streisand fans who've sent me emails, photos, scans, links, and words of encouragement.

I appreciate you!

Matt Howe :)

Barbra Archives front pages

May 9, 2013

“Back To Brooklyn” Concert On PBS This Fall

Official Public Broadcasting System announcement:

PBS ARTS FALL FESTIVAL: GREAT PERFORMANCES “Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn”

The legendary Barbra Streisand makes a historic homecoming back to Brooklyn at the new Barclays Center arena, marking the superstar’s first Brooklyn concert since her childhood years. Joined by special guests Il Volo and Chris Botti, Streisand performs an extensive selection of songs from her five-decade career, including a touching duet with her son, Jason Gould. Friday, November 29, 9:00 p.m. ET

Also of note this PBS season:

AMERICAN MASTERS “Marvin Hamlisch: The Way He Was”

By age 31, Marvin Hamlisch had won four Grammys, an Emmy, three Oscars and a Tony. His famous singles and scores made him the go-to composer for film and Broadway and the go-to performer for every president since Reagan. When his unprecedented streak ended, he fell into despair. With a rich archival legacy, collaborators from Liza Minnelli to Steven Soderbergh and complete cooperation from his family, this documentary has a wealth of material to tell Hamlisch’s rich, bittersweet story. Friday, December 27, 9:00 p.m. ET 

Giveaway—Winner!

Guilt Trip Giveaway!!

Target Exclusive Guilt Trip set

Barbra Archives has a winner in the Target Exclusive: The Guilt Trip (Blu-ray/DVD) (Includes Digital Copy) (UltraViolet) giveaway.

Congrats to Adella Gonzalez! I'll be sending the prize out to you soon.

And thanks for everyone who participated!

May 3, 2013

Blu-ray Reviews

Here's my (quick) thoughts on The Guilt Trip and Funny Girl Blu-rays which were released this week.

The Guilt Trip

Not much to report here regarding video quality—this movie is less than a year old, so it looks pretty darn good on my home screen. The reason to own the Blu-ray is for all the bonus material. “Barbra's World” is a loving dedication to Streisand and shows/tells us how much fun she was to work with on set. The deleted scenes are fun—many were seen by fans last summer as The Guilt Trip was going through audience testing. I am less a fan of the alternate opening than I am of the alternate ending—Barbra and the cowboy! The gag reel is fun, too. Watching the movie for my second time, I still think it's good. Mostly, it's all about Streisand and Rogen's chemistry, and you can't deny they've got it.

[Order The Guilt Trip from Amazon]

Funny Girl Bluray cap

Funny Girl

I will gush just like a lot of the Blu-ray enthusiast blogs and forums are: Funny Girl on Blu-ray from Sony Home Video is GORGEOUS. It looks and sounds simply amazing. You'll be hard-pressed to find a studio catalog film looking this good on Blu-ray! I hope it wins some awards for its 4K digital restoration.

What looks good?

Well, I am seeing Irene Sharaff's gowns anew! See how many bangles and sparkles Streisand has on her costumes—the “People” gown just shimmers. The colors really stand out—Barbra's blue eye makeup, purple gown, and the red dining room during “You Are Woman”—wow!

It looks like the folks at Sony fixed some things, too: for instance, there was always a strange cut at the very end of the Swan Lake number, as Streisand is flying in the rafters—almost as if it was missing a few frames. That seems to be fixed on the new Blu-ray.

The sound is amazing, too. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.0 lossless soundtrack has plenty of fun, directional sound for your home theaters—the Springtime/Summer brides' voices, for example, are separated into left, center, and right channels. [“...of June, July, and such!”]

Funny Girl is prototypical Streisand ... she's just amazing in this film.

My only major complaint is the lack of bonus material. Both featurettes on this Blu-ray are the same ones included on the 2002 Funny Girl DVD—and it's unfortunate that they are in SD not 1080p quality, too. The 2001 rerelease trailer is not included. There's no commentary track or featurette about the making of Funny Girl. No behind the scenes photos. The Look of Funny Girl featurette about Streisand's costumes is absent. The extended Swan Lake isn't there either. It just seems like Sony Home Video missed the opportunity to really do this Blu-ray right. This is probably the last time Streisand fans will re-buy this movie (we just bought the DVD ten years ago), so it's a shame Funny Girl wasn't given a grander home video treatment. (Even the Blu-ray for A Star is Born had a booklet with photos!)

That being said ... the film looks gorgeous. And it can be yours for under $20—which is not a bad deal.

[Order Funny Girl from Amazon]

Site Updates

Inspired by Barbra's Chaplin Award for her film work, I've spent a few days doing some major and minor updates to most of the FILM pages on Barbra-Archives. Of note are:

Wait! There's more!

April 29, 2013

Barbra Wishes Willie a Happy Birthday

They've recorded an unreleased duet together ... Now Barbra has sent Willie Nelson video birthday wishes:

April 28, 2013

D.C. Correspondents' Dinner

Streisand at Press Correspondents Dinner

Barbra Streisand and James Brolin attended 2013 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner—an annual dinner that attracts almost 3,000 capital leaders as well as stars of cinema and television held at the Washington Hilton—on Saturday (April 27) in Washington, D.C. She was snapped having conversations with NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Mark Warner.

Afterward, Streisand attended the Bloomberg/Vanity Fair after-party at the French Ambassador's residence. Pictured above is Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter, Donna Karan, Barbra Streisand and James Brolin.

Historically, Barbra attended the 1963 Press Correspondents dinner, where she sang for President Kennedy.

All About Barbra Magzine #74

From editor Lynne Pounder:

All About Barbra cover

Visit www.allaboutbarbra.com and get your order in now! Remember, they sell out quickly (72 is gone! And issue 73 is almost done!) Inside #74: The Way We Were, Inside The Chaplin Award, The Oscars! Hello, Dolly! The Guilt Trip comes to DVD & Blu Ray, lots more..

AAB #74 also has an exclusive article written by Jay Landers about working on Barbra's album Release Me. Lynne has sent along a teaser for you all:

Barbra keeps lists. She can't always find them, but eventually they resurface and jog her memory. That's when I might get the email, "Did you ever hear the songs I did with Randy Newman?". However, usually it's something more cryptic like "Garden Grow-Rupert". Fortunately, after all these years, I'm well-versed in "Barbra-speak" and understand how to decipher her shorthand. In this case, she's been thinking about a powerful way to close her concert and wants to hear the unfinished recording of "Make Our Garden Grow" that she made in the late 1980's with co-producer/arranger Rupert Holmes. The note also implies the need to find the orchestra parts for this version, or if they've "vanished" to call Rupert and ask him if he knows where they are. It also means she'll want to send a copy to her conductor Bill Ross so he can have a listen as well. All in a days work, and another reason to revisit "The Vault".

