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BARBRA STREISAND’S MEMORIES

Cast a spell in San  Jose
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By Iride Aparicio


Photos By: Steve Jennings for Wirelmage/GSB touring

SAN JOSE, CA—  On her concert, “BARBRA, The Music… The Mem’ries…The Magic!” celebrating six decades of her #1 Albums, BARBRA STREISAND discloses the multiple facets  of her triumphant career to the audience  in the manner in which she can better communicate. Singing for them.

On August 4th,  the night it was presented  at the SAP Center in S.J.  the concert  lived up to its title. For “The Music,” BARBRA sang many of  her most recognized songs in a bit darker, but still beautiful tone of voice, perfectly vocalized and with feeling in every word. “The Memories”, were the body of the concert and the  The Magic, was that at the end of the concert, the audience discovered a BARBRA STREISAND, that is like a diamond, with multiple facets. 

The staging of her Sold-Out concert was simple: On the right stage front, a grand Piano, with pianist RANDY WALDMAN. playing and directing. Back stage right, her musicians:  Guitar: MIKE O’NEILL, Bass: CARLITOS DEL PUERTO, Drums DAVE TULL, Keyboards CHE CHE ALARA, RICH RUTTENBERG, and DAVID WITHAM. Percussion: NORM FREEMAN, Violin: CHRISTIAN HEBEL and Woodwind: BRANDON FIELDS. Back stage left her vocalists: STEVVI ALEXANDER, ANDREA JONES, and AMY KEYS.  Scattered on the front of the stage, small tables with with vases of flowers on their top and  a stool nearby, in the one at the center a fancy tea pitcher, amd a cup. Extended over the back wall, a large projection screen and large screens hanging from the ceiling at both sides of the stage.

Written by BARBRA, JAY LANDERS and RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, and Directed by BARBRA and RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, the three-hour concert, moved smoothly, with a fine-watch precision.  It began with BARBRA, entering  the center of the stage, dressed in a black outfit,  her blond hair hanging over her shoulders, completely illuminated by rays of golden light coming from all directions, focusing  on her. She was greeted by the audience, with  a long standing ovation that went on after she saluted the audience and told it that she was in a great mood, and that our arena, and stage were great.

She started her tour through  “memory Lane” by talking about her different memories of her long career as Actress of the stage, TV and film, singer, composer, writer, Producer and Director, by singing  MARVIN HAMLISCH, ALAN BERGMAN and MARILYN BERGMAN, “The Way we were” considered one of her biggest hits and most memorable and famous songs, which as we know the lyrics start with the words: “Mem’ries, light the corners of my mind.” Her first rendition was greeted by long applause by the captive audience that for the rest of the night, continue to listen to her reverently,  and in complete silence.

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As the concert continues, STREISAND began showing the audience different Facets of her career. The first one, BARBRA as a Movie star.  From all her  films, she selected her first one, “Funny Girl” (Based on the life of Fanny Brice and considered one of the most popular movie musicals) in which she starred with Egyptian actor OMAR SHARIF representing Nick Arnstein, her husband.  The film won her the Oscar for Best Actress in l968.  During her talk, she praised the film Producer and Director WILLIAM WYLER for having helping her in her acting, as the projections showed the audience scenes from the film. She sang two songs related to this film during her concert. Her classic “People”  and “Don’t Rain in my Parade”  in duet with a projection of herself  (in the movie) showing her standing on a deck of a tug boat, floating near the Statue of Liberty in the Hudson river, as she chases the ship where Mr. Arnstein is, singing the words: "Yes, Mr. Arnstein, here I come.”

Her next Facet, was BARBRA as a “Recording Star” appropriately shown in with photos of  the cardboard cases of the old vinyl records. She started esplaining some of them, telling us why she was sitting on a chair in this particular one, and how her photograph looking at a beautiful sunset with her back to the audience, almost did not make it because, the people in charge of her publicity did not like it because she was showing her back to the camera.

Another part of this Facet were her duets, with several singing partners. One of them, her singing “Who can I Turn To”  with the  late ANTHONY NEWLEY in which both singing together in duet, and separately.  During this Facet, we also saw clips of her talking with CAROL KING, and projected photos o her and KRIS KRISTOFFERSON, and with other stars in dofferemt record Jakets. During this part of the program, she interpreted different songs, among them STEPHEN SONDHEIM's  “Being Alive” and “Losing My Mind”  and others such as  “Everything must change,” “Woman in Love” and gave the audience a beautiful renditiond of “You Don’t bring me Flowers” and a wonderful “Evergreen,” which won her a second Oscar for “Best Song.”

“Happy Days Are Here Again” was her Facet as politician, and as a Democrat, since she told the audience that she had sang the song to two US Democrat Presidents, one of them the Late JACK KENNEDY, and hinted, she may sing it again this year.
STREISAND debuted as a Film Director in l983 (another of her Facets) in the Musical drama “YENTL” in which she also acted portraying the lead role, of a Jewish girl who is forced to disguise herself as a man to follow her dreams to study. She enhanced the projections of the film by singing one of the film's songs:  “Papa, Can you Hear me?" With lots of feeling.

And in between her songs and her talks, she walked on the front of the stage, sat in a chair, drank her tea, and even stopped to smell the roses in the vase, telling the audience than the roses in her own garden smell better.

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BARBRA STREISAND is one of  only 12 people in the world who are an EGOT whic means, winners of at least on EMMY, GRAMMY, OSCAR and TONY, She has 3 Emmies , 10 Grammies, 2 Oscars, and an Special TO|NY plus 4 Peabody Awards, 8 Golden Globes plus other recognitions, such as Person of the Year, (2011) Presidential Medal of Freedom (2015), a Humanitarianism Award from the Human Rights Campaign, an Honorary Doctorate in Arts and Humanities from Brandeis University (l995) an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2013) the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters bestowed by the government of France among others. She also supports many humanitarian causes, is the lead founder of the Clinton Climate Change initiative the French Legion of Honor Award and Lifetime Achievement and other causes through the STREISAND FOUNDATION.

While in her talkw BARBRA STREISAND, mentioned her new album ENCORE: Movie Partners sing Broadway,” which will be release the 26 of this month, she did not mention her many honors, but in her Facets as wife and mother, she included i her husband, JAMES BROLIN, that she told the audience that she had just called over the phone, and  ELLIOTT GOULD, her only son.

We should add that the night's program also included a mind reader, LIOR SUCHARD, from Israel, who during the end of the first act, handled BARBRA a locked metal box. and during his act asked three people in the audience to describe BARBRA in one single word. After they did aloud (so that the audience could hear them) he opened the locked box and pulled from it a roll of white paper where written in big black letters were the words that the three members of the audience had used to describe the star. One of the three words was BEAUTIFUL.  After seeing her in person, for the first time, observing her interpretations of each one of her songs, listening to the natural beauty of her tone, learning about her career and reading in the program and online about her work for humanity, we fully agree with the description. BEATIFUL, is the word that best describes BARBRA STREISAND

Beginning Highlight of BARBRA, The Music… The Mem’ries…The Magic!

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Video BarbraStreisand_StaplesCenter_8-2-16 by Eddie Polhill, Live Nation