Celebrating Over A Decade Of Reporting. Direct from reliable sources.
**Email your 'tips and photos' to barbranews at aol dot com**

Click to visit the Streisand Store!

For the most timely approved/official updates on Barbra -- click for the official website

BarbraNews Mailing List
If you'd like important STREISAND updates to your mailbox, sign up here.
Subscribe  Unsubscribe 

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year.

As we inch closer* to Barbra's semicentennial year - I'd like to wish ALL of you a very HAPPY and HEALTHY New Year.

2011 has been a wonderful year for fans. We've had "What Matters Most" - Barbra's latest recording. "My Mother's Curse" was filmed - and will be released in 2012. Barbra has brought more awareness to Women's Heart Disease. Great contests where fans got to meet Barbra at award shows... and on the set of the new movie... win signed albums and books. Barbra revealed that she's going to do "Gypsy" (let's hope THAT still happens). Barbra "Tweeted" about things she cared about. She sang at The Grammy Awards for the first time in decades. Then there was the "Elle" magazine feature where Barbra was honored as part of the "Women In Film" celebration. Numerous TV and print interviews. Barbra hinted at recording a DUETS album in the future... and so much more.

I look forward to bringing you all the latest news during Barbra's 50th year with Columbia Records.

All the very best --


*A special hello to those who are already IN 2012.... in Asia... Australia and so on! Thanks for "testing the waters".

semicentennial [ˌsɛmɪsɛnˈtɛnɪəl]
1. (prenominal) of or relating to the 50th anniversary of some event
2. occurring once every 50 years
a 50th anniversary

Friday, 23 December 2011

Jim Brolin Interview - "Cowboys and Indians" Magazine.

Before becoming a household name, the famously bearded actor was simply a shy teenager with a soft spot for horses.

by Wendy Wilkinson

With matinee idol good looks that never seem to fade, a remarkably thick mane of silver-gray hair, and bright green eyes that twinkle when he smiles, James Brolin has been a Hollywood mainstay for more than 40 years. It was his Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning portrayal of the youthful Dr. Steven Kiley on Marcus Welby, M.D. that brought him to the attention of the country in the late ’60s and ’70s. But it was his recurring role on a ’60s western television series that brought him to the attention of Hollywood.

In his mid-20s Brolin was cast for four episodes as the young cowboy Dalton Wales — playing opposite Barbara Hershey, Michael Anderson Jr., and Liam Sullivan — on The Monroes, the story of five young orphans trying to survive as a family on the frontier in northwestern Wyoming. “That was a great time,” he says. “I was shipped out to Jackson Hole and went, ‘Wow, what a life this is.’ You’re on your own but know exactly what’s going to happen. I was given a per diem by the production office, a horse to ride, and really latched on to this kind of life.”
Not long after his appearances on The Monroes came the year that changed everything. In January 1969 Brolin had a single before-they-were-famous appearance on The Virginian in the episode “Crime Wave in Buffalo Springs.” His one-time role as Ned Trumball, the bank-robbing son of a banker, was a world away from the motorcycle-riding physician he would become in September.

Beating out a dozen or more handsome young men screen testing for the role of Dr. Steven Kiley, Brolin got his big break. He had good rapport with the seasoned Robert Young, who played senior doctor Marcus Welby, and he clicked with the role as the ambitious young doctor who ultimately joins the practice of the aging general practitioner. Brolin won an Emmy in 1970 for his work on the show, and he would go on to win two Golden Globes. Marcus Welby, M.D. ruled the ratings for seven years, becoming one of the most popular doctor shows in U.S. television history and making Brolin a household name.

In the middle of his run on Welby, Brolin got an opportunity to delve into another western role, this time on the big screen in the 1973 sci-fi thriller Westworld. Written and directed by best-selling author Michael Crichton, Westworld starred Yule Brynner as the Gunslinger, a lifelike robot cowboy who goes rogue, killing paying vacationers in a futuristic Western-themed amusement park. Brolin was cast as the ill-fated vacationing businessman John Blane, who is out to experience an Old West fantasy with buddy Peter Martin (Richard Benjamin). Challenged to a showdown with the Gunslinger, Blane thinks it’s just another amusement — until he finds out, too late, that the bullets are all too real.
Even though Westworld wasn’t a typical western, the film did give Brolin some equine screen time. “I was quite pleased to be able to ride on-screen again,” he says. “At that time I had a small, 6-acre ranch in the San Fernando Valley and was housing seven horses out there chewing the wood on the fences. I was able to take one of my own horses, a leopard appaloosa, and ride him in the movie.”

Several years earlier Brolin had bought his first horse for $235 at an auction in Chino, California — without having a place to keep him. “So I kept him in the garage. The minute the floor got wet, we would both slip and slide. We soon moved to a tight, half-acre ranchette and finally had a decent turnout for that gelding.”

To this day, that first horse, a beautiful palomino, brings back fond memories. “He had been trained for a sheriff to ride in the Rose Parade,” Brolin remembers with a laugh. “You’d be riding this horse and turn around to speak with someone behind you, accidentally kick him in the flank, and he’d start prancing sideways. So I said, ‘Wait a minute,’ and tried the other side and he pranced in the opposite direction.”

After Westworld came a decade of leading roles in films, including Capricorn One, The Amityville Horror, Night of the Juggler, and Gable and Lombard (which Brolin cites as his “favorite film-making experience of all time”). But Brolin still remembers the role that got away. “During this time I screen tested for the role of James Bond in Octopussy, as Roger Moore had made the decision to leave the franchise; but at the last minute he decided to continue playing the suave 007, which was a real disappointment.”

Moving on in his career, in 1983 Brolin teamed up with hit-maker Aaron Spelling, executive producer of Charlie’s Angels and Dynasty, to star as Peter McDermott in the ABC prime time soap opera Hotel. As a hotel manager who gets involved with the guests’ lives to help solve pressing problems, Brolin rode the ratings winner to two Golden Globe nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama.

In 1993 he shone in the TV movie Gunsmoke: The Long Ride, playing down-and-out preacher John Parsley, who comes to Matt Dillon’s aid after the marshal is arrested on trumped-up murder charges and must hunt the actual murderer with a posse on his trail. Brolin’s next big turn on TV would see him leave the Old West for the modern-day military in the action-packed Pensacola: Wings of Gold. For the three-year series (1997 – 2000) Brolin served as executive producer, director (10 episodes), and lead character Lt. Col. Bill “Raven” Kelly, a veteran officer working with a group of young Marines to mold them into elite fighter pilots.

Moving up in gravitas, in 2002 Brolin guest-starred in a two-part arc on The West Wing as presidential candidate Governor Robert Ritchie. A year later he continued in the political vein after nabbing the role of president of the United States. Cast as Ronald Reagan in the 2003 miniseries The Reagans, the self-deprecating actor says he got the part because “most likely every other decent actor in Hollywood turned the role down.” If they sensed controversy coming, they were right: The production was embroiled in it when portions of the script were leaked and conservatives decried the 180-minute show as an unfair and unfavorable portrayal of the 40th president.