Also in this issue: A round up of all the news, Jason Gould, plus our tribute to Allison Waldman. Limited print run, don't miss out!

Go to All About Barbra's website to order.

Funny Girl Blu-Ray

Home Theater Forum's Robert Harris has seen the Funny Girl Blu-ray that comes out on Tuesday and is raving. Harris—responsible for the uncut version of Lawrence Of Arabia and the restorations of Vertigo and Rear Window—... says:

The new Blu-ray of Funny Girl will be one of the most perfect catalog releases of 2013.  Bar none.

Color, density, shadow detail, grain structure.  It's all there.  In spades.  David Bernstein was in charge of color for this one.

If one doesn't fall for Fanny Brice by the 20 minute mark, either the viewer isn't human or has no heart.

The main titles are perfect for the first time on video.  The dark reds are dead on. The flesh tones, perfect, as are the blacks.

One of the greatest musicals of all time.

An absolutely perfect Blu-ray release.  This is a thousand dollar Blu-ray at a trifle of that cost.

You can pre-order Funny Girl from Amazon.com here. It is released April 30, 2013.

APril 24, 2013

Happy Birthday, Barbra!

Happy Birthday Barbra Streisand

Happy Birthday to the lady this website is all about!

Barbra, I hope you have a great day. Best wishes to you and I hope you're celebrating with the ones you love and the food you love!

You're an inspiration and a great lady. Here's to you!

April 22, 2013

Streisand Lincoln Center Chaplin Award

What a great evening!!

Streisand at Chaplin Award

It's late, but here's a quick review of what happened tonight:

Clinton and Streisand

It was a great event, filled with lots of love for Barbra. She sat in a box in Avery Fisher Hall next to husband James Brolin, and Marilyn Bergman. I hear that Universal Pictures head Ron Meyer and his wife were in the box with her ... another sign that the GYPSY movie is alive and well.

(Below, left to right: Kris Kristofferson, Marty Erlichman, Richard Jay-Alexander, Rose Kuo, George Segal, Amy Irving, Barbra Streisand, Alan Bergman,Hillary Clinton, Tony Bennett, Bill Clinton, Michael Douglas, Blythe Danner, Pierce Brosnan and Ben Stiller. Photo by Kevin Mazur)

Group photo of Chaplin Award

April 20, 2013

Lincoln Center Film Society Chaplin Award

This Monday, the Lincoln Center Film Society will present Barbra Streisand with their prestigious Chaplin Award.

I'll be at the event, hopefully able to report soon after it's over. (I've got my laptop with me!) The evening promises to be exciting and will probably have a few surprises. The performers are fantastic (Tony Bennett! Liza Minnelli!) and the presenters are intriguing.

April 16, 2013

Rest in Peace, Allison Waldman

I'm sad to share the news that Allison Waldman died yesterday evening in Florida after battling cancer for so long. Indeed, she was plucky and positive when I last spoke to her two weeks ago.

Many Streisand fans appreciated her YouTube videocasts in which she shared news about Barbra's career, shared her Streisand collection, and even shared her health challenges. In her last episode, Allison had lost her hair but not her passion for all things Barbra.

Last year, Allison did an amazing job assembling a book filled with fan stories about Barbra Streisand called Barbra Memories. I was there in Brooklyn with Allison when she was able to hand Barbra a copy of the book. I remember Barbra saying to her, “Allison Waldman ... you're a very good writer.” Allison was over the moon that she finally got to meet her idol.

Allison wrote The Barbra Streisand Scrapbook and was an active participant in the Barbra Streisand Forum that Craig Hall set up. Mostly I appreciated her positiveness over there, and her knack for setting fans right with the facts about Barbra's career.

In the 1990s, Allison wrote and produced a great little fan newsletter called BarbraFile, in which she reported all the news about Barbra. She continued using that name recently when she set up The BarbraFiles website.

Here at Barbra Archives, Allison was an integral reference. A few years ago she mailed me many of her scrapbooks, which I am still scanning and referencing.

Streisand fans back stage

(Above: Here we all are, attending Marty's backstage get-together in Brooklyn. That's Craig Hall on the left, Allison, Richard Jay-Alexander, and me. “Mem'ries....”)

Allison was a friend made in the Internet Age—we only emailed each other to begin with. Then we started calling each other, and that's when we became friends. I didn't meet her face-to-face until last October in Brooklyn, and it was like saying hello to an old friend. I talked to Allison on the phone almost every week. Sometimes, like leading up to the Brooklyn concerts, we talked more often. She was always kind, positive, and didn't want to burden me with complaints about her health, even though I asked how she was doing.

Allison was a good person, and I am glad I knew her. She was well loved in the Barbra Streisand fan community where she reached out and befriended many people. She impressed us all with her energy and attitude. I send love and healing thoughts to her friends and family.

UPDATE: Barbra has posted a very sweet message about Allison on her official site.

April 10, 2013

New Streisand Video on AFHU

Barbra Streisand speaks about her National Scopus Award and congratulates Patricia L. Glaser, Vice Chairman of the AFHU Western Region, on winning the 2013 National Scopus Award.

April 9, 2013

Tuesday News

Roger Friedman has posted a follow-up to Thursday's news about Streisand directing a movie about Margaret Bourke-White. Read his report here.

(I do not think Gypsy is off the table, by the way.)

Meanwhile, one of Barbra's European concerts was canceled. “Following a change of schedule, Streisand concert originally scheduled Monday, June 10 in Paris was canceled” according to the Bercy website.

June 10 in Amsterdam has been added today. More info over at BarbraStreisand.com.

Streisand has been very busy lately (her Fall 2012 tour) and looks to be in the near future, too. Besides her European concert tour in June, we will most likely see the Back to Brooklyn concert video released ... Barbra is also working on an album of duets ... and then there is the big retrospective DVD set. None of these projects have official release dates yet, by the way. Her future film plans probably fit into all of the scheduling, too.

