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Monday, 31 May 2010

Barbra Streisand backs Scots music student for stardom

From DailyRecord.co.uk

A scots singing student has been tipped for stardom by legend Barbra Streisand.

Maureen McMullan, who's studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, came face to face with the superstar after she was told someone wanted to congratulate her on her performance of Summertime at a student show.
The 30-year-old, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, said: "I was astonished when Barbra Streisand stepped forward.
"She took my hand and said, 'You have a wonderful voice. Never give up.'"

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Barbra Performs at Sandy Gallin's Birthday?

From The New York Post:

Legendary talent manager Sandy Gallin celebrated his 70th birthday in style -- by jokingly trying to strip Hugh Jackman at a party packed with stars including Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, David Geffen and Calvin Klein.

Gallin -- who managed Dolly Parton, Mariah Carey and Whoopi Goldberg -- threw his birthday bash at Donna Karan's West Village studio Thursday night. Streisand and Patti LaBelle performed at the party, but it was "Wolverine" star Jackman's turn that drove the crowd wild.

A spy told us, "Jackman got up and was singing to Sandy . . . Then Sandy jumped up and started to unbutton Jackman's shirt, but before he got too far, Jackman whirled him around and held his arms down. It was pretty funny."

Jackman, who's married with two kids, then joked, 'Come on, Sandy, let's face it. I am not your type. I am too old for you.' "

Streisand also performed two songs and poked fun at herself after repeatedly asking her pianist, composer-producer David Foster, to change the key. She said, "I am a little nervous. I didn't get to practice. I like to control." When Gallin yelled to her to perform "Over the Rainbow," she replied, "No."

Guests also included Joan Rivers, who gave a speech, Bette Midler, Vera Wang, Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere, Sandra Bernhardt, CBS chief Les Moonves and wife Julie Chen, hotelier Jeff Klein and p.r. maven Peggy Siegal. Billionaire Ron Perelman and ex-wife Ellen Barkin were there, but stuck to opposite sides of the room. Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller delivered a video message from their yacht, while Parton, who's celebrating the 25th anniversary of Dollywood, also sent a greeting.

Our witness said, "It was amazing how many people had flown in from LA. Sandy is famous for throwing the best parties, and this was the best of them all."

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Barbra on Broadway -- Again!

No, she wasn't performing -- but Barbra and James were spotted leaving the Broadway Play 'Red' on 26 May.

Photos of Barbra at BookExpo Event in New York. 25 May 2010.

Photos by Kevin Mazur.

USA Today: Barbra Streisand is at home with her 'Passion for Design'

By Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY
NEW YORK — At 68, Barbra Streisand is writing her first book — but it's no memoir.
"I'm a little too private. I'm not ready to write about my life," Streisand said Tuesday at the opening of BookExpo America, a publishing convention.

She said she tried writing a few chapters of an autobiography but quit after deciding that "this is hard. I'd rather write a book about design."

That $60 coffee table book, MyPassion for Design, will be released Nov. 16. It will feature 350 photographs of a complex of houses Streisand helped design in Malibu, Calif.

There's her "main house," where she lives; an "elegant barn," which she described as her art project; her "mill house" with 200-year-old beams; and a guest house, nicknamed "Grandma's house" by Streisand's husband, James Brolin.

It's a long way from her childhood in Brooklyn, N.Y. In a staged interview at the convention with Gayle King, editor at large of O magazine, Streisand mentioned her father, a teacher who died when she was 15 months old, and how her family couldn't afford a couch until her mother remarried when Streisand was 8.

"Maybe that's why I love couches," she said.

She linked her favorite color, burgundy, to a sweater she had as a child and described her love of "pure lipstick red."

Her passion for architecture blossomed, she said, in 1994 when a movie she was supposed to direct, an adaptation of Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart, fell apart. "A house became my project. I made a house instead of a movie."

King asked Streisand if she kept anything in her California homes that remind her of her New York childhood.

"You mean like egg creams?" Streisand quipped.

King persisted.

"No," Streisand replied. "We lived in a $40-a-month apartment. Five people shared one bathroom. I have nothing that reminds me of that."

Associated Press: Streisand discusses design book at NYC's BookExpo

By Hillel Italie (AP)
NEW YORK — Creating the perfect house is more than a passion for Barbra Streisand. It's almost primal.
The 68-year-old singer-actress-director was promoting her upcoming design book Tuesday at BookExpo America at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
Streisand says her many searches for cherished household objects is a way of compensating for her father's dying when she was 15 months old.
She told interviewer Gayle King that she thinks not having a father contributed to "this need of finding something you're looking for."
Streisand's "My Passion for Design" is scheduled to come out in the fall.

Barbra Streisand Brings Her Passion for Design to BEA

From Beliefnet.com
Last night I attended a rare, live interview with Barbra Streisand.

Thumbnail image for streisandx.jpgI don't think I am alone in saying that many people found it inspiring to just be in the same room with her.  Hearing her speak for an hour was a different kind of sacred.  Well... it was like buttah.