“Having never seen the miniseries, the network received more than 30,000 negative e-mails from the Young Republicans,” Brolin says, “and the network bent to the pressure.” CBS moved the show to its cable affiliate, Showtime, and The Reagans aired to very good ratings; Brolin went on to be nominated for both a Golden Globe and Emmy Award for his performance.

Traveling easily between the big and small screens for the last decade, Brolin has been cast in a series of high-profile and highly acclaimed motion pictures. At a time in life when most actors don’t get many calls, he has continued to take pivotal supporting roles, from Gen. Ralph Landry in Steven Soderbergh’s Oscar-winning Traffic to Leonardo DiCaprio’s stepfather in Catch Me If You Can to the man who walked Dustin Hoffman’s daughter down the aisle in Last Chance Harvey.

Brolin has also been flirting with western work, both television and film, ever since The Monroes and Westworld. Most recently he guest-starred in “High Noon-ish,” an episode of the highly rated, quirky USA Network comedy series Psych, in which he played Sheriff Hank Mendel of Old Sonora Town, a Wild West tourist attraction in danger of being shut down due to sabotage. He took the role of the sheriff who wants to keep the Old West alive in the 21st century because, Brolin says, “I will occasionally do a guest role on a series if I love the character.”
Born Craig Kenneth Bruderlin in 1940 in Los Angeles, Brolin started going by “Jim” when he was 12 years old, “just ’cause I liked that name better.” He grew up a nomad of sorts. The son of a prominent designer and builder, he and his family had lived in 14 different houses by the time he graduated from high school. His favorite home by far was the 7-acre horse property at the top of the Santa Monica Mountains, near Mulholland Drive, where he lived during his high school years.

“It was a heck of a property,” he remembers, “with a stream running through it and endless places to ride through the Hollywood Hills. We’d take the horses over to Franklin Canyon reservoir and camp out for the night. The area was so remote that every week we’d kill a rattlesnake and my mom would go outside every morning with a broom and shoo the deer away from her flowers.” Just three miles away from the famed Beverly Hills Hotel, the family was nonetheless living in the wilds, and the experience instilled in Brolin a love for horses, nature, and solitude. It was a life that suited his natural inclination toward shyness.

When Brolin was 15 and a sophomore at L.A.’s renowned University High School, his dad was partners with the brother-in-law of acclaimed horror film producer-director William Castle (best known for Rosemary’s Baby and the original House on Haunted Hill). One night Castle and his brother-in-law came to a party at the Brolin family’s Benedict Canyon home. Apparently impressed by the young teen’s presence and handsome face, Castle asked Brolin if he had ever thought about becoming an actor. “He was then involved with two television series, Men of Annapolis and The West Point Story, and I think that he was running out of new faces to feature,” Brolin says. “For him to come over and ask me, out of the blue, if I’d ever thought about being an actor — he must have really been in a panic mode, looking at all potential actor wannabes to cast.”

Initially Brolin wasn’t game, but he took Castle up on his invitation to visit the studio, traveling by trolley car from the Beverly Hills Post Office to what was then Ziv Studios. Before Castle took Brolin on a tour, he asked him to read a script out loud. “At first I almost told him no, ’cause I figured I would make a fool of myself,” Brolin recalls. “I totally froze up when I had to speak in front of people and was never able to even deliver an oral book report in junior high and high school.” But Brolin made an effort and stumbled through the lines. He still remembers the response: “Castle said, ‘Let’s forget that,’ and abruptly showed me to the closest stage door.”

Brolin didn’t get the part, but he did get the bug. When the cigar-chomping Castle opened the door to the stage that day — they were filming a western with Lash LaRue on a dusty cowboy town set — the young, would-be actor realized the movies were a kind of construction site, similar to the ones he’d been raised around all of his life.
“Up to that time I thought that movies came out of a golden egg — kind of an immaculate conception up there on the screen,” Brolin says. “But seeing men painting and sawing and moving equipment, and especially those guys with a camera up on that Chapman boom yelling instructions — that was for me. That was what I wanted to do.”
Deciding then and there to become a cameraman or director, the teen quickly went out and bought his first movie film camera. He shot plenty of Straight 8 and Super 8 film, but his first business venture would capitalize on a different aspect of L.A. life — swimming pools.

“I started a business at 18, Sunset Strip Pools. It became a successful pool maintenance company right away,” Brolin says. “During that year, I was stopped on the street and asked if I would consider driving a truck in a filmed Dodge commercial. My first question was, ‘I wouldn’t have to talk, would I?’ ” Brolin was soon hired to do three commercials and joined the Screen Actors Guild. He briefly took acting classes, but it wasn’t until he was invited to meet a talent scout as a favor by high school friend Ryan O’Neal that Brolin began to overcome his shyness and started making his way in the acting world.

At 19 Brolin sold the pool company for a profit and headed for French Polynesia and Tahiti in hopes of being cast as the son of his screen idol, Marlon Brando, in Mutiny on the Bounty. The role ended up being cut from the script, but Brolin stayed on to work as a local crew member and production assistant, quickly learning the ropes of film production.

He returned to L.A. after a year, parking cars at Sunset Strip nightclubs until he landed a contract with 20th Century Fox, first dubbing the voice of another actor in the forgettable 1961 film Marines, Let’s Go. He would go on to work on the lot for seven years, studying with renowned acting coaches Sandy Meisner, Robert Gist, Bob Paris, Vincent Chase, and Stella Adler.

Brolin’s first starring role came in the 1967 remake of Pickup on South Street called The Cape Town Affair. “It was made in Cape Town for South African distribution,” Brolin says. “The country had no television allowed, but they had fantastic theaters and big attendance, including movie dinner theaters. The film was corny and low budget and now plays on late-night television worldwide, but it was really fun, and Jacqueline Bisset and I had one of the best location experiences of our careers.”

Brolin went on to land minor roles in such movies as Take Her, She’s Mine; Von Ryan’s Express; and Our Man Flint. Those first films of the ’60s mark the beginning of almost a half-century of moviemaking. Although in all that time Brolin hasn’t starred in a true classic western, he is nonetheless frequently labeled with the characteristics of a cowboy — stalwart, strong, dependable. “It must be the vigilante in me,” he explains. “I was always a big John Wayne fan. At age 10, I was turned loose by my pop one whole day and night in Phoenix with 10 bucks, and I saw four movies. Two stayed with me forever: Flying Leathernecks and Flying Tigers. I took my first flying lesson eight years later, and have been a pilot now for 52 years and own a jet charter company. For me, it’s the best. Thanks to John Wayne — he led me to two great avocations.”