April 4, 2013

Streisand Directing By Year's End

Deadline is reporting that Barbra Streisand will direct her version of the Margaret Bourke-White/Erskine Caldwell love story. Deadline says “casting is underway with an eye to shoot before the end of the year. Streisand is currently overseeing the screenplay for the project. She had previously sought to film the story, but that production did not come to fruition. This is a new take.”

Behind the scenes, Deadline says “Mark Manuel’s Kilburn Media will finance the film and Aldamisa will handle worldwide sales. Aldamisa’s president of international sales & aquisitions, Nadine de Barros, will serve as a producer.”

I have no idea what this means for Gypsy ... although it looks like the Bourke-White love story will be Streisand's next project, as she is concertizing in Europe in June.

UPDATE 4/5/13: The Independent's story on Stephen Sondheim (lyricist for Gypsy) has the following tidbit: Barbra Streisand, meanwhile, remains committed to a fresh screen take on Gypsy...

It's also interesting that Deadline does not mention the Skinny and Cat title (the previous script about Bourke-White that Streisand had worked on) nor Cate Blanchett's involvement (she was previously announced as attached to the Skinny and Cat project.)

April 2, 2013

Lincoln Center Announces Presenters/Performers

The Lincoln Center Chaplin Award (which will be presented to Barbra Streisand at Avery Fisher Hall on April 22nd) just announced their celebrity guests.

The event will be attended by a host of notable guests and celebrities honoring Ms. Streisand’s film career, including Pierce Brosnan, Blythe Danner, Richard Dreyfuss, Amy Irving and Kris Kristofferson. In addition, the evening will feature show-stopping musical performances by Tony Bennett, Kristin Chenoweth, Wynton Marsalis and Liza Minnelli. The tribute will culminate with the presentation of the Chaplin Award to Ms. Streisand by President Bill Clinton.

I got tickets and will be attending the event, so look for my report!

Meanwhile, tickets are on sale to the general public here, helping to support the organization’s ongoing work in education, artist development, and cross-cultural film outreach.

Dolly Blu-ray'll Never Go Away Again

Scene from Hello Dolly

I was able to check out the Fox Home Video Hello, Dolly! Blu-ray last evening and ... Wow! It's gorgeous!

Fox has produced this Blu-ray with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and the sound is much better than the 2003 Fox DVD.  On the original DVD, the Additional Dialogue Recording (ADR) was very obvious. On this new Blu-ray, the transitions between live sound and ADR are much more seamless. Plus the music and directional sound (The sound of the train in the opening shot comes from screen-right! Louis Armstrong is on the left speaker!) are impressive.

The movie is in the original Todd-AO aspect ratio—2:20:1 (not 2:35:1, as listed on the back cover). The Todd-AO screen credit appears in the opening credits, and Streisand does not almost lose her hat during “Before the Parade Passes By,” so this Blu-ray is obviously the remastered Todd-AO print. (See more about Todd-AO and the different takes here).

I'm very impressed by details and colors on the new Dolly Blu-ray—Barbra's golden gown at Harmonia Gardens just glistens!  Indeed, most of Irene Sharaff's beautiful costumes really pop. Look below: you can see production designer John DeCuir's paint speckles on the trees while Barbra's singing “Before the Parade Passes By!” (Which makes the film like a living painting!)

Dolly blu-ray screen capture

“Love is Only Love” looks much improved to my eyes since the 2003 DVD. It looks like Fox did some restoration work on that scene, originally filmed by Harry Stradling in very low light.

Love is Only Love scene

The opening scene (the frozen view of 1890 New York with the blue-green-red color washes) looks a bit oversaturated, but this is a slight complaint compared to how good everything else looks.

It looks like Fox has scanned and restored the 1969 featurette in 1080p, too—the colors and clarity on it look much improved since the 2003 DVD.

The documentary (Directing Dolly: Gene Kelly Remembered) is hosted by his smart and beautiful widow, Patricia Ward Kelly.  She tells some nice stories about Kelly and Dolly, and the short piece includes some cool behind-the-scenes photographs.

It's too bad Fox didn't include those Dolly screen tests (available on a 2002 DVD at Amazon.com) or any additional bonus features (like the 1969 radio show?!). The new Blu-ray includes a nearly perfect print of Dolly, though, so I suppose that's good enough.

[Thanks to Frank "Levinsky" for the Blu-ray caps used here]

As for Dolly, the movie—I'm such a big fan of this movie musical! I think it has aged better than its reputation. I don't think all the stories often repeated about Dolly are true (it bankrupted 20th Century Fox?! Not to mention all the elaborated stories about the fighting between Streisand and Matthau ... I don't think Barbra ever hit him, LOL.) Although I could argue that the scale of the movie outweighs the lightness of its plot, Hello, Dolly! for me, is just pure joy. The high quality of Dolly's movie craft is obvious—it was a first class film production from top to bottom.

It's funny that the exact same issue of Streisand's age has come up then and now—They said she was too young for Dolly and, today some say she's too old for Rose in Gypsy—which, supposedly, is her next screen acting role. I echo what Gypsy's book writer Arthur Laurents said to the press shortly before he died: “Does it really matter?” Streisand is charming and funny and great as Dolly Levi. She sings the heck out of Jerry Herman's score of Dolly. And Barbra looks ravishing in the Sharaff dresses and period jewlrey. I'm so happy Hello, Dolly! on Blu-ray looks and sounds so good.

You can order Hello, Dolly! on Blu-ray from Amazon.com here.

Dolly bluray cap

April 1, 2013

Six Degress of Barbra—Bert Stern: Original Mad Man

I wanted to alert Streisand fans about this new documentary Bert Stern: Original Mad Man.

Stern movie poster

(Above: Poster for the documentary, with Stern's photo of Streisand featured prominently.)

In the unconventional documentary, the original mad-man photographer reveals himself for the first time. Bert's meteoric career began as a mailroom-boy at Look Magazine, where he formed a close relationship with a young staff photographer, Stanley Kubrick. The launch of Stern's career and the Golden Age of Advertising would coincide with Sterns Driest of the Dry campaign for Smirnoff. Sought after by Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and the international fashion scene, along with Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, Stern minted the concept photographer as a star in his own right.

Stern photographed Barbra Streisand in 1964 for Vogue Magazine.

Streisand on Stern website

A couple of his Streisand photos are featured on the official Bert Stern Mad Man site.

