Must Watch DVR Alert! BARBRA STREISAND: BACK TO BROOKLYN Airs on PBS's Great Performances Tonight
With our apologies to Lea Michele, there truly is only ONE Barbra Streisand and on PBS tonight the legendary star "sings them all" from FUNNY GIRL to GYPSY as only she can. For musical theatre fans of all ages, and lovers of great music, it's a can't miss television event.
The star is joined by special guests Il Volo, trumpeter Chris Botti, and (making it a true family affair) son Jason Gould who shows off his own talents both on his own and singing a duet with his mother.
Simply put, Barbra + Brooklyn = A CAN'T MISS event.
"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 tonight, 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.
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.
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.