These days, the active 71 year old is far from idle. In addition to his jet charter company, he still owns a small lumber company that he and his architect partner, Nick Fortune, started 30 years ago when they couldn’t afford to buy lumber for spec houses they were building. When Brolin’s not at his lumber business, you might find him cruising up the Central Coast in his Ford pickup, heading to the Templeton Livestock Market for breakfast or to his son Josh’s ranch, where he fishes for bass in the pond he built. (An award-winning actor in his own right, Josh starred in the Oscar-winning film No Country for Old Men and will be seen as Tommy Lee Jones’ younger self in the upcoming Men in Black 3.) But Brolin could just as easily be in his vintage 1956 STOL airplane flying to Idaho or Montana to camp and fish, or headed to the Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant in Coalinga on his weekly visit for grass-fed steaks.
Using his construction knowledge and wife Barbra Streisand’s design sense, the couple recently built a re-creation of a historic Connecticut barn and water wheel on their expansive Malibu cliffs estate. “[Barbra] has the most amazing eye with architecture, whether it’s construction or landscape,” Brolin says. “I always fancied myself quite good at it, but she blows me out of the water. I just finished the big water wheel, my office, bath, and wood shop. It’s heaven!”
And he’s still fielding roles: He played Mr. Anderson in 2010’s Burlesque, a humorous divorcing dad in 2011’s Love, Wedding, Marriage, and a renegade bar owner in the upcoming television miniseries Blackout. This spring will also find him back behind the camera directing Ruby McCollum, the true story of the 1952 trial of an African-American woman who was convicted of killing the white physician and senator who raped her.

“For a guy who didn’t have the confidence to present a book report out loud in high school,” Brolin says with a smile, “playing all these unique and diverse characters in so many different movies and television projects has been a whole lot of fun.”

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Win A Signed Copy of "My Passion For Design".

Support the Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai

The work of the Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai is vital. Did you know that heart disease takes the lives of more women than all cancers combined? Here's some important information you should know

  • Heart disease is the number one killer of women today.
  • 500,000 women in the United States die from heart disease each year -- more than all cancers combined.
  • Today, more women are dying of heart disease than men.
  • Despite the fact that heart attacks present themselves differently in men versus women, we still treat women based on research done on men.
This is not just a man's disease anymore; this is now a women's health epidemic. For this reason, I created the Barbra Streisand Women's Cardiovascular Research and Education Program at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. The symptoms of a heart attack are often different in women than in men. But for decades, women have been treated for cardiovascular disease based on medical research done on men.

Please help support this important program at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center this holiday season. Mozilla is offering $25,000 to the charity that raises the most money for their challenge via Crowdrise. That generous contribution from Mozilla would have an amazing impact on the Women's Cardiovascular Research and Education Program.

The research being done at the Women's Heart Center is revolutionary. Few institutions in the world are so focused on how heart disease presents itself differently in women. The Center is changing how women are diagnosed, treated, and educated about heart disease. And their work is helping women everywhere. But this is not just about women's health! The latest research at the Center on women's stem cells is showing that these cells may not only help a woman's heart, but a man's as well.

Please join me in supporting this life-giving program and help the Women's Heart Center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center receive the $25,000 bonus donation from Mozilla.

Plus, if you give $31 or more right now, you'll be entered to win a signed copy of my book My Passion For Design. (This contest is now open globally for ALL fans. Click here for complete contest rules.)

Thank you,

Click here to donate and enter the contest!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Barbra Performs at "Friends of the Israel Defense Force" Gala in LA.

Barbra performed 4 songs at the December 8th Gala:
  • Avinu Malkenu
  • The Windmills Of Your Mind
  • The Way We Were
  • People.
According to the FIDF website:

FIDF initiates and helps support educational, social, cultural, and recreational programs & facilities for the young men and women soldiers of Israel who defend the Jewish homeland. FIDF also supports the families of fallen soldiers.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

2 Grammy Nominations for "What Matters Most"

Barbra's most recent studio album has been nominated for 2 Grammy Nominations at last night's Grammy Nomination Concert.
Best Traditional Pop Vocal AlbumWhat Matters Most - Barbra Streisand Sings The Lyrics Of Alan And Marilyn Bergman
Barbra Streisand
[Columbia Records]

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
The Windmills Of Your Mind
William A. Ross, arranger (Barbra Streisand)
Track from: What Matters Most - Barbra Streisand Sings The Lyrics Of Alan And Marilyn Bergman
[Columbia Records]

Also, although not associated with Barbra - the huge dance-hit "Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand" was nominated for Best Dance Recording.

A huge congrats to Barbra and everyone who worked on the album.

Grammy winners will be announced February 12, 2012.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Barbra Streisand to introduce presentation by MD pioneering discoveries about gender differences in heart disease.

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, will address thousands of women attending more than 100 TEDxWomen events around the world during the TEDWomen conference on Thursday, Dec. 1. Barbra Streisand -- the legendary actress, singer and women’s advocate --  is scheduled to introduce Bairey Merz, director of the Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. Bairey Merz will discuss how the mentorship of women physicians inspired her to focus on uncovering gender differences in symptoms and treatment of heart disease and why women should push for more research.  Heart disease is the No. 1 killer worldwide and often is misdiagnosed in women. 

The day’s events may be viewed via live stream at http://www.livestream.com/tedxwomen. To participate in the conversation via Twitter, use hashtag: #TEDxWomen.  

Saturday, 19 November 2011


SANTA BARBARA, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Presenter Barbra Streisand attends The Dream Foundation's 10th Annual Celebration of Dreams, honoring fashion icon Donna Karan with The Founders Award and featuring the Donna Karan Spring 2012 Collection, presented by Saks Fifth Avenue, held at Bacara Resort and Spa on November 18, 2011 in Santa Barbara, California.

We are delighted to share some very special news with you: this evening, our Founder Donna Karan will receive The Founders Award at the 10th Annual Celebration of Dreams to benefit the Dream Foundation. The Dream Foundation is the first national organization that makes dreams come true for adults in the end stages of life and the benefit will be a celebratory evening of fashion (including a Donna Karan Spring 2012 runway show), fantastic entertainment, and creative cuisine.
Making this evening even more special is the fact that the award will be presented by Donna’s long-time friend, Barbra Streisand. We know that Barbra will be sharing some very thoughtful words borne out of her friendship with Donna and we thought we’d share some of the highlights with you here:
“Donna doesn’t just dress people, she addresses them, mind, body and spirit. She is a creative visionary. Passionate. Forceful. Nurturing. Extremely hands on. And generous to a fault. You can’t help falling in love with her. As a friend, Donna is thoughtful, funny and mothering – she can’t help herself. Years ago, I fell in love with a chenille sweater from Anne Klein. It turned out the fabric was highly flammable. I didn’t care. I even offered to sign a legal waiver should the sweater catch on fire. But Donna said, absolutely not, give it back. She wouldn’t take the chance. Donna doesn’t know I still have that sweater.”
“Donna and I bonded immediately. We were both on spiritual paths and saw everyone, including driving upstate to see Guru Mai for a 15 minute visit that turned into three hours of sitting in the dark. Donna and I even schlepped to Massachusetts to learn to meditate with Deepak Chopra. We were soul sisters.”