I could see why, in the words of Mike Meyers, Coffee Talk with Linda Richman, you could feel "a little verklempt" around her.  Even the interviewer, Gayle King, of Oprah Magazine and radio was the interviewer, did everything but bow at her feet to let her know how much she is adored.

She was there to kick off this year's Book Expo America--fondly known as BEA--as "the" keynote event. This coming fall, the Oscar-Emmy-Grammy-Tony winner and activist will add "author" to her impressive resume when her first book, My Passion for Design, is released by Penguin. BEA is the gathering place for booksellers and all of the publishing industry--a place where bestsellers are born.

It is so rare that Streisand does an interview that you want to listen closely as she shares details in a psychologically aware way. She said she had thought of writing a memoir, and penned a few chapters, but decided it is to personal and instead would write a design book. Even though most mortals will not get the chance to design million dollar homes, and may not be blessed with the same "exquisite" taste, we can dream and revel a bit in her devotion to details.

She shared that part of her meticulous detail to design came from a less than fortunate childhood. While her biggest fans seem to know this story, I had never heard it.

"We never had a couch," she said of her home in Brooklyn, NY,  where she lived with her Mom and brother after her dad died when she was 15 months old.  "So a couch was very special. My friends had couches. We only had a dining room table with stiff chairs so we sat around the dining room table."

Back then, she shared a bed with her mom and her brother slept on a pull out cot. It wasn't until her mom remarried when she was 8 that they had a couch. Even though it was unattractive with nubby olive green and gray, it was a couch! 
The only real piece of furniture she had in her room was a dresser. She put a fish tank atop to have "something that moved." Years later, she would have the Pacific ocean outside her door.

During the interview it was revealed she seriously dislikes (hates)  bright yellow and orange. She also mentioned a traumatic time in her youth that shaped her love of the color burgundy.

Preference for colors is psychologically linked to childhood, she said, and went on to tell the story of being sent to camp for kids with Anemia. Each child had to take medicated baths and wear a starched blue uniform. "The only way you could be individual was through your sweater."

Toby, the woman who watched her for her mom, knitted her a burgundy sweater with a wooden button, and it allowed young Barbra to have a color of her own. 

When Streisand talked about the "Elegant Barn" and  "Mill House" she designed, both featured in the book, the attention to detail and getting things right was pretty intense.  It sounded like the kind of famous attention to detail we have always heard of her putting into her movies.

She says ii is really just about getting it right. Her eye for seeing that which is out of place has allowed her to also create iconic music and movies. But, she admits, "it is a blessing and curse."

She explained that in 1994, when a deal to direct a movie adaption of "The Normal Heart" fell through, she put her creativity into designing a home on her property.  "I built a house instead of doing a movie,"  she said. Along the way, she went through a series of disappointing architects and construction crews and others who could not execute her vision.
She even took most of the 300 photos in her book herself. Why? She felt she had to. "Because it was my eye capturing the things I love."

Gayle King joked that Barbra was still furiously editing the galley of her book. "I will make changes until they rip it out of my hands," she admitted.

She refuted the idea that she is a perfectionist. "I only know that I strive for excellence. I don't know what it means to be a perfectionist. Nothing is perfect."

When King asked her if it is challenging to have her hands on every aspect of her work she admitted it can be and added, "But it allowed me to take responsibility for my own success."

From: http://blog.beliefnet.com/inspirationreport/2010/05/barbara-streisand-brings-her-passion-for-design-to-bea.html#ixzz0pLiyaad3

Putting It Together | Babs on Design

By Stephen Heyman -- New York Times.

As a rule, we avoid the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center like Chinese buffet. But for Barbra Joan Streisand, we made an exception. On Tuesday evening, Babs was on 11th Avenue to unveil her coming book, “My Passion for Design,” which is to be published by Viking in November. Passion? You could call it that, though Streisand’s relationship with design sounds more like an obsession. “When something is off its mark, it disturbs me viscerally,” she told a packed audience of publishing types gathered for BookExpo. “It’s not a good thing.”

Streisand, 68, will always be a New Yorker, but she’s been in Malibu so long she refers to our part of the world as “the East,” as if it’s Canaan or something. “The East” is where her architects come from, and Streisand has parted ways with quite a few of those, not to mention the stonemasons and the contractors she’s fired in her quest for residential paradise. She does not take no for an answer. She has created three homes on her ocean-side property, where she lives with her husband, the actor James Brolin, and her lap dog, Sammie, the Coton de Tuléar who’s pictured on the book’s cover. She’s tremendously hands-on: She makes her own sketches, and for a time she employed two full-time draftsmen to elaborate on them. She even took most of the photos that will appear in the book.

