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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Kennedy Center Honors Aired

CBS aired The Kennedy Center Honors Show last night in the US. The award show is only ever aired once -- so if you missed it... here's a recap.

Glenn Close = Speech.
Indina Menzel sang Don't Rain On My Parade
Beyonce = The Way We Were
Ne-yo = Lover Come Back To Me
Kelli O'Hara / Nathan Gunn = Somewhere (with Choir)

Barbra's section of the show lasted a good 30 minutes... (longer than the other inductees). Queen Latifah talked about Barbra during a special Biography Video.

You can catch some of the segments on Youtube.com

BarbraNews will be putting some screen grabs up soon.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Streisand: Perfection Is Imperfection

Legendary Singer & Kennedy Center Honoree Embraces Her Humble Beginnings

(CBS) At this point in Barbra Streisand's legendary career, no one can rain on her parade -- not even President Bush.

To add to her stellar list of accolades, Streisand has been given the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor.

"It's a recognition of your country in a sense towards you, the artist, and the recognition of the importance of the arts in general," Streisand told Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen.

Streisand has been a vocal critic of President Bush and many wondered if she would accept the award and attend the traditional White House gala.

"This is a weekend that celebrates the arts and artists, so I shall say that -- art transcends politics this weekend," she said.

On her official bio from the Kennedy Center, they list her job title as director, actress, singer, writer, composer and producer.

"You could add to that activist and environmentalist," Chen said.

Streisand grew up poor in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her father, a teacher, died when she was just 15 months old. The family continued to struggle. Streisand will never forget those early memories.

"My early childhood, we never had a couch. We never had a living room. We only had a dining room. And then my grandmother and grandfather lived in one bedroom and my mother, my brother and I slept in another bedroom, so we never had fancy things," she said. "We moved to another -- a project in Brooklyn and I remember the luxuriousness of this couch! Now I love couches. I never had a doll. I had a hot water bottle."

But those humble beginnings somehow helped Streisand find confidence in herself, even when her mother did not.

"My mother wanted me to join the school system. She kept saying, she was a school secretary, she kept saying 'You have free vacations, summers off and this is going to be good for you.' I kept saying, 'But, mom, I want to be an actress. No, you'll never make it. You're not pretty enough, you're not this enough, you're too skinny.' I was always very skinny. But I owe her a lot because, in a sense, I was proving to my mother that this skinny little girl, unconventional looking, I suppose, could be a movie star," she said.

Besides being a movie star, Streisand became a world class recording artist outselling the Beatles.

Despite the recognition, Streisand admits that her voice is far from perfect.

"I was gifted with a good set of vocal chords, I suppose. I believe in if you tell the truth or -- it comes from your heart, what comes from the heart goes to the heart. So it reaches people," she said.

She also can credit her deviated septum for her success as well.

"I think it helps," Streisand admitted.

Film Career

Streisand made her film debut 40 years ago and became one of Hollywood's leading ladies.

She won her first an Academy Award in 1968's "Funny Girl" and said she knew it wouldn't be her last.

"How do I say this? Belief inspires reality. Perception and belief creates reality. It's a vision. I don't know. I remember it was an awful choice I made wearing the dress I made for the first Academy Award, but I thought to myself, I'm going to win this again. Isn't that terrible to say? But that's the truth," she said.

Streisand was nominated for four more Oscars, and won again for writing "Evergreen," the love theme to "A Star Is Born." She was the first female composer ever to win an Academy Award.

In 1983, Streisand released her 15-year labor of love "Yentl." She was the first woman in Hollywood to star, co-write and produce a film. The film paid tribute to her father, who died when she was an infant.

"I had to become my own father in a sense. And I also had to be everyone else's parent. You know, when you direct, you -- they are your children in a way. So it brings out all those instincts that are dormant sometimes, you know?" she said.

Another big personal triumph for Streisand was "The Prince of Tides," which garnered her seven Oscar nominations.

"What drew you to the book?" Chen asked.

"How human beings can transform and heal through a search for the truth. That's the basis of this story, and understanding your childhood, understanding your parents, forgiveness," Streisand said.

But the film many called the most romantic of all time is "The Way We Were," her 1973 pairing with Robert Redford.

"He was wonderful to work with. I loved working with him. Always interesting. Always in the moment, you know? So we never knew what each other was going to do -- take to take," she said.

In the '70s and '80s, Streisand was visible on the silver screen, but absent from concert stages.

It was stage fright that kept her away from the stage. During her performance in Central Park in 1967, Streisand forgot the words before 135,000 people -- prior to that she never experienced stage fright.