“One of the things Donna and I have most in common is our passion for positive change. How to use our voice and creativity to get something done. How to use our platforms and public profiles to bring attention to urgent matters. Every year, we attend the Clinton Global Initiative, where Bill Clinton brings people together to create change. Trust me, few people motivate you more than Bill Clinton. We leave the CGI, inspired to do whatever we can to make a difference.”
“It is most fitting that The Dream Foundation is honoring her. Donna dreams big, and keeps at it until it becomes a reality. Donna dreams for you, for me, for all of us. She brings people and their dreams together.”
Congratulations, Donna! Your entire Urban Zen team is inspired by you, your life and your ever-evolving passions.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Barbra to be on Larry King "Heart Disease" Special in February

From a recent interview with Larry:

Larry: And in February, I'm doing a major special on heart disease which will include Barbra Streisand, Dick Cheney, and two prominent surgeons. We're gonna show you heart surgery.

Link to interview: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/dailymusto/2011/11/larry_king_talk.php

Barbra To Present Donna Karan With Award

A star studded evening with Saks Fifth Avenue presenting the Donna Karan Spring 2012 Collection

Source: Carol Marshall PR

The Dream Foundation, the first national organization that makes dreams come true for adults in the end stages of life, is proud to honor fashion icon Donna Karan with The Founders Award at the 10th Annual Celebration of Dreams on November 18, 2011 at the Bacara Resort and Spa. An event unlike any other, Celebration of Dreams combines high fashion on and off the runway, world-class entertainment, and creative cuisine, all benefiting Dream Foundation.

The Founder’s Award will be presented to Ms. Karan by her dear friend Barbra Streisand. The evening’s festivities will be highlighted by the Donna Karan Spring 2012 runway show, presented by Saks Fifth Avenue. Ronald Frasch, President of Saks Fifth Avenue, will introduce the fashion show. “Saks Fifth Avenue is proud to support the incredible work of the Dream Foundation, and no one is more deserving of this honor than our friend, Donna Karan,” says Frasch.

The evening will also include performances by Grammy award-winning singer Macy Gray, recording artist and American Idol finalist Pia Toscano, Naya Rivera and Amber Riley of GLEE and recording artist Jackson Guthy.

In addition to a silent auction, actor and long-time Dream Foundation supporter, Dan Aykroyd will host a live auction to help raise money for the foundation. Auction items will include high-ticket items such as a seven-day voyage on The World, the largest privately owned residential yacht on earth;a 5-star African Safari from Singita &Beyond; VIP seats to the Argentine Open in Buenos Aires; a private dinner with acclaimed actor, Morgan Freeman and VIP tickets to Donna Karan’s Fashion week show (including a $2,500 shopping spree at Saks Fifth Avenue’s New York flagship and VIP tickets to Mercedes Benz Fashion week), amongst others.

Also, as part of the evening a special tribute will be made to dream recipients in attendance and the more than 2,000 dreams fulfilled over the year.

For the first time in the Dream Foundation’s history, Donna Karan - as the fashion partner - will be honored with the “Founders Award” due to her work with the Urban Zen Foundation. Previous recipients included Jeff and Susan Bridges and Rob and Sheryl Lowe.

The Founders Award recognizes excellence in humanitarian efforts on behalf of those facing illness. There is tremendous synergy in the services offered by Dream Foundation and Urban Zen’s Wellness Initiative. Both provide relief and comfort to those facing illness, beyond that which is offered through western medicine and treatments.

For Dream Foundation this comes in provision of basic need items and resources that allow for closure, peace, and happy final memories. For Urban Zen this comes via accessible forms of eastern healing techniques and meditation.

Dream Foundation Founder, Thomas Rollerson, comments, “In our 10 years celebrating this event, it has always been about dreamers who hope to find closure with loved-ones; who wish to give their children a lasting memory of special family time and who want to live out their remaining moments in comfort and peace. Those participating in this gala are literally making hundreds of dreams like these come true.”

Celebration of Dreams Sponsors include: Saks Fifth Avenue, Donna Karan, ThinkThin, CKE Restaurants, Revelry Event Designers, Bacara Resort & Spa, as well as live auction donors: The World – Residences at Sea, Crystal Cruises, The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, Strictly Vacations, American Airlines, Singita Game Reserves &Beyond Africa.

For more: http://www.dreamfoundation.org/events/event/10th-annual-celebration-of-dreams

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Barbra honored by the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors at their annual Gala

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Barbra Streisand and Robert Barth were honored by the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors at their annual Gala on Tuesday, November 8th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Proceeds from the Gala, sponsored by Lexus, benefit the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

Lexus donated a 2012 Lexus LS 600h L Luxury Hybrid sedan which was raffled off during the Gala.

The Gala included a performance by Marvin Hamlisch, Alan Bergman, Kenny G and a special appearance by Seth Rogen.

The Board of Governors' current campaign benefits the Board of Governors Heart Stem Cell Center in the top-ranked Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, led by Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD.

A major component of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Heart Institute, the Women's Heart Center, led by C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, is the only one of its kind, with strengths in clinical care, education, and research.

This year's Gala will benefit the Women's Heart Center as part of the current Board of Governors campaign.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

ELLE's 18th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute held at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 17, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.

ELLE's 18th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute held at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 17, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Barbra in Elle Magazine. November Issue.

On how Warren Beatty got her to sing at a fundraiser for presidential candidate George McGovern: “Warren and I met when I was 15 years old. I was babysitting for my acting teacher, and it was Warren’s first summer of stock. Can you imagine, he asked if I would cue him! That’s the closest I ever got to a casting couch, not that I could get a part! I saw him a month ago. We’re always, 'I can’t get over it. Here we are. We were both nobodies!'”

On her career: “I don’t get a lot of offers to either direct or act. I’m still a kind of threatening object. I was offered They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, but you had to dance through the whole movie—I got tired just reading the script. I was offered Klute, but I was seeing someone at the time and didn’t want to work. I was offered Julia, but I was editing A Star Is Born. As I say to Jane Fonda, ‘I’m responsible for your career.’ Because I turned down those movies and she got them and she was wonderful in them. Now people want me for a specific role.”
Barbra Streisand wears clothes from her closet, including a shirt and vest from Mr. Alex Custom Shirtmaker, Beverly Hills, jewelry by Sheryl Lowe Designs, and shoes by Chanel.

Friday, 23 September 2011

"On A Clear Day" - On the big screen, again!

According to Matt Howe of Barbra-Archives...