March 31, 2013

Phil Ramone ... A Music Legend Passes

From the NY Times:

Phil Ramone and Barbra Streisand

Phil Ramone, a prolific record producer and engineer who worked with some of the biggest music stars of the last 50 years, including Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Billy Joel and Barbra Streisand, died on Saturday in Manhattan. He was 79.

[...]

Mr. Ramone’s career was one of those exceptions. He was a trusted craftsman and confidant in the industry who was also one of the handful of producers widely known to the public. He won 14 Grammy Awards, including producer of the year, nonclassical, in 1981, and three for album of the year, for Mr. Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” in 1976, Mr. Joel’s “52nd Street” in 1980, and Mr. Charles’s duets album, “Genius Loves Company,” in 2005. He also produced music for television and film, winning an Emmy Award as the sound mixer for a 1973 special on CBS, “Duke Ellington ... We Love You Madly.”

Mr. Ramone was born in South Africa and grew up in Brooklyn. His father died when he was young, and his mother worked in a department store. A classical violin prodigy, he studied at the Juilliard School but soon drifted toward jazz and pop, and apprenticed at a recording studio, J.A.C. Recording.

In 1958, he co-founded A & R Recording, a studio on West 48th Street in Manhattan, and built a reputation as a versatile engineer, working on pop fare like Lesley Gore as well as jazz by John Coltrane and Quincy Jones. He ran the sound when Marilyn Monroe cooed “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962, and three years later won his first Grammy as the engineer on Stan Getz and João Gilberto’s landmark album “Getz/Gilberto.”

As a producer, he had a particularly close association with Mr. Joel and Mr. Simon; the back cover of Mr. Joel’s 1977 album “The Stranger” features a photograph of Mr. Ramone posing with Mr. Joel and his band at a New York restaurant.

Barbra Streisand posted her reaction to Phil Ramone's death:

I’m so saddened to learn of Phil’s passing.

We first worked together in 1967 when I did a free concert in Central Park. His brilliance at capturing sound was immediately evident.

Later we worked together on the film “A Star Is Born” where Phil was able to record me singing live, including “Evergreen”. In the next decade we worked on the soundtrack to “Yentl” and many other recordings.

Phil had impeccable musical taste, great ears and the most gentle way of bringing out the best in all the artists he worked with. The monumental recordings he produced will endure for all time.

I had the honor of interviewing Mr. Ramone in 2005 where I asked him about his work with Barbra Streisand. He was very down-to-earth and candid about his craft.

Central Park 1967

I loved hearing his memories of the concert in Central Park, which I asked him about in my interview:

Matt Howe: Let’s talk about the first time you worked with Barbra. You engineered the sound for her in Central Park in 1967. In the introduction to the home video version of A Happening in Central Park, Barbra says that your cables got cut and you were worried that there wouldn’t be sound past the first ten rows. Was that the biggest challenge for that concert?

Phil Ramone: Well, it was a challenge because we had to share the microphones between the record company’s truck and our independent truck. A spotlight was brought in, and when they lowered the back elevator off the truck that was carrying it, it cut right through the cables. You’ve never seen so many engineers with soldering guns … Not just the P.A. system was in jeopardy, but the recording system was jeopardized.About 5 o’clock that afternoon, the day of the concert, we finally got most of the cables back.

Matt Howe: What else do you remember about the concert in Central Park?

Phil Ramone: That’s a memorable show. It’s memorable for a lot of people. It was before the big Woodstock, massive audience concerts. Sound systems weren’t designed to do that. We added a whole, complete, additional system. Marty, Barbra’s manager, said to me, “You know I’m worried. Who knows how many people are going to show up? Can you make sure nobody yells, ‘We can’t hear you, Barbra’.” I said, “I promise you that won’t happen.”

They were concerned that there may be more than 10,000 or 15,000 people. I was experimenting with these “long throw” horns, which were humongous-looking, ugly horns on top of the scaffolding. But they were guaranteed to go at least 300-400 feet. And 300-400 feet is a lot. Of course, with the open air, and the sound bouncing off the buildings it added another couple of hundred feet. Little did any of us know that the sound of Barbra’s voice actually just lofted all the way up the park. People just kept walking closer and closer to the sound and romantically sitting near The Pond, which was quite a bit away from the stage. People were just enchanted. That was my first encounter with the city of New York and I didn’t get into trouble (laughs) “It’s too loud, it’s too loud.”

The guy’s truck that I was using, his Weimaraner, which is sort of a watch dog, got nervous. He bit a cop (laughs). There were so many sub-stories to that adventure. Crazy stuff. I’m not sure Barbra knows all the stories about trying to get [the sound] right. I mean, it absolutely poured rain that day. So we never had a sound check with her or her band. The orchestra said, “We can’t come out there with our violins and beautiful oboes. It’s too damp.” Around 5:30 or 6:00 they finally agreed. It had just started to dry up.

I remember the last shot, which is classic. The director had a long, long track for the camera to move slowly out away from Barbra as the last song played. It’s so funny because the people, they all sort of crowded towards Barbra. And the camera can’t make any move but back. I could hear [the director] saying, “I’m losing my shot! I’ve got nothing left.”

Rest in peace, Phil Ramone.

March 25, 2013

“Funny Girl” Blu-ray Official Announcement

Funny Girl Bluray cover

CULVER CITY, CALIF. (March 25, 2013) – Legendary superstar Barbra Streisand demonstrates why she’s the greatest star in her Academy Award® winning role (Best Actress, 1968) as “Fanny Brice” in the celebrated musical biography FUNNY GIRL.  Commemorating its 45th anniversary, the classic film was meticulously restored from the original negative by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 4K at Sony Pictures’ Colorworks and will screen at the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival on April 25th.  Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release FUNNY GIRL for the first time on Blu-ray April 30th, exclusively available at Amazon. [Pre-order it here]

In her first starring film, Streisand recreated her Tony Award® nominated Broadway role for three-time Academy Award winning Director William Wyler (Best Director: Mrs. Miniver, 1942; The Best Years of Our Lives, 1946; Ben-Hur, 1959), playing the comedienne in a story that contrasted Fanny’s comic onstage antics with her dramatic offstage romance with Nicky Arnstein, a dashing gambler. The film co-stars Oscar® nominee Omar Sharif (Best Supporting Actor, Lawrence of Arabia, 1962) as Arnstein, Kay Medford as Fanny’s mother, Anne Francis as a Ziegfeld showgirl, and two-time Oscar nominee Walter Pidgeon (Best Actor: Mrs. Miniver, 1942; Madame Curie, 1943) as legendary Broadway showman Florenz Ziegfeld.

