Barbra Streisand Television Specials
(5-DVD set) + VHS & Laserdisc Versions
BARBARA STREISAND: THE TELEVISION SPECIALS
Released: November 22, 2005 (US) and December 5, 2005 (UK)
DVD Catalog Number: R2 970429
Price: $59.99 (5 discs) (US)
The five Barbra Streisand early career TV specials, which confirmed for critics and public alike that she would be the music world’s most legendary female entertainer for many decades, have been gathered into an historic DVD box-set by Warner Strategic Marketing for release just prior to Thanksgiving. For over forty years Ms. Streisand’s accomplishments in the recording field, in film and television and on stage have set virtually unbreakable records, and it was these early television specials that previewed for national audiences the unparalleled range of talent and originality that would distinguish her as both a legend and a trailblazer.
On display in the award-winning specials are not only the multi-Grammy-winning Voice of the Century, the unique comic and dramatic acting flair that earned her both Oscar and Tony, but also the exquisite taste, showmanship and visual inspiration that would make her a leading film director and producer and would establish records in the world of concert performance. Those first five specials, for which the young star, barely into her twenties, was so wisely given full creative control, were and remain a thrilling introduction to all of her varied talents.
Warner Strategic Marketing, industry leader in marketing and distribution of music and television on DVD, notes that in bringing Streisand’s groundbreaking original television performances to DVD for the first time ever, they are making available to the public many classic performances unseen since their first broadcasts.
The partnership will launch with a fall 2005 Direct Response campaign timed to the November 22nd retail release of a deluxe 5-disc box set. The set includes her legendary CBS television performances: My Name is Barbra, Color Me Barbra, The Belle of 14th Street, Barbra Streisand: A Happening in Central Park and Barbra Streisand and Other Musical Instruments.
“We have found a way to take these landmark performances, many of which have been unavailable to the public for decades, and bring them to a very eager audience.” stated Scott Pascucci, President of Warner Strategic Marketing “In these performances, Barbra conquers nearly every genre on the map and we are proud to be able to finally give viewers the chance to witness how truly timeless and groundbreaking her original specials were, and still are.”
Warner/Rhino released My Name is Barbra, Color Me Barbra and The Belle of 14th Street as individual DVD titles (i.e. not part of their original box set) with new cover art on 7/25/2006 for $19.99 per Disc.
Barbra participated in an interview with the AP press on Nov. 28, 2005 about the TV specials.
AP: Fans have been waiting forever for this. What took so long?
Streisand: You know? I don’t know. I’m always doing something. I’m building a house. I’m doing an album. I’m doing my garden. Today, you know, I just came in, my feet are killing me (laughs), walking on the rocks, ’cause I’m building these stones and planting flowers and — I don’t know. I would constantly say to Marty (Erlichman), my manager, “When are these things ever gonna come out?” It is crazy, isn’t it?
AP: What’s it like for you to go back and watch these shows?
Streisand: I don’t watch them. No. Why would I watch it? I know them very well. I don’t have time. I just, you know, I had wonderful experiences. I had such a great team when I was making (them), especially the first two: (music arranger) Peter Matz and (choreographer) Joe Layton and (director) Dwight Hemion and (monologue writer) Robert Emmett. It was so fun. This was very exciting at this period of time, I remember, because they didn’t have one-woman shows, one-man shows in television. They were all guest stars with a host. I was never comfortable with that role of being a host, “And now I’m going to introduce you to so-and-so.” It just felt so odd to me that I wanted to — I had to find some other way to present myself, you know?
AP: These DVDs are really all about the music. Does that approach help them not seem dated?
Streisand: Well, I hope they’re timeless. (For “Color Me Barbra”) I wanted to work in a museum, where I could go in and out of the paintings. The Philadelphia Museum was amazing because we could only work from when the museum closed, I think it was a Sunday night, ’til it reopened Tuesday morning. So, we worked around the clock for — I think it was 36 hours. And I had this kind of head thing on my head and I couldn’t stop and do my hair over, so I remember sleeping on a block, like, for an hour, like the Japanese (chuckles) sleep on a head block. I remember seeing the cameras. It was one of the first color shows, I believe, “Color Me Barbra.” It was so exciting to see that, and to film in this incredible museum. And Dwight took beautiful pictures. We just had a good time. It was very, very creative.
AP: Do you have a favorite special? A least favorite?
Streisand: My favorites are my first two, ’cause they’re kind of bookends. I loved the idea then to break the idea into three acts, ’cause I was from the theater. And I was kind of used to that format: having a theme for first section, a theme for the second, and then the simplicity of a concert stage for the third section — one being in black and white, the other being in color. ... My least favorite, probably, is “Belle of 14th Street” because there’s a great 45 minutes in it, but I would have cut some of it, you know. We tried. That’s where we tried to have guest stars, and I don’t think it works as well.
AP: Is there any more fans can expect on DVD? I’d love to see a video version of your career-spanning CD box set “Just for the Record.”
Streisand: It exists! I’ve worked on it for years. It’s four hours long. You know, it took so long to do the ’60s, the ’70s and the ’80s, that I’ve never done the ’90s or not to mention 2000s. It was supposed to be released with the — I never thought that it was quite good enough. Actually, when I saw that about a year ago, I thought, “Man, this is good.” (Laughs.) I underrated it. It has to come out soon. I also did the director’s version of “Yentl” and I also talk through “Star is Born,” as the executive producer. And I don’t know when those are coming out.
AP: It’s been an extraordinary for you recently: “Meet the Fockers,” the CD “Guilty Pleasures” and now this. Do you view success differently today than when you started?
Streisand: I have more of a life now. So, it’s kind of less important. But it’ll always be nice — my God! — if you get nice reviews for something or you’re appreciated by people you respect or, you know, if you touch people’s hearts in some way, if you change their lives in some way. If they use your music to feel sad or replenished or hope, it’s always — that’s the point, you know? To move people or to make them think or feel.
Happening in Central Park and Other Musical Instruments were released individually on DVD 8/29/06.
(Above: Other Musical Instruments DVD cover; Below: Warner Strategic produced promotional postcards when they released the box set. Pictured are two cards, plus the back side of one of the cards.)
VHS & Laserdisc Versions
- My Name is Barbra (CBS/FOX—3519) **
- Color Me Barbra (CBS/FOX—3518) **
- Happening in Central Park (CBS/FOX—3520)
- Putting It Together (CBS/FOX—7107)
- One Voice (CBS/FOX—5150)
- Barbra: The Concert (Columbia Music Video—29V-50115) *
- Timeless: Live in Concert (Columbia Music Video—CV 54020)
* Contained the Blockbuster Video Exclusive Bonus Track: “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life”
** Were packaged together in a box set as The Streisand Specials. (see photo, right)
- My Name is Barbra (FoxVideo—3519-80)
- Color Me Barbra (FoxVideo—3518-80)
- A Happening in Central Park (Pioneer—PA88-205)
- Putting It Together (FoxVideo—7101-80)
- One Voice (Pioneer—PA87-204)
- Barbra: The Concert (Columbia Music Video—50115)
(Below: Some magazine advertising for the Streisand VHS specials. 1986 ad for the first two VHS specials below ...)
(Below: An ad from 1990 with all the Streisand VHS tapes to date.)
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