"No stage fright. You know, it was scary. It was wonderful. But I remember it being a horrifying experience. Really embarrassing to forget the words, forget the words. That's why I didn't sing for a very long time until they invented Teleprompters. It still scares me to this day," Streisand admitted.

"What is the biggest misconception about you," Chen asked.

"One? Gosh, I don't know. What do they say? What do they say about me? I'm difficult. Oh, difficult. That's one. Right? I don't know. Maybe in the search for the -- striving for excellence, I think may be perceived as difficult. It's not perfection because there is no such thing as perfection. I remember writing in my journal when I was 15, observing an acting class, that perfection was imperfection. Because, otherwise, it's inhuman, you know? It's almost too perfect," she said.

Well, in the eyes of millions dedicated and adoring fans, she's pretty close to being perfect.

The 31st annual Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcast tonight at 9 p.m. ET, on CBS.

© MMVIII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

MGM Press Release: Yentl Extended Director's Edition


Barbra Streisand’s Golden Globe Award-Winning Musical Odyssey Debuts on 2-Disc DVD for the First Time February 3 from MGM Home Entertainment

“Three cheers for chutzpah!”
Richard Corliss, Time

“…charming and moving...”
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“Streisand gives Yentl a heart that sings and spirit that soars.”
People Magazine

“The best directing debut since Citizen Kane!”
Steven Spielberg

LOS ANGELES, CA – In turn of the century Eastern Europe, a Jewish girl disguises herself as a boy in order to pursue a religious education in Yentl, available on DVD for the first time February 3rd from MGM Home Entertainment and timed to the films 25th Anniversary. Starring multiple award winner* Barbra Streisand (A Star Is Born, The Way We Were), Golden Globe® nominee** Mandy Patinkin (“Chicago Hope,” The Princess Bride) and Amy Irving (Traffic, Crossing Delancey) in her Academy Award®-nominated role, Yentl is based on a play by Leah Napolin and Isaac Bashevis Singer’s original short story “Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy.” When Yentl’s (Streisand) father (played by Nehemiah Persoff), who secretly tutored her throughout her childhood in the Talmud – the primary source of Jewish religion law - dies, she faces a life of female drudgery with no hope of continuing her studies. Frustrated by her feminine destiny, feisty Yentl transforms herself into looking like a boy, renames herself Anshel, and heads for the nearest Talmudic academy where she hopes to pass as a male student. There she falls in love with fellow student Avigdor (Patinkin), who in turn is in love with Hadass (Irving). After numerous complications ensue, Yentl, determined to get what she wants, leaves Europe for America to pursue her dream of serious study without needing to hide her identity as a woman.

Incorporating humor and music to relate Yentl’s journey, the film won an Academy Award in 1984 for best original score and received four Oscar nominations including Amy Irving for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Art Direction/Set Direction, and Best Original Songs including “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” and “The Way He Makes Me Feel,” both sung by Streisand. Additional accolades include two Golden Globe award wins and four nominations, and a Grammy Award nomination for Best Album of Instrumental Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special.

The Yentl Extended Director’s Edition Two-Disc DVD set includes never before seen bonus features such as Barbra Streisand’s Original Concept Reel, rehearsal/final film comparisons, storyboard montages for musical numbers, deleted scenes, and much more, and will be available for a suggested retail price of $29.98 U.S./$37.98 Canada. Prebook is January 17th.

* Oscar Awards: 2 wins (A Star is Born, Funny Girl); Golden Globe Awards: 3 wins (Yentl, A Star is Born, Funny Girl)
** 1995: Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Drama, “Chicago Hope;” 1984 : Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical, Yentl

The legendary Barbra Streisand shines as producer, co-writer, director and star of this radiant film about a young woman who risks everything for her insatiable passion to learn. Masquerading as a young man, she enters the Yeshiva to fulfill her forbidden desire for knowledge. But in a place where even the strongest mind can be betrayed by the body, how long can she uphold her secret before her new friends – and the young man she’s come to love – discover the shocking truth?

