Streisand Impressionist Defends Babs' Choice Of Gypsy

eyes_closed_sm.jpg

There's been a lot of talk -- mainly right here -- about whether Barbra Streisand is the right choice to play the feisty Mama Rose in the new movie version of the classic musical Gypsy.

Well, I just heard from Steven Brinberg, who for years has done a letter-perfect Babs homage called Simply Barbra.

Says Steve:

"She's recorded the soundtrack already!"

And he adds:

"Actually, I don't think it's so crazy that she wants to do this ... yes FOLLIES or SUNSET or BALLROOM are more age appropriate but the studio wants a tried and true title, I'm sure.

"And Barbra at 70 looks no older than Roz Russell did at 55.

"If you look at old films, women in their 30's so heavily made up looked like they were in their 50's ... likewise the period in which GYPSY is set ...

"Back then, Helen Hayes and Beulah Bondi at 40 looked 70.

"Today, 70 is Barbra, Jane Fonda, Goldie (almost)."

Discuss.

Oh, and by the way, Jane Fonda is in talks to play Nancy Reagan. Discuss again.


My Voice Nation Help
29 comments
Vicente Minnelli
Vicente Minnelli

Her instincts have rarely failed her. C'mon people - she's the last,real, old school DIVA we have left. When she goes, who ? Liza...Diana. No one still brings the anticipatory excitement,when she sings, that Barbra does. Look, I'm like everyone else - I'm praying it'll be more 'Yentl', and much less 'Mame'. Oh Lord..........

Vodkastinger
Vodkastinger

ACK!  I have been saying that I hope she had the good sense to record these songs 10 years ago just in case

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

This just in:

Barbra says Jason Gould will play Herbie -- or Tulsa. Whichever he likes.

Rc61austin
Rc61austin

She's still too friggin' old to play Mama Rose... perhaps Grandma?

Movielover
Movielover

This boy looks so much like a young Babs!  I wonder if she likes it!  Will the movie about Nan Regan have her sucking dick as much as she really did in her Hollywood period?  I can picture Jane in the role!

Vim
Vim

Backstage Guy is right about one thing: The Bette Midler version is the worst.

Wisebear
Wisebear

She'd be magnificent in Sunset Boulevard, even though that character is really only supposed to be around 50, also. Gypsy is tired.

And yes to Fonda as Reagan. I'm so glad she's having a comeback!

BackstageGuy
BackstageGuy

The negativity on this is hysterical. The bottom line is...Barbra has made incredibly brilliant career choices for 50 solid years.  Those of us who respect and admire her, do so because she "goes against all the naysayers".  This is precisely why she's the number one female recording artist of all time here in the USA.  50 years people.  "Gypsy" is a BRILLIANT choice for Barbra.  She's perfect for the role, because of three main things; she sings the pants off of the score, every note; she looks a solid 25 years younger than she is so is the perfect "look" for it, and it's a "passion project" for her, almost as meaningful as Yentl, if not equal for her in meaning.

In twenty, thirty, forty years...we'll be watching this film and thinking "Thank God she decided to do this...even though so many people thought she was too old." It will be a classic "Barbra" film, no doubt - her last major musical ever.  Bravo to Barbra for continuing to go with her gut and create successful, beautiful art for all of us to enjoy.  For those of you who don't know...

She created her own television special in the 60s.  After viewing it, CBS execs went to her manager, Marty Erlichman, and told him that by letting her have full creative control (she was in her mid-20s by the way), that he had "singlehandedly let her ruin her career".  They didn't even want to air it.  It went on to win FIVE Emmys that year, was rebroadcast by CBS due to it's huge popularity and was heralded as a "breakthrough" in how television specials were done.  

Secondly, she fought tooth and nail, for over 14 years to make her dream film; "Yentl".  She went against the advice of her agent/best friend and went against Jon Peters' advice too, her boyfriend at the time.  In fact, "the story goes" that they even broke up over it. She was upset that he didn't believe in it and wouldnt support her (he apologized with his tail between his legs later).  She finally got a major studio to back the film and was the first women to ever produce, direct and star in a major Hollywood film...and guess what?  It was a smashing success.  When Steve Spielberg viewed it before release, he told Barbra: "Don't change a frame."  Her directing style was compared to William Wyler; the very talented director of "Funny Girl" in 1968, the film that made Barbra a movie star. 