This is very exciting ... Brooklyn Academy of Music has let me know they will be screening ON A CLEAR DAY on October 24 as part of their complete Vincente Minnelli retrospective. This will not be a DVD projection of the film, but a rare 35mm archive print (Paramount has no circulating 35 prints of the film in existence now) so this is something of an event.


Barbra in New York for Clinton Global Initiative.

Barbra Streisand and James Brolin were surprise guests last night at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual dinner and awards event at the Sheraton. There were other Hollywood and A list types around–designer Donna Karan, Heather Graham, Jeffrey Wright, plus married actors Michael McKean and Annette O’Toole, who presented an award. But Streisand and Brolin packed the most punch, especially since she introduced honoree Sting before he performed an outstanding set with trumpetmeister Chris Botti on horn including “Englishman in New York,” and “Every Breath You Take.”

Morgan Freeman introduced both Sting and his activist/actress/producer wife Trudie Styler, as they were honored for 25 years of work on the Rainforest Foundation. Styler, hot off a short run in the UK in a play, spoke eloquently about their experiences helping save indigenous peoples. Streisand was so wowed by the couple, particularly Sting, that she told me later she wants the British rocker on her next album of duets. “I think our voices would go well together,” Barbra said.
She’s currently on the charts with her magnificent album of Alan and Marilyn Bergman songs, called “What Matters Most.” But she’s so impressed with Tony Bennett‘s new “Duets II” album that she wants to do one of her own. (Barbra and Tony share a famous A&R man, Jay Landers.)

When I told Streisand she could have her current version of “Windmills of Your Mind” remixed for dance clubs by deejays like Mark Ronson, she narrowed her eyes and said, “Really?” Yes, really.

Brolin, meantime, one of the nicest guys in the world, told me he’s getting ready to direct an indie film in January.

But back to the Clinton Global Initiative Dinner–the other honorees were quite remarkable. One of the guests was Zimbabwe’s courageous prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai. He’s the opposition leader, supposedly sharing power with the deranged dictator Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai’s wife was killed in a suspicious car crash in 2009 soon after he was sworn in. Bill Clinton cited him at the end of last night’s dinner and show, assuring him that everyone is rooting for him.

Sting was not the only performer last night. K’naan, the remarkable performer from Somalia, did a knock out set. He also showed a video of returning to Mogadishu to help with the exruciating famine. K’naan came to prominence two summers ago with his World Soccer anthem, Wave the Flag. His new albu, is due later this fall from James Diener‘s Octone/A&R Records. I wrote him about a year ago after seeing K’naan perform at a Haiti benefit hosted by Matt Damon. He’s only gotten better. Keep an eye out for K’naan.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Their longtime bond includes the new album 'What Matters Most.' On it, Barbra Streisand sings 10 Bergman numbers she had not previously performed. The lyricists reflect on their connection with the singer.

LA Times.

Lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman's professional and personal lives have been intertwined with Barbra Streisand's for five decades — from the night they first saw her as a teenager singing in New York to their latest collaboration, the CD "What Matters Most," which features Streisand interpreting 10 of the couple's songs she had not yet performed.

And in between those years, the Emmy-, Grammy-, Oscar- and Tony Award-winning Streisand has performed dozens of their songs, including "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?"; the Oscar-winning title tune of the 1973 Streisand-Robert Redford love story "The Way We Were"; and the songs in Streisand's directorial debut, 1983's "Yentl," which includes the Oscar-nominated "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" and "The Way He Makes Me Feel."

On a recent sunny afternoon, the Bergmans, who have been married since 1958, opened their warm, antique-laden Beverly Hills home to chat about Streisand and their songs. Sitting in the upstairs office where they keep their Oscars, Grammys and Golden Globes, the two are unpretentious and welcoming.

They almost didn't go to see Streisand that fateful evening at the Bon Soir in the early 1960s. But composer Jule Styne, who would write the music to Streisand's Broadway triumph, "Funny Girl," insisted.

"We had spent the whole day auditioning girls for the juvenile lead for a show that we were doing that Jule was producing and directing," recalled Marilyn, 81. "After hearing about 50 girl singers, Jule said, 'Come on, we are going downtown. There is a girl singer you have got to hear.' We said, 'Jule, we have been listening to girls sing all day.' But he said, 'Not like this.' He was right."

"As soon as she started to sing, Marilyn started to cry," said Alan, 85.

Once backstage, Marilyn was met by Streisand. "I said, 'Do you know how wonderful you are?'" Though Streisand didn't answer her, Bergman believes Streisand did know "because I thought nobody can be that wonderful and not know exactly what they were doing."

By 1969, the Bergmans and Streisand were good friends. Her first major hit of theirs was the haunting "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?," composed by the Bergmans' frequent collaborator Michel Legrand, for Richard Brooks' 1969 drama "The Happy Ending."

"Barbra came over for dinner, and we had just finished the song that day," Alan recalled. "It was on the piano and she passed the piano and saw the title — Michel was staying with us — and she said, 'I like the title, can I hear it?' So we sang it to her and she said, 'Let me hear it again.' She said, 'Let me sing it.' We have on tape the first time she sang it and it's all there, every nuance."

"What Matters Most," which was released Aug. 23, features some well-known Bergman songs including their first Oscar winner, "The Windmills of Your Mind" — which they wrote with Legrand — from 1968's "The Thomas Crown Affair"; the Frank Sinatra hit "Nice 'n' Easy," which they wrote with composer Lew Spence; and "That Face," which Alan Bergman wrote with Spence as an engagement present to Marilyn. Fred Astaire recorded "That Face" on an album and then performed it on a TV special, 1959's "Another Evening With Fred Astaire."

But a lot of the tunes, which mainly were written for film, aren't as well known. Streisand asked the couple to send her a plethora of their songs for consideration on the CD.

"We didn't send her everything," Marilyn said. "We culled through. There were songs we dreamed one day she would sing. There were some she chose and many that didn't make the cut."

One song that did make it is the title tune, a love song they penned with Dave Grusin for Franco Zeffirelli's 1979 version of "The Champ" that Zeffirelli cut out. The same thing happened with "Alone in the World," a tune they wrote with Jerry Goldsmith for the 1990 spy thriller "The Russia House."

"Director Fred Schepisi said, 'I don't want a song at the end,'" Alan said.

A half-century after they first met Streisand, the Bergmans believe that her voice has only become richer. "There is no piece missing," Marilyn said.

There were a lot of tears shed by Marilyn while Streisand was recording "What Matters Most" earlier this year. But Streisand welcomes them. "I sit right outside the recording booth so she can see me cry, because it is the litmus test [of a song] if Marilyn is crying," the lyricist explained with a smile.