The Blu-ray will feature two previously released vintage featurettes: “Barbra in Movieland,” a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film; and “This is Streisand,” chronicling the early years of the performer’s career.

FUNNY GIRL, which earned more than $52 million at the box office, was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, a Best Supporting Actress nod for Kay Medford, Jule Styne (music) and Bob Merrill (lyrics) for Best Original Song for “Funny Girl,” and Best Score for Walter Scharf, with Barbra Streisand taking home the statuette for Best Actress. The score consists of classic standards, including “My Man,” “Second Hand Rose” and “I’d Rather Be Blue Over You (Than Happy With Somebody Else)” to tunes that have become standards, including “People,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” and “I’m the Greatest Star.” In 2005, the Streisand’s immortal opening line, “Hello Gorgeous,” was named #81 on the American Film Institute list, “AFI’s 100 Years ... 100 Movie Quotes” and the film itself ranked #16 on “AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals” list.

Synopsis:

One of the most popular movie musicals ever made is now better than ever on Blu-ray™! FUNNY GIRL follows the early career of stage comedienne Fanny Brice, a role that earned Barbra Streisand the 1968 Oscar® for Best Actress. Only her mother believes Fanny can make it in show business, but when she gets her first break at Keeney’s Music Hall, her hilarious debut gets her hired as a comedienne. Fanny becomes a star, falls in love and marries Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif), a handsome gambler. The film’s many memorable songs include “Don't Rain on My Parade” and the Streisand classic “People.”

Bonus Features Include:

More Concert Dates

Barbra Streisand has added another London show.

Barbra's official site has all the dates and info.

March 20, 2013

Streisand European Concert Dates

Barbra's official site has all the dates and info.

Streisand has announced “four five exclusive engagements with additional dates and venues to be announced soon.” On the tour with her are Chris Botti, her son Jason Gould, and sister Roslyn Kind.

See Barbra's official site for FAN PRE-SALE dates. Good luck to everyone buying tickets! (And, maybe ...Ich werde euch im Juni zu sehen!)

UPDATE: On March 23, it was announced that Barbra Streisand will perform her first concert ever in Israel on June 20 at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv.

Tickets for the Bloomfield show, a joint production of Shuki Weiss and Live Nation, will go on sale on March 29 at 10 a.m.

March 18, 2013

Streisand Going Abroad?

There's been several unofficial reports on the internet that Barbra Streisand will perform in Israel on June 18 in honor of Israeli President Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday. Some of these stories say Streisand will perform two concerts (June 15 and 16) at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium. And yet other reports mention Streisand will be stopping in Israel “during a rare European tour organized by concert promoter Live Nation, a company that has a working relationship with Israeli promoter Shuki Weiss.”

The performers who joined Streisand on her Fall 2012 North American tour look to be free: Chris Botti is not showing any solo concerts booked in late-June and July. And Il Volo are not currently booked for concerts this summer.

These reports about Israel concerts are not official announcements from Live Nation or Team Barbra. So .... Stay tuned for an official announcement that will lay out Streisand's upcoming concert tour plans.

March 7, 2013

Streisand Attends IoES & Signs with UTA

Streisand at IoES

(Above: Managing Partner of the Pritzker Group Tony Pritzker, producer Lawrence Bender, Barbra Streisand and producer Norman Lear attend the UCLA Institute Of The Environment And Sustainability's 2nd Annual Evening Of Environmental Excellence on March 5, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. Photo by: Alberto E. Rodriguez.)

Barbra Streisand attended the UCLA Institute Of The Environment And Sustainability's 2nd Annual Evening Of Environmental Excellence on March 5, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.

Streisand and Abrams

(Above: Streisand and director J.J. Abrams. Photo by: Alberto E. Rodriguez.)

UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES), is an organization dedicated to generating knowledge and solving regional and global environmental problems. Its 2nd Annual An Evening of Environmental Excellence, March 5 at the Beverly Hills home of Jeanne and Anthony N. Pritzker, recognized the extraordinary environmental accomplishments of Al Gore, Former Vice President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Lyn Lear, Co-Founder of the Environmental Media Association. The event featured entertainment by Grammy Award-winning artist Jason Mraz and comedian Sarah Silverman.

SIGNS WITH UTA

Variety reports Barbra Streisand has signed with UTA as she prepares to step up her activity as a director. United Talent Agency will represent Barbra as a director, actress and producer and will also represent her film and television company, Barwood Films.

Marty Erlichman will continue to represent Ms. Streisand as her manager.

In 2008, Streisand signed with Hollywood talent agency, Endeavor, so this is a change in agencies for her. Wondering if this is a move to get all ducks in a row for casting/packaging Gypsy or directing Skinny and Cat?

February 28, 2013

Terre Blair Hamlisch Sends Thanks

At MarvinHamlisch.us, Terre Blair Hamlisch shared her thank you to Barbra Streisand for singing “The Way We Were” on the Oscars:

To my dear friend Barbra Streisand:

Barbra, 

Thank you for your generosity to our Marvin! You were stunningly brilliant.You gave us all such a powerful transformative tribute for Marvin out of your deep love for him.

Words are inadequate to express the deeply felt gratitude I feel to you for your kindness, courage, integrity and love. It was an unforgettable moment in my life and others.

I love you and thank you from the depths of my heart. Marvin will always love you deeply forever and beyond.

Terre Blair Hamlisch

February 27, 2013

Blu-ray Barbra-Palooza

Amazon is listing the Funny Girl Blu-ray as being released April 30, 2013 from Sony. I haven't seen an official announcement on this yet, but I'll put up the link to pre-order just in case you want to proceed. [Looks like they've posted temporary cover art, as well.]

Turner Classic Movies is debuting a brand new restoration of Funny Girl —restored in 4K from the original camera negative—on April 25 in Los Angeles. I read that Sony had considered a limited theatrical release of the restored Funny Girl, but this Blu-ray release date seems to indicate the disc will be out shortly after the TCM debut.

Below is a list of the several Streisand Blu-rays coming out in the next few months:

Of course, this month, Warner Home Video released A Star is Born on Blu-ray—and it looks gorgeous.