Another huge project where Barbra "proved herself" was when she fought tooth and nail to do the Broadway album in the 80s.  Virtually everyone, including Columbia, her record label, told her it was the wrong career move, "this isn't the music that sells", "bad choice", "you'll regret it", "you need to be more commercial"... yet she did it anyway, despite having very little support.  It was massive, HUGE...and is still one of her top-selling albums ever.

So you know what?  Those of you who sit here and judge her on this choice and state that it's the wrong move for her career, that she's too old... that she can't sing the score?  That makes me laugh...seriously.  Barbra has more than proved herself over these last 50 years.  Her instincts when it comes to what's right for her are beyond brilliant, better than any other artist out there. Did you know she can't read music, has never been able to grasp it...yet she can stand in a room with a 40-piece orchestra and hear one violin, or one brass player that's off by one step, off by a millisecond on timing.  Those that have worked with her are usually in awe of her talent.  This is an artist who ruled Broadway in acting and singing, has sold over 140 million albums worldwide, successfully directs major films, produces everything she puts her mind to to perfection, designs her own homes from architecture to where to plant flowers or create a stream, and even composes music (film scores + the smash hit song: "Evergreen"...yup, composed it by ear alone, on her guitar which she learned to play by ear as well).  

Barbra is like none other. She is the first of her kind, the only person in the world with such an extraordinary amount of talent in so many areas.  So can she do "Gypsy" well enough for it to be successful and timeless?  Ummm, if she wants to, yes.  And she definitely wants to.  I can't wait to see it!  

Barbra has proved herself over and over and over and over... and over.  She has nothing left to prove.  Her track record speaks for itself. My "glib satisfaction" will come when every naysayer is proved wrong around this time next year when Gypsy releases.  Just prepare yourselves now. Bravo to Barbra!

ImAFunnyGirl
ImAFunnyGirl

Love you Barbra, but this isn't a good idea.  Seriously.

latenitebump
latenitebump

nancy reagan and margaret thatcher. horrible creatures.

Bwaybill
Bwaybill

Don't give her any ideas.

billyjoe
billyjoe

Babs could cast herself as the mop-topped lead character in the musical "Annie" and her adoring fans would still show up in droves.

Bwaybill
Bwaybill

Goldie would be a great Mama Rose!

Ofu
Ofu

Yes to Jane as Nancy. No to Barbra as Rose.

Bwaybill
Bwaybill

Her instincts have rarely failed her?

Up The Sandbox, For Pete's Sake, A Star is Born, The Main Event, Funny Lady, All Over Town, Nuts....

vince
vince

Backstageguy! You're OK!!! I concur with all you said. If the naysayers don't want to see Barbra do Gypsy-then stay home! Who needs you? She certainly doesn't. Her adoring fans will ALWAYS be there to absorb her glorious talents!

Movielover
Movielover

Dear Backstage Guy:  Is that a non de plume for you...Barbra?!

billyjoe
billyjoe

Backstage Guy: Yours is the finest Rex Reed imitation I've ever witnessed. Bravo.

Whompers
Whompers

When did Barbra start calling herself BackStage Guy?

Movielover
Movielover

Your comment isn't THAT funny. 

Movielover
Movielover

Actually, I would show up to see that!

Ynnocence
Ynnocence

She could remake Oliver starring herself and I'd go a few times and buy the soundtrack, and justify the outlay by saying well there's better singing this time. I mean, it's Barbra! The Streisand! The people who can't say no to God - to me THOSE are the pathetic ones.

Movielover
Movielover

Is that how dull Jennifer Hudson got a career?  She's ok, but not much in the talent department.  Goldie was terrifically cute and funny (ages ago). 

Nycseat
Nycseat

Oh patti now stop you were never considered for any of those roles either

BackstageGuy
BackstageGuy

I would go see her as Annie too - BAH-HAHAHA

BackstageGuy
BackstageGuy

Alright that's pretty witty, but just a fan who believes she'll do very well in this role. Hell at this point I'm happy to get Bette's horrible version out of my head.

billyjoe
billyjoe

Babs fans puts Grateful Deadheads to shame.

Loading...