It has no doubt been a week filled with meaning for songstress/diva Barbra Streisand—not to mention her fans.
First of all—this week, the known perfectionist has given us a rare glimpse at her—uh—“flaws,” by releasing Release Me, a compilation of unused tracks spanning a period of 44 years that were thrown into the vault and never used because they were not considered up to standard. Shoot, all I can say is, flaws schmaws. The producers sort of try to create an atmosphere of imperfection by including the studio banter prior to the take on a few of the tracks—and granted, there is a rather ill-advised venture into country music on “Try To Win A Friend,”—but when it comes to Streisand’s voice, I seriously doubt any but the most trained ears will pick up anything that could be interpreted as “flawed.”
Second—Thursday night, the 70(!)-year-old “came home” to her birthplace of Brooklyn, NY, performing a stunning and triumphant 3-hour concert at the new 19,000-seat Barclays Center, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra. Included in the set were tributes to Brooklyn songwriters Alan & Marilyn Bergman, as well as the late Marvin Hamlisch. Considering that live performances by Streisand are historically rare—and considering that she is, in fact, 70 years old—a concert of this magnitude is a feat in and of itself. (Not bad for a woman who refused to perform live for 27 years due to a bout with stage fright.)
And the week isn’t over. Barbra Streisand is doing it again, tonight, at the Barclays Center. If you want to catch the show, the few remaining tickets start at around $400 each. (That’s at press time, of course.)
Streisand has additional tour dates scheduled for the remainder of October and into November. Despite the fact that she has scheduled several “farewell” tours over the years, at the Brooklyn show Thursday night, she dispelled rumors that this was another one of those tours. “If I learned anything, it’s to say ‘never say never,” she reportedly told the crowd.
If you happen to be a hardcore Streisand fan, here’s an added bit of fun for you. Listen to her discuss the songs on Release Me track by track by going through the playlist below.