The debut of Barbra Streisand's new Columbia album, "What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman" at Number Four on the Billboard ratings announced today marks the CD as her 31st album to chart in the Top 10, moving her into third place among all recording artists in that category of achievement. With today’s placement, Streisand passes the Beatles to the number three position behind only Frank Sinatra and The Rolling Stones. The new CD's ranking extends her lead over all female artists and acts in number of Top Tens. She is also the top-selling female performer in total album sales in the United States with over 71 million according the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America.) Barbra Streisand is the only recording artist to have achieved Number One albums in five consecutive decades.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Piers Morgan - UK Column

David Foster, genius music producer for singers like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson, came on my CNN show a few weeks ago with little Jackie Evancho – the 11-year-old America’s Got Talent superstar with the voice of an angel – and after the interview, he asked me who I’d most like to have as a guest.

‘Well, Barbra Streisand would be pretty high on the list,’ I said.

‘She’s a good friend of mine,’ he replied. ‘Why don’t I throw a dinner party for you both at my Malibu home so you can get to know each other?’

Tonight, I arrived at his sumptuous beachside house, and found myself among 14 other guests, including Donna Summer, legendary U.S. TV presenter and game-show host Regis Philbin and Dr Phil, the male version of Oprah Winfrey in America.

At 8pm, the great lady herself, Ms Streisand, swept into the room.

‘Mr Morgan,’ she exclaimed, ‘I loved that Christine O’Donnell interview!’

We were seated next to each other at the dinner table, and for the next two hours we barely exchanged a word with anyone else.

It’s so rare to meet a personal hero who lives up to expectation, but Barbra was if anything even more impressive than I imagined: smart, funny, warm, engaging and politically astute. 

Halfway through the meal, David Foster suggested I sing to the group. He was joking, but I seized the moment, dropping on bended knee, grasping Barbra’s hand and launching into a quite spectacularly bad rendition of The Way We Were – the movie is one of my all-time favourites – as Foster rapidly accompanied me on the piano.

As I wailed away, I caught sight of Donna Summer grimacing in a way that suggested either sudden acute appendicitis or sheer agony induced by the power of my vocal range.

‘That was very... nice, thank you,’ said Barbra, trying to be gracious, before exploding into fits of giggles.

‘Will you sing for us later?’ I asked.

‘Nooooo,’ she replied, firmly. ‘I never sing at parties.’

‘Why not?’

‘I feel uncomfortable performing to an audience where I can see the faces looking at me. I’ve always suffered from stage fright, but as long as I can’t see the faces, I’m usually OK. Singing at a dinner party like this would freak me out!’

I, tragically, have no such qualms.

Later in the evening, during an impromptu group sing-song, I performed again, belting out Let It Be on the piano until I was howled down.

Fortunately, the night was saved by Donna Summer singing Amazing Grace, Regis crooning Sinatra and Foster’s hot new act, a very talented group called the Canadian Tenors, performing an exclusive set just for us.

‘How about an interview?’ I asked Barbra as we left.

She smiled. ‘Maybe.’

Then came the immortal words: ‘Piers, can I have your phone number?’

I scrabbled for a pen and paper.

‘I’ll be in touch,’ she purred.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Streisand Pays Tribute to Songwriting 'Family'

Associated Press -

Oscar-winning songwriting greats Alan and Marilyn Bergman rarely wrote a song with Barbra Streisand in mind.

In fact, Streisand was often the one who had to approach them when she found a Bergman song that she wanted to claim as her own.

"Normally, over the years, we have never played her songs; she just heard them elsewhere," recalls Marilyn Bergman. "Once she saw a song sitting on the piano, and saw the title, (and) she's says, 'What's that?'"

Yet Streisand turned out to be one of the greatest interpreters of their iconic songs. Over the decades, she put her stamp on such memorable tunes as "The Way We Were," ''You Don't Bring Me Flowers" and "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" from her musical "Yentl."

"I just love their words, I love the sentiment, I love their exploration of love and relationships," Streisand said. "They understand the craft of songwriting, the art of songwriting."

On her new CD, "What Matters Most," Streisand pays tribute to the songwriting couple by recording an album full of their material, including some of their best known songs, such as "Nice 'n' Easy," made famous by Frank Sinatra, and "The Windmills of Your Mind," the esoteric theme from "The Thomas Crown Affair."

"It's interesting; I never understood the song until I heard Alan sing it," Streisand said of the Oscar-winning song, which Dusty Springfield made a classic. "Then I started relating to it in terms of my own jumbled mind, with so many crazy thoughts going through it."

Streisand is one of the greatest interpreters of songwriting greats Alan and Marilyn Bergman's iconic songs. She put her signature stamp on such memorable tunes as "The Way We Were," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" and "Papa Can You Hear Me" from her musical "Yentl."

With the release of the album, Streisand has recorded over 60 songs by the Bergmans.

"We love to hear her sing what we write. How lucky can you get?" Marilyn said.

But the relationship between Streisand and the Bergmans runs far deeper than that of songwriter and artist.

"They're like my parents in a way," explained Streisand, 69, during a phone interview from her home last week.

"They're certainly my role models as to how relationships ideally should be. They have an amazing marriage and they're so kind to one another, and so respectful. ... They adore each other. They've been so good to me as a friend."

Streisand noted one time when she wasn't feeling well. The Bergmans did more than check on her. "They came over in the middle of the night, and Marilyn slept on the couch in my bedroom, and Alan stayed downstairs."

"That's the kind of friends they are," she added. "We're family. You can't pick your family, but you can pick the family you'd like to have. Those are very strong relationships."

The trio likes to say they were fated to be friends; they are all from Brooklyn, from lower- middle-class families, and were born at the same hospital (though in different years). The Bergmans met Streisand when she was a burgeoning young singer in New York City. Streisand's performance brought Marilyn to tears, and they quickly became close friends.

"It is a unique relationship," Marilyn explained. "We met when she was very young; there's a kind of sister/daughter relationship. The age difference was probably more parent than now. At a certain point you become contemporaries."

Although the Bergmans sent Streisand a list of songs to consider for her new album, it was Streisand who decided what she would sing. She decided to choose material she'd never tackled before instead of reinterpreting old hits. "Why would I do that? ... The past is the past. I'm always looking to do something new, something I haven't done before."

The Bergmans were surprised at some of her choices, like "Nice 'n' Easy," which was a Sinatra special. "She approached it in an entirely different way, in a seductive way," Marilyn notes.

"She's a storyteller, and that comes from not only her inner soul, but her directing," says Alan.

Besides the new album, she's also starring in "My Mother's Curse" with Seth Rogen, a film she describes as a comedy with serious undertones; it will be released next year.

Streisand hopes to perform those new Bergman songs, as well as her many classics, with a new tour. Her last was in 2006, and that came after a 12-year absence from the road.

She also wants to direct a movie; would like to write a sequel to her home decorating book, "My Passion for Design," published last year; still has eyes on a remake of the film "Gypsy" ("I don't think the movie did the play justice. I think it could be done better," she sniffs); and still plans a duets album (names like Beyonce, Seal and Yo-Yo Ma have been thrown into the mix).