February 24, 2013

Streisand Sings on Oscars

Streisand on Oscars

Barbra sang “The Way We Were” on the Oscars tonight, following the In Memoriam segment, in tribute to Marvin Hamlish, who passed away last year.

“Marvin Hamlisch was a composer of extraordinary depth and versatility. He was also a very kind and generous friend who could always make me laugh,” she said. “Over the years, we shared many adventures together. Marvin left us way too soon, but I'll always have those wonderful, wonderful memories ... ”

Watch it here:

Barbra looked simply gorgeous in her Donna Karan New York gown designed by Ms. Karan specifically for Barbra. Entitled 'City Lights' the black asymmetrical, bias-cut dress was a waterfall of chiffon layers encrusted with matte gold sequins and beads. A long-sleeve capelet added the final layer of chiffon, its back dramatically falling to the floor. “Everything I do with Barbra is a collaboration born of our artistry, our friendship and our love for one another. We're sisters,” Karan said.

Streisand set on Oscars

Streisand on Oscar stage

(Below: Although the show cut to commercial quickly after Barbra performed, she received a standing ovation for her tribute to Hamlisch.)

Streisand standing ovation

Streisand by Kevin Winter

(Above: Streisand photo by Kevin Winter)

(Below:Barbra Streisand, Adele, and Shirley Bassey attend the Oscars Governors Ball at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Streisand, Adele, Bassey

Adele told E! Entertainment's Marc Malkin: “I was more nervous last week when I met her for the first time. Even though she is who she is, it's so amazing because she's so normal.”

Sitting at Barbra's Governor's Ball table were James Brolin, Dame Shirley Bassey, John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Donna Karan.

(Below: Streisand and Richard Gere backstage during the Oscar show. Photo by Christopher Polk)

Streisand and Richard Gere

(Below: Hello Gorgeous! Photo by Kevin Mazur)

Streisand photo by Mazur

February 21, 2013

Dolly Blu-ray

Dolly Blu ray coverInformation on the Hello, Dolly! Blu-ray, due April 2, is showing up online. Here's what the disc will contain:

You can pre-order Dolly at Amazon here.

February 20, 2013

Barbra on the Oscars

Deadline is the only entertainment outlet to actually ask what Barbra Streisand will be singing on Sunday's Academy Awards show. Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron answered:

Zadan:   Everyone has been asking us that. When we went to Barbra the first day we got the job , we said we are doing this theme of music and we said ‘how can we do it without you? We must have you’ and she said ‘yes’. What we didn’t know  when we asked her is that she hadn’t sung on the show in 36 years since she won for “Evergreen”. How thrilling is it to have her be part of this. And she also likes the fact that in planning what she’s going to do on the show – we had to spend several meetings planning what she is actually going to sing on the show – she said ‘I love the fact that you announced me but you didn’t announce what I would be doing because I really want to surprise people when I come out as to what I am going to be doing’.

Meron: But we love the speculation.

The Oscars air live on Sunday, February 24th at 7e/4p on ABC TV.

Zadan also told The Hollywood Reporter:

During the course of the show, at some point, Barbra Streisand is going to come on and do something really special and blow people away.

And this from Vanity Fair:

“We showed her the design for the [number] that she is doing, and she was enormously enthusiastic. I’ve only heard positive things from her and am absolutely looking forward to seeing her onstage.”

Groban on Duets

Singer Josh Groban told Metro:

“I’m actually going to be singing with Barbra on her next CD. And we’ve been emailing back and forth about what song we should do and I’m reading ‘love Barbra’ and thinking: ‘Hey, that’s Barbra Streisand.’”

Streisand has been working on a new album of duets since last year. No release date has been announced yet.

February 13, 2013

Bill Clinton To Present Streisand Chaplin Award

The Film Society of Lincoln Center's press release today:

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that President Bill Clinton will present the 40th Chaplin Award to Academy Award-winner Barbra Streisand, the first American woman artist to receive credit as writer, director, producer and star of a major feature film, YENTL, during a Gala Ceremony held at Lincoln Center on the evening of Monday, April 22, 2013.

The event will be attended by a host of notable guests and celebrities honoring the international film legend’s groundbreaking career and will feature film and interview clips culminating in the presentation of The Chaplin Award.

The Gala is the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s most significant fundraiser of the year. Tickets to the Gala Tribute and champagne reception will be available for purchase by the general public. For ticketing and additional information, go to filmlinc.com/gala.

The Film Society’s Annual Gala began in 1972 and honored Charlie Chaplin – who returned to the US from exile to accept the commendation. Other honorees include many of the film industry’s most notable talents, including Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, James Stewart, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas, Sidney Poitier, and most recently Catherine Deneuve.

“Guilt Trip” Comes to Home Video

Guilt Trip Bluray cover

Official press release:

The "hilarious and heartfelt" (Shawn Edwards , Fox-TV) story of one man's cross-country road trip with his mother, THE GUILT TRIP hits the road on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Download and On Demand April 30, 2013 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.   Screen legend Barbra Streisand and comic master Seth Rogen "are the perfect comedy duo" (Shawn Edwards , Fox-TV) in director Anne Fletcher 's (The Proposal) delightful and heartwarming comedy that is "packed with laugh-out-loud moments" (Meriah Doty , Yahoo! Movies).  As inventor Andy Brewster (Rogen) is about to embark on a road trip to sell his latest product, he feels compelled to invite his mother, Joyce (Streisand), along for the ride.  Across 3,000 miles of adventure and antics both Andy and Joyce discover that while they have their differences, they also have more in common than they ever realized.

An ideal gift to share with your mom on Mother's Day, THE GUILT TRIP will be available in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with UltraViolet™.  The two-disc set comes packed with over an hour of hilarious bonus features including featurettes on Barbra and Seth, a look inside Barbra's world, an alternate opening and ending, over 10 deleted scenes and an uproarious gag reel.  The film will also be available as a single-disc DVD. 

The Blu-ray release available for purchase will be enabled with UltraViolet, a new way to collect, access and enjoy movies.  With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them – reliably and securely – to a variety of devices.     

THE GUILT TRIP Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

THE GUILT TRIP Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The combo pack includes access to a digital copy of the film as well as the following:

Blu-ray

DVD

THE GUILT TRIP Single-Disc DVD
The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The disc includes the feature film in standard definition.

Pre-order Blu-Ray/DVD Combo pack here

Pre-order DVD only here

 

February 8, 2013

News + “Star is Born” Blu-ray

“A Star is Born” Blu-ray

Streisand in A Star is Born

Here's my mini-review of the Blu-ray that just came out Tuesday.

