Barbra Turned Down Cabaret, Klute, and Julia

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I was uptown last night when Barbra Streisand arrived to be honored with her Film Society of Lincoln Center's "Chaplin" award, and she and hubby Brolin looked like buttah.

Also lovely was this New York Times piece yesterday, in which the greatest star answered readers' questions with her usual plucky aplomb. She said she still plans to play Momma Rose. She explained that she'd love to do Broadway if she could do just four performances a week. And she revealed which parts she regrets rejecting throughout her career.

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Sondheim Won't Let Barbra Streisand Direct Gypsy?

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Stephen Sondheim has generously allowed a lot of wacky and/or progressive interpretations of his work, including ones with the actors playing musical instruments, the director's wife playing the female lead, and all sorts of other tweaks and concessions.

But according to this report on lemonwade.com, the composer extraordinaire is holding back his approval to let Barbra Streisand direct the movie version of Gypsy that she's supposed to star in. (Sondheim wrote the lyrics for that show.)

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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.

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Streisand at the Hollywood Bowl: A Report

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A friend sent me this positive review of Barbra Streisand's concert on Friday:


"It was a good show. Her son's singing was very nice. And her sister did a duet with her toward the end.

"I got a great seat from a scalper for 50 bucks 45 minutes into the show, and I was happy. The printed program was another 40 dollars. Can you imagine?


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Barbra Tribute Went Over Like Buttah! (Photos By Andrew Werner)

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Lorna Luft, Scott Nevins, Ann Hampton Calloway. Photo: Andrew Werner

There was no night off for fans last Friday, even though Barbra Streisand's two Brooklyn concerts were Thursday and Saturday.

Friday was the night they held "Hello, Gorgeous!"--a musical tribute to Babs at Kaye Playhouse, benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Barbra the perfectionist would have adored it.

Host Scott Nevins explained to the audience that the performers were asked to interpret the Streisand hits their own way rather than try to sound like Barbra, especially since no one can sound like Barbra.

That resulted in Tituss Burgess doing a powerful "Papa, Can You Hear Me?", Von Smith wailing a surreally touching "People," and Natalie Joy Johnson personalizing "He Touched Me" and making it poignant, funny, and real.

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Barbra's Set List From Her Philadelphia Concert Last Night

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Thanks to the devoted folks over at All That Chat, I've got the lineup of what Barbra Streisand sang in Philly last night--presumably the same set list she's bringing to Brooklyn later this week.

Sounds like a lot of long, luxurious notes to me.

So nu?


ACT ONE

"You'll Never Know" (video introduction)

Funny Girl overture

"Being Good Isn't Good Enough"

"As If We Never Said Goodbye"


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Lorna Luft And Others Sing Streisand Hits!

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And it's to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

This will be my last Barbra item for at least two days, but it's important that you know tickets are still available for the benefit concert featuring various stars doing Barbra's greatest hits on Friday October 12.

Lorna Luft is doing "The Man That...", I mean "The Music That Makes Me Dance."

Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) will sing more than just a spoonful of "The Way We Were."

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Did Barbra Streisand Re-Use An Old Version Of "My Man" For The Funny Girl Movie?

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The answer seems to be yes, judging from the below video posted by Townhouse pianist Rick Unterberg.

The version of "My Man" used in the 1968 Oscar-winning film sounds eerily like the one Babs had already recorded in 1965 for her My Name Is Barbra album.

I mean, it's note for note.

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Barbra's Son Sounds Like Butter

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Barbra Streisand recently revealed that she will sing with her son Jason Gould in Brooklyn.

Meaning onstage in her October concerts.

See, Babs was impressed by the things Jason has recorded and she wants to give him a stage--and a pretty good duetting partner--which automatically makes her more supportive of him than her mother was of her.

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Streisand Responds To Larry Kramer's Attack

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As you know, Larry Kramer wrote the powerful 1985 play The Normal Heart, about life in the trenches during the early days of the AIDS crisis.

Barbra Streisand was going to direct the movie version at one point, but there were problems in drumming up the kind of money Larry wanted (among other conflicts).

Well, just the other day, Larry shot off an angry email to Barbra, reopening the wound that for him still festers as if brand new. (It happened when Larry kept her abreast of the raves the play is still getting and she responded that this made her sad that she's not directing it.)

Kramer lashed out at Barbra, saying that when her option on the material ran out, she could have bought it instead of redecorating her home one more time!

He said he required a certain amount of money because an AIDS activist/author doesn't exactly make a fortune, and besides, "You couldn't tell me what you didn't like about my screenplays."

And now the superstar has replied.

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