"It seems like there's not enough time in the day, there's not enough time in the year," she sighs.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Elle.com Feature

Tips for watching "Barbra Streisand: A Happening at Starbucks"

Barbra's never-before-seen MusiCares performance is now live exclusively at Starbucks across the US! Here are some tips if you're at a Starbucks now and trying to watch "Barbra Streisand: A Happening at Starbucks":

Log on to the Starbucks in-store Wi-Fi network. In most stores, it is called "attwifi," but check with any of the baristas if you are having trouble figuring out which network to join.

Once you log on to the Starbucks Wi-Fi network, you'll automatically be sent to the Starbucks Digital Network homepage at starbucks.yahoo.com.

From the Starbucks Digital Network, click on the orange ENTERTAINMENT button at the bottom of the screen.
If you're STILL having trouble finding the show, visit the Barbra Streisand: A Happening At Starbucks page on Facebook and post your questions there. We'll be checking it regularly and doing our best to help you see this fantastic and rare concert from Barbra. Enjoy!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Liz Smith reviews Barbra's New Album

I have it in my hand, the gorgeous deluxe edition of Barbra Streisand’s “What Matters Most” album. This is her self-produced tribute to her old friends, the great lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman. If the Bergmans didn’t quite “invent” Barbra, in the manner of John Kander and Fred Ebb, a la Liza Minnelli, they are responsible for so many of Streisand’s signature tunes—including the score for “Yentl”—that they have become vital to Barbra’s enduring legend. The Bergmans know her voice, her personality, her heart. (As for Liza, I think out of her fondness for Kander and Ebb, she has somewhat exaggerated their impact—after all, she was singing!)

“What Matters Most” is a two-disc set. The first disc is ten Bergman songs never recorded by Barbra, the second disc contains ten more familiar tunes—“The Way We Were,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “Papa, Can You Hear Me?”
But it is on the first disc that Barbra truly soars. Listen, it’s worth the price just to hear Barbra a’capella on the first bars of “The Windmills of Your Mind.” Barbra has retained the exquisite upper register of her voice, but the tones have deepened—beautifully. Age has not withered her gift and life experience has given it much more resonance.
In a world of phony, over-hyped “talent,” I’m glad a true artist like Barbra is still here, working and reminding us that “perfectionist” is not a dirty word.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

USA Today Interview: Here's 'What Matters Most' to Barbra Streisand

By Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY

Barbra Streisand has long enjoyed the luxury of taking on only those projects that she's passionate about. But her latest album , she insists, is a particular "labor of love."

What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, out Tuesday, features 10 songs by the beloved husband-and-wife team, Streisand's longtime collaborators and friends. All were recorded by the singer for the first time — a notable detail, as Streisand, 69, had covered more than 50 of the duo's songs before.

A follow-up to 2009's acclaimed, chart-topping standards collection, Love Is the Answer, the new album was produced by the singer and includes such familiar titles as The Windmills of Your Mind, Nice 'n' Easy and That Face, as well as lesser-known tunes. The Bergmans, both in their 80s, "were at every session," Streisand says. "They've written for movies, so they write for stories and characters. I relate to them as an actress and a person."

Streisand has a new film due next year, My Mother's Curse, in which she plays Seth Rogen's mom. The part is her "first starring role in many years" — though she may have another on the horizon. Before writer/director Arthur Laurents died at 93 last May, he had discussed a new film adaptation of his classic musical Gypsy, with Streisand cast as infamous stage mama Rose. Those plans are still intact, she says.

"We just have to find our team and a writer. It's too bad, because I was looking forward to working with Arthur," who directed Streisand in her Broadway debut. "I had seen him a few months before that, and he seemed so strong and healthy."

Streisand also plans to revisit her theater roots in 2012, albeit as an observer. The first Broadway revival of Funny Girl, the 1964 musical that helped secure her stardom, is due next spring. Lauren Ambrose of Six Feet Under fame will step into Streisand's shoes, playing comedian/actress Fanny Brice.

Streisand hadn't been familiar with Ambrose, but she's curious: "I saw a clip on YouTube of her singing My Man," delivered by Streisand's Fanny in the 1968 film adaptation. "But it was uptempo, so I couldn't judge it. It doesn't matter because she doesn't sing it in the show."

Streisand is already thinking ahead musically. She's planning a duets album, considering Seal and Beyoncé among potential partners. "The timing will depend on whether I do (concert) dates, and if and when I do Gypsy," Streisand says.

"And I want a holiday," she adds. "I'm always torn between laziness and wanting to be creative. To work or not to work — it's always a pull."

Barbra on CBS Sunday Morning - Watch now.

For those of you who missed Barbra's interview this morning on CBS, you can watch it here:


You can also watch outtakes from the interview here:


And if you still haven't ordered the album - WHY NOT?! :-) It's released on Tuesday - and you can order here:

Friday, 19 August 2011

TV/Press Spots (USA)

Entertainment Tonight - Tonight (Thursday 18 August) - small feature on album including interview and performance footage from MusiCares Event in February this year.

CBS Sunday Morning - TV Interview - Sunday 21 August.

USA Today Feature - Tomorrow (Friday 19 August).

People Magazine - "Pick of the week".

Elle.com - Monday 22 August (PM).

Starbucks Exclusive - Visit any Starbucks (US Only) between 23-30 August with your WiFi enabled laptop or device - and watch Barbra perform songs from the new album. Watch the trailer here: www.barbrastreisand.com/us/starbucks

New York Times / LA Times - Print adverts running Sunday 21 August.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Starbucks Exclusive

In February 2011, Barbra performed an intimate concert at the MusiCares annual benefit gala including selections by Alan & Marilyn Bergman. Only a lucky few witnessed this historic event, and now you can too!

Visit a Starbucks store between August 23rd and 30th with your WiFi-enabled laptop computer, phone, or other mobile device and log on to the Starbucks Digital Network. From there, you'll be able to see Barbra perform some of her greatest hits plus two songs from What Matters Most which she's never before sung live... right from your own mobile device and only in Starbucks. Watch the trailer of the concert now!

Monday, 15 August 2011

When Barbra Streisand Sings "What Matters Most" Is A Consummate Collection

By Allison Waldman - Barbra Streisand Examiner

With her last studio album, "Love Is the Answer," Barbra Streisand not only delivered a beautiful song set and re-embraced the jazz-cabaret clubs of her youth, she also achieved the kind of legendary success that's made her the star of stars. "Love Is the Answer" debuted at the top of the charts, giving America's First Voice the distinction of having had number one albums -- not songs -- in five decades, from the 1960s to the 2000s.

