(note the changes from previous shows)
Funny Girl Broadway (overture)
Starting Here, Starting Now
Down With Love
The Way We Were
Come Rain Or Come Shine
Ma Premiere Chanson
Evergreen (with Ill Divo)
I'll DIVO SET #1: (no Barbra)
(a) Unchained Melody
(b) Don't Break My Heart
(c) My Way (dedicated to BJS)
Music Of The
The Music That Makes Me Dance
When The Sun Comes Out
Carefully Taught/Children Will Listen
What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life
Happy Days (George Bush skit)
Have I Stayed Too Long At The Fair
Somewhere (with Ill Divo)
My Shining Hour
Don't Rain On My Parade (Broadway version reprise)
Streisand returns with class, personality
By Joan Anderman, Globe Staff | October 23, 2006
People who have money may not be the luckiest people in the world, but
they were fortunate enough to be able to buy tickets -- which cost up to
$750 each -- to Barbra Streisand's first concert tour in more than a
The icon performed a 2 1/2-hour show on a terraced, lavender-lit set
outfitted with opulent bouquets of roses, a spotlit "S" seared onto center
stage, and a lush 58-piece orchestra. It was a classy affair that
emphasized material with slow tempos and gentle phrasing. There was no
disco, no "Stoney End," and the only duet was with Il Divo, the classiest
of boy bands. At 64, Streisand's voice has lost some of it's plushness and
elasticity. There's an airiness to her tones where once there was silken
clarity. But with her excellent pitch and colorful personality completely
intact, and most important her remarkable powers of interpretation,
Streisand entertained a sold-out house at the Garden with a cornucopia of
songs that spanned her 46-year career.
Following the original "Funny Girl" overture, Streisand materialized from
below the stage in a floor-length, sailor-style black sequined suit to
sing a short opening set and wax poetic about the Celtics, the old Frolics
nightclub at Revere Beach, and Boston food. Every word of her between-song
chatter, and all of her song lyrics, scrolled on several large
teleprompters, which the singer uses, she explained, since forgetting the
lyrics to three songs in 1967.
Never for a moment, however, did Streisand seem to be reading. She remains
a consummate entertainer, creating intimacy on "The Way We Were" that felt
more suited to a supper club than an arena. The orchestra, led by Bill
Ross, accompanied the singer with elegant, string-laden arrangements on
show-opener "Starting Here, Starting Now," " Down with Love" and "Come
Rain or Come Shine." Streisand briefly sat at the piano for a whimsical
stab at "Ma Premiere Chanson," the first song (of a mere 10) that she ever
Il Divo, a sort of Josh Groban-meets-the-Three-Tenors popera creation,
then performed its own highly melodramatic miniset ("Unchained Melody" in
Italian, for example) and supplied a harmony tsunami on Streisand's
gorgeous version of "Somewhere," from "West Side Story." She called that
song a prayer for tolerance, compassion, and peace -- a message underlined
by the singer's outspoken politics, on full display in the form of Steve
Bridges, a George W. Bush impersonator, with whom Streisand bantered for a
full 10 minutes. While she was heckled for this quasi-humorous stunt in
New York, where she (now famously) responded with an expletive-strewn
retort, the Boston audience laughed exuberantly.
Streisand's musical set list could have used a bit more of that exuberance
and vitality. Her "Funny Girl" medley (the title song, "My Man," and of
course "People") was lovely, as was "In a Very Unusual Way" and Michel
Legrand's exquisite "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" But the
show was decidedly low-wattage up until the final 20 minutes or so, when
Streisand broke out the big-money notes and brassy energy. Perhaps it has
to be rationed now, and if so, she chose well. The concert's closing
stretch featured vibrant, colorful renditions of "(Have I Stayed) Too Long
At the Fair," "Cockeyed Optimist," and the incomparable "Don't Rain on My
Parade," which inspired Streisand, who was by this time barefoot, to kick
up her legs like a chorus girl. It was a sight, and a sound, to behold.
Joan Anderman can be reached at
© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.
still like buttah
By Terry Byrne
Monday, October 23, 2006
No question about it: Babs has still got it.
Last night’s performance at the TD Banknorth Garden showed a Barbra
Streisand mellowed by age, but still looking and sounding fabulous.
The Boston crowd greeted her like a rock star, and even with her first
number, “Starting Here, Starting Now,” her deep, almost husky voice
created a few goose bumps. Dressed in a sequined sailor suit (with
pockets!) and accompanied by a 55-piece orchestra, she looked remarkably
relaxed. She mentioned her concert appearance at Frolics in Revere (in
1963) and worked mentions of several Boston-area restaurants into her
Although “The Way We Were” was only the third song on her set list, and
“Evergreen” was soon to follow, she did dip into her catalog with “Ma
Premiere Chanson,” her own composition from her early album “Je m’Appelle
Barbra,” and played it on the piano.
The “man band” Il Divo came out to join her on “Evergreen,” and sang four
songs on its own while she took a break. The pretty-boy quartet seemed
like Streisand’s version of chorus boys but added nothing to the evening
besides a little bass on “Music of the Night” from “The Phantom of the
But the break seemed to give her a chance to warm up. When she returned,
she seemed eager to let her voice leap along the scales. She can’t hit
those very high notes anymore, but she’s still got great control and
impressive volume. Her selections from “Funny Girl” proved her amazing
ability to pack an emotional wallop in a story song, with “My Man” and
“People” bringing down the house.
After a 20-minute intermission, Streisand returned with a medley of
“You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught/Children Will Listen,” dedicated to her
son Jason, before launching into “Unusual Way” from the musical “Nine.”
After appearing in two sequined outfits, she emerged in the second act in
a flattering Egyptian-style number, but took her heels off and sang the
rest of her set in bare feet, including “What Are You Doing The Rest of
Your Life?” and “Have I Stayed Too Long at the Fair?”
