YouTube Treasure: Streisand And The Alvin Ailey Dancers

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I'm not here to talk about The Guilt Trip right now. Barbra Streisand is fun and looks radiant in it, but overall, it's a meh experience.

I'd rather discuss Funny Lady, the 1975 sequel to Funny Girl, which is moody, opulent, and even more filled with Barbraisms than Richard Simmons.

In fact, it becomes clear quickly into the movie that it has very little to do with Fanny Brice and everything to do with Barbra Streisand.

This is most evident with the lavish "Great Day" number, set on a glittery deco set, with Babs intoning the song as if it were a track from one of her pop albums of the '70s.

It's period imperfect!

The production number starts with slow, loving, high-pitched tones, all very Barbra, in a pseudo pop-star-goes-semi-gospel kind of way.

And then the tempo changes and everyone starts wildly clapping as our star desperately tries to get down and percolate in a rather embarrassing manner.

If she were my mommy, I would have been certain to tell people, "No, she isn't!"

Still, the whole thing is mesmerizing, especially because Babs is unafraid to put her personal stamp on the proceedings, and the fabulous dancers manage to keep their dignity throughout.

This clip must be seen to be disbelieved.

Watching it might even be some sort of guilt trip--as in guilty pleasure.


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7 comments
lyricgirl925
lyricgirl925

Barbra's Voice and Eye/Ear for detail, is what Still Keeps Her Above Everyone Else!

lameatman
lameatman

Say what you will about the silliness of the dancers, & staging, Streisand's voice soars unbelieveably on the song - that last note is one no one can touch. There's a reason she's a legend, and when all is said and done, it's her voice that will amaze people through the ages.



devinbliss
devinbliss

Michael - what an absolute gem indeed!  I went to the premiere of "Funny Lady" that opened up FILMEX in Century City, CA in 1975...they even had colored elephants at the event...it was a spectacular Red Carpet...everything and everyone was there except for Barbra, of course.  By the way, Jason_G - that wasn't Esther Williams you were commenting about...but Eleanor Holm, an Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer, who ended up marrying Billy Rose, after his divorce from Fanny.  She even played Jane in a "Tarzan" movie once, and made the cover of Time Magazine.  Thanks again for sharing that wonderful piece, Michael.  Bob Mackie's costume and headdress are also art-deco fabulous!

Jason_G
Jason_G

I remember when this came out.  She has a scene in a pool (She is trying to steal Esther Williams spotlight because Williams is after her man) and I read that she refused to get in the water unless is was EXATLY the temp that she wanted.  She had to be sued to make this movie and was difficult the whole shoot.  Love it!

SavannahMontgomery
SavannahMontgomery

OH MIKEY!!  You just tapped into the feeling I was having on Christmas Eve,eve!!!

I was going down South to vistied my 93 yr old aunt, but my flight got cancelled  (literally at the LAST minute!).  As I was FUMING Christmas Day  (flight cancelled 2 days ago), I decided to YouTube "I'll Be Home for Christmas" (to maintain the 'black cloud', still fuming)...and Bar's version was sooo over the top B'way, that I snapped outta my funk!




akakarenwilson
akakarenwilson

@mikeymusto Streisand has stolen the Musto/Jolie leg split!

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