This is only the second Streisand film to be released in the hi-def format (the other is What's Up, Doc?... well, that's not counting the Fockers movies. Also not counting her concerts, The Village Vanguard and Live 2006.)

For me, Warners has done an excellent job on this 1080p transfer of Streisand's rock-world film. Often, Blu-ray enthusiasts complain that studios apply too much digital trickery to their older catalog films, "Photoshopping" the film grain away or over-enhancing edges. This is not the case on A Star is Born. Robert Surtees' cinematography looks gorgeous on the Blu-ray! The entire disc has a very filmic appearance, and the soft 1976 photography and colors just glow. The soundtrack, too, [DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1] is done very well. Streisand's voice pops in the live concert scenes. The Altman-esque overlapping dialogue throughout the movie is sonically sound on this Blu-ray, too.

Commonly, Blu-ray films get a 1080p treatment, and bonus features are included in standard definition. This is true for A Star is Born—the cut scenes, wardrobe tests and trailers are all 480i. This is not offensive ... it's just too bad these weren't included in hi-def, since they contain the same content that appeared on the 2006 Warner DVD, which I already own.

I haven't made it all the way through Streisand's commentary on the Blu-ray. (It's the same commentary that was on the 2006 DVD.) But it's fascinating to hear Streisand talk about this movie—she's so smart and has a great memory for details. Most telling (for those who know the backstory about director Frank Pierson and his horrible article about the behind-the-scenes drama on this film) is Streisand talking about herself as a director, perhaps a lesson she learned on A Star is Born: “The relationship between a director and an actor is like a doctor or a lawyer, it's a priviliged confidential relationship. You never ever disclose information that you hear from your actors.”

Also found in the commentary is this gem from Streisand: “I was a Leon [Russell] fan, and we went to his home and I recorded his songs with him and his wife at the time, Mary, playing Gospel piano and I have [the recording] in my house and I want to do a record with these things that are unreleased. Me singing with her, and both playing this gospel piano—it's fantastic, like a church song.”

Release Me Volume Two?!

You can order the Star is Born Blu-ray from Amazon here.

January 30, 2013

Barbra Streisand To Perform On The Oscars® For The First Time In 36 Years

Streisand sings at Oscars in 1977

Two-time Academy Award® winner Barbra Streisand, who has sung on the Oscars only once before, will perform on the upcoming Oscar® telecast on February 24. Streisand last sang the love theme from "A Star Is Born" on the March 28, 1977 show, winning the Best Original Song Oscar for "Evergreen" that same night.

"In an evening that celebrates the artistry of movies and music," said producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, "how could the telecast be complete without Barbra Streisand? We are honored that she has agreed to do a very special performance on this year's Oscars, her first time singing on the show in 36 years."

Streisand won her first Oscar for Best Actress in "Funny Girl" (1968), and was nominated again in 1973 for her lead performance in "The Way We Were." She was also nominated for producing the Best Picture nominee "The Prince of Tides" (1991), which she also directed, and for co-writing the original song "I Finally Found Someone" from "The Mirror Has Two Faces" (1996).

(Pictured, left: Streisand sings Evergreen at the 1977 Oscar show.)

Oscars for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, February 24, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.

Star is Born on Blu-ray Tuesday

Streisand's 1976 version of A Star is Born is due out on Tuesday from Warner Brothers. They've posted official scenes from the Blu-ray on YouTube.

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

January 24, 2013

Ann Hampton Callaway's Streisand Show

Streisand fans ... Ann Hampton Callaway is a “Six Degrees of Barbra Streisand” person you should be following. Besides being an amazing vocalist, cabaret performer, and song writer, Ann is also the talent behind Streisand’s “At the Same Time” and “I Dreamed of You” ... and don't forget the lovely “Christmas Lullaby!”

Please read:

Ann Hampston Callaway

AWARD-WINNING SONGSTRESS ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY TO PERFORM TUNES FROM “THE BARBRA STREISAND SONGBOOK” WITH THE BOSTON POPS; BOSTON POPS TO PAY TRIBUTE TO THE LATE MARVIN HAMLISCH WITH MUSIC FROM ICE CASTLES AND A CHORUS LINE

Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops in a ten-concert, nine-city tour of the Southeast United States with performances in Newport News, VA; Winston-Salem, NC; Greenville, SC; Athens, GA; Sarasota, FL; Melbourne, FL; West Palm Beach, FL; Miami, FL; and St. Petersburg, FL, February 24 to March 6, 2013. The tour will feature a tribute to The Barbra Streisand Songbook with celebrated vocalist and award-winning songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway, whose songs are featured on six of Barbra Streisand’s recent albums. The Boston Pops’ 2013 Southeast USA Tour is sponsored by Fidelity Investments.

(Photo, right: Ann Hampton Callaway by Bill Westmoreland)

Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops will open their tour program with some of the most beloved themes from musical theater and film, including Marvin Hamlisch’s “Through the Eyes of Love,” from the film Ice Castles, and the overture to A Chorus Line, as part of a special tribute to the late composer and his most celebrated music. Keith Lockhart will also lead the Boston Pops in such musical theater masterpieces as Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” from A Little Night Music, the title song from Jerry Herman’s musical Hello, Dolly!, and Jule Styne’s overture to Gypsy, as well as John Kander’s theme song to Martin Scorsese’s film New York, New York.

Ann Hampton Callaway, whom Keith Lockhart describes as having a “gorgeous voice and an unmatched musical intelligence,” takes center stage during the post-intermission set to sing “The Way We Were,” “Don't Rain On My Parade,” and a medley of “People” and “Being Alive” also featuring American jazz pianist Ted Rosenthal.

For ticket information and more, visit Ann's official site here.

2013: Barbra Dates!

Ms. Streisand is just as busy in early 2013 as ever!

January 23, 2013

Streisand Attending Power of Love Gala April 13th

From the press release today:

Las Vegas will celebrate the lives and legacies of two of the entertainment world's most influential stars, Quincy Jones and Sir Michael Caine, at the 17th annual Power of Love Gala on April 13, 2013 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, while raising funds in support of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

The celebrity-guest lineup for the night includes the expected attendance by superstar Barbra Streisand along with performances and heartfelt tributes from some of the world's hottest entertainers including music and film legends Bebe Winans Chaka Khan Herbie Hancock Jordin Sparks Terrence Howard Patti Austin , will.i.am, Whoopi Goldberg and more.

