In the element of full disclosure, I am not a music critic. But I have seen more live shows than I can count—many of them music legends. So it is with great pride that I add Ms. Barbra Streisand to the list. Up until last night I probably would have just called her Babs, but no more. She deserves my respect.
I counted myself a fan last night. I applauded loudly, stood with the crowd, and cheered on a number of occasions, even giving her a few of my concert–style hoots. There is no one like Streisand: a voice that is a true gift and great talent. A style all her own. That face. That hair. Those (most likely) Donna Karan all-black ensembles.
She held court last night with a full orchestra and at times sang with Il Divo (more on that on my blog). Many of the songs were very familiar, others not, at least to me. But it didn’t matter. That voice and her Barbra-ness had me in the palm of her hand for a couple of hours.
Here are a couple of my observations and insights:
+ She used a TelePrompTer for the full show. It was huge and hanging from the center of the X. Only a small portion of the guests would have noticed because of the placement. Even her anecdotes about songs—which were a highlight—were scripted. Hey, remember, she’s an award-winning actor, too.
+ She played a little song on the piano, which she said was the first song she wrote (at about the age twenty-two) for her album Je M’appelle Barbra. I’m pretty sure that piece was the same one she (or was it Kris Kristofferson?) played on the piano in one of the scenes in their giant LA mansion in A Star is Born. True fans would know.
+ As a fairly new mom, I got a tear in my eye when she sang "Children Will Listen." Here are the lyrics.
+ I ran into a friend who was there as a chair-filler. You know how they have people who sit in the places of stars at the Academy Awards when, say, Nicole Kidman needs to powder her nose and they don’t want to show an empty seat? Same at the Streisand shows. Ms. Barbra doesn’t like any empty seats. So a team of volunteers jumped from chair to chair last evening to keep the seats packed. I was told this was the first time a performer has made this request in the Twin Cities. Hey, it’s also the first time Streisand has performed in the Twin Cities.