Special Features
The Yentl Extended Director’s Edition DVD is presented in widescreen with English Dolby Surround 5.1 sound. Special features include:

Disc One:
· Streisand Introduction #1 (Anniversary & Collector’s Edition)
· Commentary with Barbra Streisand and Executive Producer Rusty Lemorande
(Anniversary & Collector’s Edition)
· 11 Deleted Scenes (Anniversary & Collector’s Edition)
Disc Two:
· Barbra Streisand’s Introduction to Disc 2 (Collector’s Edition)
· Barbra Streisand’s Original Concept Reel (Streisand Introduction included)
(Collector’s Edition)
· The Director’s Reed (Streisand Introduction included) (Collector’s Edition)
· Rehearsal/Final Film Comparisons (Collector’s Edition)
· Where is it Written? Rehearsal (Streisand Introduction included) (Collector’s Edition)
· Where is it Written? Rehearsal/Final Film Comparison (Collector’s Edition)
· No Wonder Rehearsal (Collector’s Edition)
· No Wonder Rehearsal/Final Film Comparison (Collector’s Edition)
· The Way He Makes Me Feel Rehearsal (Collector’s Edition)
· The Way He Makes Me Feel/Final Film Comparison (Collector’s Edition)
· No Wonder – Reprise Rehearsal (Collector’s Edition)
· No Wonder – Reprise Rehearsal/Final Film Comparison (Collector’s Edition)
· Tomorrow Night Rehearsal (Collector’s Edition)
· Tomorrow Night Rehearsal/Final Film Comparison (Collector’s Edition)
· Will Someone Ever Look at Me That Way? Rehearsal/Final Film Comparison
(Collector’s Edition)
· Storyboard Montages for Musical Numbers (Collector’s Edition)
· Deleted Number: The Moon and I (Streisand Introduction included) (Collector’s Edition)
· Deleted Number: Several Sins a Day (Collector’s Edition)
· Papa, Can You Hear Me? (Collector’s Edition)
· A Piece of Sky (Collector’s Edition)
· Tomorrow Night (Collector’s Edition)
· Teaser Trailer
· Theatrical Trailer
· Photo Gallery

Price: $29.98 U.S./$37.98 Canada (Extended Director’s Edition)
Order Due Date: January 17, 2009
Street Date: February 3, 2009
Catalog Number: M111776 (Extended Director’s Edition)
Total Run Time: 133 minutes
Rating: PG
Screen Format: Widescreen
Subtitles: English/Spanish
Closed Captioned: Yes

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Barbra To Sing For Obama?

According to a new interview with Quincy Jones... Barbra is all set to perform 'Happy Days Are Here Again' at the Inauguration in January.

More soon.

Diana Krall Talks...

Diana Krall spoke with the Vancouver Sun and mentioned the Streisand album project:

She has also been in L.A. producing a new album for Barbra Streisand.

The collaboration with Streisand started when Krall was pregnant. “She’d come to some of my gigs and mentioned that she needed inspiration for her tour, so I started sending her CDs.”

Streisand surprised Krall at her Madison Square Garden concert in 2006 when she dedicated the song "Down With Love" to her. The shout-out turned the heads of audience members Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell.

Krall shakes her head, incredulous. “I mean I’m just this girl from Nanaimo, and I’m pregnant, out to here with the twins. And then I got the phone call asking me to work with her.”

She was so stunned, she says she didn’t call back. At least not right away. She had to absorb it. But soon she was down at Streisand’s house, playing songs on her piano. Now she’s booking orchestra times, tracking budgets.

“Cool, eh?” says Krall, who is suddenly just the girl from Nanaimo again, as surprised as anyone at the thought.

“We speak to each other as women, as moms. She’s someone I really admire. We talk about art and architecture and design and clothes. The normal things.”

Friday, 19 December 2008

Yentl DVD Details Unveiled...

BarbraNews can reveal it will be a TWO disc set... and we're the first to give you the details of what will be included. I'm sure you'll agree this is VERY special.

ORDER HERE: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JRYH2K?ie=UTF8&tag=barbranewsc02-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B001JRYH2K

Disc One:

Streisand Introduction #1
Commentary with Barbra Streisand and Executive Producer Rusty Lemorande
11 Deleted Scenes

Disc Two:

Barbra Streisand’s Introduction to Disc 2
Barbra Streisand’s Original Concept Reel (Streisand Introduction included)
The Director’s Reed (Streisand Introduction included)
Rehearsal/Final Film Comparisons
Where is it Written? Rehearsal (Streisand Introduction included)
Where is it Written? Rehearsal/Final Film Comparison
No Wonder Rehearsal
No Wonder Rehearsal/Final Film Comparison
The Way He Makes Me Feel Rehearsal
The Way He Makes Me Feel/Final Film Comparison
No Wonder – Reprise Rehearsal
No Wonder – Reprise Rehearsal/Final Film Comparison
Tomorrow Night Rehearsal
Tomorrow Night Rehearsal/Final Film Comparison
Will Someone Ever Look at Me That Way? Rehearsal/Final Film Comparison
Storyboard Montages for Musical Numbers
Deleted Number: The Moon and I (Streisand Introduction included)
Deleted Number: Several Sins a Day
Papa, Can You Hear Me?
A Piece of Sky
Tomorrow Night
Teaser Trailer
Theatrical Trailer
Photo Gallery

ORDER HERE: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JRYH2K?ie=UTF8&tag=barbranewsc02-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B001JRYH2K

New Interview with Barbra

The Kennedy Honors special will air on CBS on Tuesday, December 30.