Celestial twins, born in the same year, same month, same hour and within minutes of each other, one in Chicago, the other in London, Jones and Caine met decades ago and have since been great friends. This glittering star-studded gala will bring together the world's celebrities of music and film to mark this milestone year for these two entertainment marvels.

Poster for Power of Love Gala

January 22, 2013

What Matters Most

Singers and piano players out there, take note: The piano/vocal/guitar sheet music for Barbra's 2011 album of Bergman songs, What Matters Most, was just published. Included in this folio are the songs Alone in the World, I'll Never Say Goodbye, Nice 'n' Easy, The Same Hello The Same Goodbye, So Many Stars, Solitary Moon, Something New in My Life, That Face, What Matters Most, and The Windmills of Your Mind.

What Matters Most sheet music folio

Order from Amazon.com here.

January 18, 2013

FSLC announces Barbra Streisand as recipient of the 40th annual Chaplin Award

From the official press release:

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced that Academy Award-winner Barbra Streisand, the first American woman artist to receive credit as writer, director, producer and star of a major feature film, YENTL, will be honored at the 40th Annual Chaplin Award Gala held at Lincoln Center on the evening of Monday, April 22, 2013. The event will be attended by a host of notable guests and celebrities honoring the international film legend’s groundbreaking career and will feature film and interview clips culminating in the presentation of The Chaplin Award.

The Film Society’s Annual Gala began in 1972 and honored Charles Chaplin – who returned to the US from exile to accept the commendation. Since then, the award has been renamed for Chaplin, and has honored many of the film industry’s most notable talents, including Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, James Stewart, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas, Sidney Poitier, and last year, Catherine Deneuve.

"Barbra Streisand is an American icon whose groundbreaking work significantly opened the doors for other female filmmakers.  She has been an inspiration to me and so many of my peers," said FSLC Executive Director Rose Kuo.  "She is the perfect recipient for our 40th anniversary because, like our award's namesake, she is a world class, multi-faceted film artist."

"The Board is very excited to have Barbra Streisand as the next recipient of The Chaplin Award," said Ann Tenenbaum, The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Board Chairman. “She is an artist whose long career of incomparable achievements is most powerfully expressed by the fact that her acclaimed YENTL was such a milestone film. We welcome her to the list of masterful directors who have been prior recipients of the Chaplin Award Tribute."

[...] We could not be more excited that Barbara Streisand, a true legend of song, stage and screen, will be coming to Film Society to receive the 40th annual Charlie Chaplin Award and we hope to see all you funny girls, boys, women and men there!

For ticketing and additional information, go to filmlinc.com/gala.

January 17, 2013

Here Comes Dolly!

Streisand as Dolly in screen test

According to a press release from 20th Century Fox Studio Classics, Fox will release Streisand's 1969 film musical Hello, Dolly! on Blu-ray on April 2, 2013.

January 15, 2013

Barbra at Health Matters Conference

Streisand on stage at Health Matters

(Photo Credit: Adam Schultz/Clinton Foundation)

Barbra Streisand today spoke briefly at the Clinton Health Matters Initiative in La Quinta, California.

Speaking about women and heart disease, she announced from the podium that the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at Cedars Sinai is pledging $2 million dollars for a national campaign to address prevention and advocacy for women's heart health.

“The pledges made during this conference will undoubtedly impact many lives for years to come,” Barbra said before leaving the stage.

Official Site

(Below: Streisand and James Brolin)

Streisand with husband James Brolin at Health Matters

January 7, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013 to everyone! I hope everyone had joyous Holidays.

I finally managed to see The Guilt Trip the week it opened and I enjoyed it very much. It's been out for about 3 weeks now and looks to have earned $31.2 million at the box office so far. That doesn't even count its worldwide box office yet—The Guilt Trip doesn't open in Europe until March/April/May 2013. [You can see the official worldwide release dates here.] And don't forget that The Guilt Trip will have another life soon on cable, video-on-demand, and DVD/Blu-ray.

So ... The Guilt Trip may not be a runaway hit ... it may have gotten a little lost due to other bigger movies released during the holidays ... and some people may have quibbles with the way Paramount sold it as a raucous comedy (when it's really a sweet, small movie with a big heart) ... but the good news is that Barbra was back on the big screen, and she did such nice, solid work as Joyce Brewster.

Now, hopefully in 2013 she'll move on to her more passionate movie projects: starring as Rose in Gypsy and directing Skinny and Cat.

Other Streisand projects that could possibly happen in 2013:

I've archived 2012 news here.

Classical Barbra—Remastered w/ Bonus Tracks

In 1973, Barbra Streisand went into the studio to make one of the first – and still considered one of the best – classical crossover recordings, Classical Barbra. This unique collection of art songs and arias was originally released in February 1976, with its striking cover portrait by Francesco Scavullo, and has never gone out of print. The German composer and arranger Claus Ogerman conducts the Columbia Symphony Orchestra and accompanies Streisand at the piano in music of Canteloube, Fauré, Handel, Orff, Schumann and Wolf.

Classical Barbra cover

(Pictured above: The album cover for Classical Barbra as it appears on the remastered CD.)

Thirteen-time Grammy–winning producer Steven Epstein has remastered the original recording for this reissue [pre-order at Amazon], the first since its original CD release in 1987. Most importantly, it contains the first ever release of two additional tracks recorded during the original sessions but never available until now – two of Franz Schubert’s best-known songs, “An Sylvia” and “Auf dem Wasser zu singen.”

TRACKLIST:

BONUS TRACKS:

You can pre-order from Amazon here.

Streisand sang “Auf dem Wasser zu singen” in her 1973 television special Barbra Streisand And Other Musical Instruments. On that show it was done in comedic fashion. The track on the remastered Classical Barbra album is a serious take on the Schubert song.

“Star is Born” Blu-Ray Coming, Too

Star is Born blu ray art

Warner Home Video will release Streisand's 1976 film, A Star is Born, on Blu-ray on February 5, 2013. The film will be packaged with a 40-page Blu-ray book filled with live performance and rare photos.

Special Features Include:

Bonus features appear to be the same as the DVD, which was released in 2003. You can pre-order the Blu-ray here at Amazon.com.

All 2012 Streisand news has been archived here.

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