Her much talked-about Bush impersonator was a striking double, but his
jokes were moldy Vegas schtick. Fortunately, the musical duet with him
(which earned catcalls in New York) was cut, and Streisand sang the
haunting “Happy Days Are Here Again” alone. She did philosophize a little
too much, but managed to fit in “Cockeyed Optimist,” a lush “Somewhere”
and “My Shining Hour,” returning with “Don’t Rain on My Parade” for an
It’s good to see Streisand back onstage, despite the painfully steep
ticket prices. If this is indeed her last tour, it was certainly worth it.
I just got
back from the Boston show!! It was the greatest thing I have ever in my
life witnessed!!!!! A total dream come true!!!!
The show did not have an encore...which was a bummer. She did not do STONY
END or the first DON'T RAIN ON MY PARADE....but it did have the finale
PARADE....which was amazing!!! I really cried a lot when she sang UNUSUAL
When she was playing MA PREMIRE CHANSON she played a few chords and then
said "OH (blank) I am playing the wrong song!". I am not sure what she was
playing but the whole song sounded more like LOST INSIDE YOU to me....but
I could be wrong!!
She sounded fabulous....a little horse but still golden and soaring!!!
A dream finally come true for me and I am just about wiped out from the
emotion of it!!
Like I just
e-mailed to Steven, can I just say OMG!!!
I cannot believe that I just saw Barbra and that it's really over!! When I
was sitting there waiting for the show to start, I was so nervous! When
Barbra came onstage , it was just so sureal and I just closed my eyes and
listened to that beautiful, incredible voice. Her voice live is just the
most wonderful thing in the world! Surprisingly, I did not cry when she
came out like I thought I would!! I think I was in shock, I was holding on
to my sister's hand and just listening to her.
When I did break down was during the "Funny Girl" set!! I cried through
the whole thing, and yes She did sing "Funny Girl"!!! I know I wasn't just
imagining it LOL!
"People" and "My Man" were phenomenal!! Especially, "My Man" her voice was
so strong and she just belted it out!!!
She was just as "gorgeous" in person as I thought she'd be!!She mentioned
where she had eaten, in Boston.....She had clams from Legal Seafoods and
She ate at Durgin Park, which is an old famous restaraunt here in Boston!!
And she said today she was going to the Harbor, to see where The Boston
Tea Party was. She's so cute!!
Let me just tell you I thought I would hate Il Divo and I ended up loving
them!!! Their voices were beautiful and it was Magical when they sang,
"Evergreen" and "Somewhere" with Barbra!! The five of them singing
together, I just sat there and soaked up that beautiful sound!!!
She didn't sing "smile" or "Stoney End', But her encore was "Don't Rain on
My Parade". She didn't bring Sammie out which I was disappointed, but let
me tell you that was the only disappointment of the evening!!! Barbra is
well worth every penny you pay to see her, my sis said that was the best
concert she has ever been to!
I can only say that Barbra fufilled a dream tonight of a little girl who
fell in love with her so many years ago and dreamed that someday this
night would happen.
Just got in on the train about an hour ago from Boston, where I saw the
show with my friend Dane last night. Barbra was a joy to behold. Relaxed,
humorous, articulate, giving.
It is true that she sounded a bit hoarse throughout the show, but I agree
with the poster who said that this huskiness is just a part of her voice
now. Considering the fact that (as my friend and I were exclaiming at) the
lady will be SEVENTY is just six years, the voice is still amazing. And
when she needed to "loft" to hit those big notes, she never failed.
I must say, though, that I was disappointed in the sound sytem. I remember
Barbra having special carpeting installed to ensure crystal clear sound
when she toured in 1994; I am not sure that she went to such extreme
measures this time around. The sound (NOT Barbra, I'm talking about the
sound) was a little "muddy" (to borrow a word that my friend used). I
guess these big arenas that also host sporting events can't help but
"swallow up" some of the gorgeous details of a voice like Barbra's in ther
vast, cavernous spaces.
The Bush sketch was received okay by the audience, but I have to say that
it's pretty weak. Nothing near the comedic genius of the Mike Myers/Linda
Richman sketch from 1994.
And Il Divo? I was not in the least impressed. These "cookie cutter" pop
opera boys left me longing for more of Barbra. I would have much preferred
to have had Barbra sing "Evergreen" and "Somewhere" by herself. I guess
the only part where I felt they worked was in "Music of the Night."
It's a shame that Barbra has toured so rarely in her career, because to
WATCH Barbra as she sings (and the huge screens suspended above the arena
revealed every nuance of her performance) is to watch one of the great
actresses of our time. I guess, to borrow from Barbra, she IS indeed "an
actress who sings." This is where, I feel, she leaves the Whitneys and the
Celines and the Mariahs in the dust. To watch and listen to Barbra sing
live is equivalent to an eduation at Juilliard!
I think it's wise that Barbra "paces" herself in concert at the age that
she now is. My friend and I discussed the preponderance of ballads and the
rarity of up tempo numbers. But that's okay...hasn't Barbra's forte always
been ballads, anyway?
I was sorry that she cut DROMP (except for thestage version of FUNNY GIRL
reprisal part that she did as an encore), and very sorry that she didn't
come back out for a final encore of "Smile." Everyone was hooting and
hollering and, as a previous poster said, the orchestra, under Bill Ross's
baton, sat poised ready to accompany her for one last song...but she never
came back out.
Now that I've seen the concert, I'm going to gobble up every bit of info
that's been written about the shows since the tour began in Oct. 4th.
This is certainly an exciting time to be a Barbra fan, and I have to say
that everyone's enthusiasm about this tour has been quite infectious.
Thanks to all for the sharing....