The CBS Early Show interview with Barbra Streisand will be the concluding segment of the network's five day build-up to the airing of the Kennedy Honors special. Her segment will occur on the morning broadcast of Tuesday, December 30.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

2008 in Review.

Click here to read the new '2008 -- A Year In Review'.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Barbra talks about Kennedy Center Honor...

Last weekend, I was in Washington DC to accept the Kennedy Center Honors, and I noticed that the kiss between me and the “soon to be former” President Bush created quite a stir. The Today Show even proclaimed that it was a sign of the apocalypse. The timing is ironic. After eight years of President Clinton and on the cusp of at least four years of President Obama, I get selected to receive this prestigious award…during the Bush Administration. I have never met George W. Bush, but for the past eight years I have been blogging about him and his administration on my web site. I have relayed my frustration at the direction he has taken our country in no uncertain terms. So it was just as surprising to me as it apparently was to the press that upon meeting President Bush and extending my hand to him, he said to me, “Aw c’mon, gimme a hug and a kiss,” and then he proceeded to embrace me. I must say, I found him very warm and completely disarming…even though I think he was kissing me hello as I was kissing him goodbye…

During the White House ceremony, the President described each honorees attributes. After he listed mine, he added, “She’s also been known to speak her mind,” to which the audience first laughed and then applauded. I genuinely thought he was very funny and very gracious.

During the Kennedy Center Honors, President Bush gave me his signature wink (which he must have passed on to Sarah Palin) and mouthed, “We showed ‘em.” I guess in some small way, he and I proved that we could agree to disagree, and, for that weekend, art transcended politics.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Barbra at the Kennedy Center Honors

WASHINGTON – Barbra Streisand is visiting the White House but says she'll play nice. Streisand, a vocal critic of President George W. Bush, was a guest Sunday at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue during one of Washington's few A-list events.

"Art," she said, "transcends politics this weekend."

The singer and actress this year is a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, along with Morgan Freeman, country singer George Jones, dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp and musicians Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who.

The honors recognize individuals who have had an impact on American culture through the performing arts, part of the living memorial to President John F. Kennedy.

Jones said there were no strained moments between Streisand and Bush during the reception.

"Everything went so smooth," he said.

After the reception, the group traveled with the president and first lady Laura Bush to the performing arts center for a gala in their honor.

The gala will include the young singer-songwriter Ne-Yo singing Streisand's 1965 hit "Lover, Come Back to Me."

"Barbra Streisand is the epitome of emotion in music. You feel every word, that's something that artists in my day and age don't really pay attention to," he said

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Barbra in Washington...

Kennedy Center Honoree Barbara Streisand and James Brolin arrive for the State Department Dinner for the Kennedy Center Honors gala Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008 at the State Department in Washington.
(AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Barbra talks to... The Washington Post.

A fantastic new interview has just been published with The Washington Post ahead of Barbra's Appearance at The Kennedy Center Honors tomorrow evening.


Barbra Likely To Direct 'The Normal Heart'...

Most fans will have heard about this project on and off since the 1980s... Barbra has often talked about wanting to turn the play into a movie. Barbra mentioned it in today's Washington Post Interview.

Will she do it?

The Normal Heart is a play written by Larry Kramer, dealing with the rise of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City from 1981-1984, through the eyes of Ned Weeks, the gay Jewish founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group. It was one of the first plays to deal with the issue.

The Normal Heart was first performed at The Public Theater in 1985, produced by Joseph Papp, and has since gone on to be produced internationally.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Barbra-Archives Relaunches.

Matt Howe has done an incredible job re-designing his website. Click here to visit the new website...

Barbra-Archives has been going since 2003!

BarbraNews Shop + Review of 2006 Tour.

USA * Canada * UK/Europe
Click here for the European Tour Website from 2007
Click here to read our SPECIAL review of the 2006 Tour -- Excellent pictures.