This affair with design began in 1990, when Streisand was scouting locations for “The Prince of Tides,” which was set in South Carolina. “I fell in love with plantation-style homes,” she recalled. She found a piece of property and wanted to build a Dixie dream house, with a magnificent closet fashioned like a department store. “We all live in our closets, don’t we?” Streisand asked the audience. “Well, some of us do.” But she decided she could do only the film or the house, and so the home project was deferred and the world saw Streisand, as Dr. Susan Lowenstein, steam it up with Nick Nolte. That odd pairing fits in with Streisand’s love of “the tension of opposites” — hard and soft, dark and light, Anshel and Yentl. Another example: she’ll cover a masculine Stickley wood chair with rose velvet. She’s also deeply into symmetry, and takes color-matching to great lengths, even coordinating the colors of the flowers in her garden to match her interiors. For her library, she picked only leatherbound books in burgundy and olive green.

Gayle King, the editor-at-large of O, the Oprah Magazine, interviewed Streisand but was obviously outmatched by the diva’s aesthetic prowess. “When I think of a Tiffany lamp,” King said, “I think of bright colors.” “No,” replied Streisand, “you’re thinking of fake Tiffany lamps.” Burn! King went on to quote Oprah, who likes to say, “God is in the details.” “Ah,” Streisand chimed in, “But Mies van der Rohe said the devil is in the details.” They’re both right, of course, but Babs had the last word.

BookExpo New York Review.

From Broadwayworld.com:

Barbra Streisand, the multi-gifted artist added another feather to her hat on May 25th by appearing in a casual setting at this year's BookExpo America (BEA) at the Opening Night Keynote Reception. This was the most anticipated keynote speaking event that the BookExpo experienced since Bill Clinton did the same event in 2004. People lined up a day early to secure tickets to be sure that they would see Barbra, and they did - in a new light and interviewed by the equally well known in popular culture - Gayle King, who is now a New Yorker.

It was a beautifully done, simply lit and executed event and the opening speech that brought on Ms. King and Ms. Streisand was given by Clare Ferraro, the president of Viking Penguin, Plume and Studio Books imprints of Penguin Putnam Publishing. It started out with a bang as Gayle and Barbra got into 'girl talk' immediately about color, clothing and things like that, and the laughs came tumbling down.

Gayle King expressed being in awe of Streisand and jumping at the opportunity to sit down with her. It was clear that she had read the galley of the book, cover to cover, in secret, on a plane coming from Los Angeles - while trying not to let anyone see over her shoulder.

The 288-page, photo filled book comes out on November 16, 2010 and is a great deal currently on sale at Amazon.com for a discounted price of $37.80.

There were some great things in the conversation including a previously unrevealed fact that surprised the audience - Streisand had also taken nearly all the photos in the book. As she said, "It's my eye, it's my vision, it's the way I see it" - to which, she got huge applause. The property she lives on in Malibu was clearly explained in terms of the three houses - the main house, 'Grandma's house' and the new elegant barn as well as the millhouse. The book is called My Passion For Design, and Streisand was on her game with the word 'passion' right up front.

Any question that Gayle asked, Barbra could immediately jump on and answer in a thorough and satisfying fashion, while also being quite entertaining as she confessed about her own characteristics regarding attention to detail, which could be perceived as both blessings and curses.

It became clear that the entire audience could relate to this as well as Gayle, as she herself told us had built two houses in her lifetime. The people at Penguin set the event up beautifully and there was a reception afterwards for guests of the book company. Streisand was praised for her diligence and delivery on such a full and complicated book, for which Rick Kot served as editor.

The other reason that this book will be a spectacular thing to own, is that Streisand wrote all of the content and it's loaded with stories and descriptions, as only she can do. Gayle did a nice job of touching on her career and Streisand told some very deep emotional childhood stories that were unexpected, but very welcome and made you understand much of what she has collected over the years and how she arrived at her work ethic, as a result of events during her youth. The whole thing lasted just over an hour, but the audience clearly would have stayed for more.

This book is something that everyone should put at the top of their Christmas list and should pre-order now to guarantee getting a copy, as its unknown how many will be in the first printing. We got a glimpse of the galley on the coffee table in front of her and it looks like a fascinating book that everyone will want to own. I must add, Gayle King got a huge round of applause for saying "it's nice to have a Kindle or a Nook or an iPad, but there's nothing like holding a book in your hand..." and the room burst into applause as you can imagine, since it was, after all, a BookExpo.

The event was low-key, not starry, accessible and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone in attendance.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Barbra and James in Boston.

Barbra and hubby James attended the 2010 commencement ceremony at Berklee College of Music on May 8, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. James Brolin's daughter, Molly, was graduating.

The couple then dined at French Restaurant "Clio" with Roger Brown, president of Brolin's daughter's alma mater Berklee, and Brown's wife Linda Mason.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Playbill.com: Barbra @ Broadway's Fences.

By Ernio Hernandez - Playbill.com

Playbill.com spotted Barbra Streisand on her recent May 11 trip to Broadway’s current Tony Award-nominated revival of Fences.

The songstress attended with designer Donna Karan.

Streisand also took in Sondheim on Sondheim May 12. The Broadway vet earned Tony Award nominations for her turns in I Can Get It for You Wholesale and Funny Girl. She received a 1970 Special Tony Award.

"One Night Only" DVD Debuts at #1.

Click here for the report:


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.