Well, it's now the 2010s — and if there is any justice, Streisand's new CD, "What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan & Marilyn Bergman" will equal or surpass the success of her last number one. Quite simply, Streisand has delivered a ten-song collection of the work of her dearest friends, the lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman, with the kind of respect, love and passion that imbues her best work.

"What Matters Most" comes as almost a surprise; an album of songs which she's never sung before. A gift that was meant as a tribute to the Bergmans, but becomes a treat for the listener. If you love good music, if you long for songs that say something about life, love, relationships and what is this thing called love, if you want Streisand in her balladic best tradition as an actress in song, then don't wait. Go now online and buy "What Matters Most" and be good to yourself.

Produced by Barbra herself, "What Matters Most" shows us that she continues to possess the voice of a wondrous Stradivarius, the skill as a consummate actress and the intelligence of a fine director -- all wrapped up in one amazing package. Song by song, she's both the character and the music, essaying the Bergmans deceptively straightforward lyrics with a depth that few singers can match.

Therefore, let's take it song by song:

"The Windmills of Your Mind" -- How do you start an album like you never have before? For Barbra Streisand, that's a tough question. But the answer is the audacious, a cappella opening to "The Windmills of Your Mind." Do you wonder about the Streisand voice, how it sounds as she approaches age 70? Listen to this song and be prepared to be wowed. Pure, strong, tone intact, subtle and vibrant, Barbra has retained the diamond quality and enveloping tone that we have loved since "Happy Days Are Here Again." This Oscar-winning song by Michel Legrand and the Bergmans has been sung and recorded by countless other artists. And yet, Barbra waited to do it now and, thus, it sounds completely new. The lyrics to "Windmills" are like a Salvador Dali dream, what do they mean? What are the images evoking? Barbra's interpretation punctuates the words that are the most important like the way she says "over" in "When you knew that it was over." And on her lips, "the color of his hair" is an allusion to Steve McQueen who starred in the film for which the song was written, "The Thomas Crown Affair." Another point to admire in "Windmills" are the specific choice of words the Bergmans use; in "the world is like an apple, whirling silently in space," it's not spinning, it's whirling. And "pictures hanging in a hallway in a half-forgotten dream," it's half-forgotten that's haunting in its wordplay. By the end of Streisand's almost minimalist approach, "The Windmills of Your Mind" has become a song of profound sadness that you will not soon forget.

"Nice and Easy" -- With the wonderful "Nice and Easy," Streisand wisely applies her take on a song that's completely Frank Sinatra's domain. In Old Blue Eye's version, the song is about falling in love; it's bright, bubbly, finger-snapping and playful. In Streisand's reading, "Nice and Easy" is about making love…from a woman's point of view. If Frank was singing of a date, Streisand is singing of a seduction. He was dancing, she's in bed. The difference only makes the song that much more fun. Two masters who've given the same lyric completely viable renditions -- and then sang them beautifully. Barbra's emphasis on certain words and phrases, take on new meaning, like "hold your horses" and "falling into place." And her warm, rich vocal is, well, just like buttah! And if you don't think she's having fun with it, listen close to hear her vamp with the horns. That's a singer at home with the music.

"So Many Stars" -- So many popular singers just don't take to singing in a different language, but for Streisand, it's just another arrow in her quiver, another way for her to elevate a song to something more. With the Sergio Mendes tune "So Many Stars," Barbra's in a Brazilian beat, swaying to the enchanting music, and going for the gusto as she takes the Bergman lyrics into Portuguese. Just for the record, that makes eight different languages for Barbra music; she's already sung in English, French, Spanish, Latin, Italian, German and Hebrew. But it's not the foreign phrases that give "So Many Stars" its élan. It's the almost "Yentl-esque" quality of the Bergmans and Barbra's collaboration. Singing "Which star is meant for me" Barbra reminds us of Yentl questioning the universe as she prayed in "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" But here, the song is not a prayer, it's a dance. Streisand glides. She's so fluid and into the beat… she must do an album of samba music.

"Something New In My Life" -- Bergman songs have heart. They mean something. As sung by Barbra on this CD, "Something New In My Life" becomes a love song to a child. It may not be what Streisand will confess, but this is a love song to her son, Jason Gould. It is hard to not imagine that words like, "Whatever else I may do in my life, you'll always be the something new in my life, from now on…" are not her dedication to him, the most constant love of her life. In a lifetime of accomplishment and great works, to this day, Streisand will point to Jason as her grandest feat. That's love, and "Something New in My Life" is her way to say it with music.

"That Face" -- Just like "Nice and Easy" will always be Sinatra's, "That Face" is just so Fred Astaire. But Barbra finds herself right at home in Fred's jaunty idiom. "That Face" soars. It swings. It's buoyant and fun and "intox-ox-oxicating" on many levels. Again, the song may be about nobody in particular; she's a singer and may simply be imagining what Alan was thinking when he used the song to ask Marilyn to marry him. And still I think the face in Streisand's song is Jim Brolin's; the face she sees on her pillow every night.

"Alone In the World" -- Love songs are a Barbra stock in trade, and in "Alone in the World," she shares with us another relationship of want and need and connection. Accompanied by trumpet soloist Chris Botti, Barbra takes us to that secret place where we can pretend we're all alone in the world with one special person.

"Solitary Moon" -- Another gorgeous love song, another undiscovered gem. With that soulful, samba beat, Barbra seduces us with this one, teasing with the words as she sings of romance like few singers can. There's a joyful, sensuous quality here that calls for rapt attention.

"I'll Never Say Goodbye" -- You can almost imagine that Barbra Streisand heard "The Promise" ("I'll Never Say Goodbye") and stashed it away as a song to do in the future. The future is now and here it is, a big fat great love song. It's intense, romantic and deeply satisfying. Barbra pushes a bit, and doesn't have super radial-tire strength to belt at the top as she did when she was singing about parades, but the emotional kick of "The Promise" packs a wallop when sung through her prism. She makes you believe with the actress she is. She is in the moment. It's the right effort. "I'll never say goodbye…" and she holds the note — on an octave leap —as if forever.

"The Same Hello, the Same Goodbye" -- In many ways, this is like "Where Do You Start?" another wonderful Bergman lyric, another examination of how hard it is to stay in love and not just fall in love. This song was going to be Sinatra's, but as much as he loved it, he never got around to singing it. For Barbra, it's another showpiece moment, a chance to give the Bergmans words resonance, as there's so much more to the words than just what's being sung. With a beautiful John Williams tune, Barbra takes us into the heart of a complicated relationship where there are no easy answers.

"What Matters Most" -- There was nothing subtle about the over-emotionality of the Jon Voight film "The Champ," which is where the song "What Matters Most" derives. But here, Barbra's take on "What Matters Most" is a paean to friendship. This one is truly for the Bergmans; this is their journey. And in the 50 year collaboration, encompassing 63 songs, "What Matters Most" is not the hits or the awards or the fortune they've shared together and singer and songwriters, what matters most is that they loved each other through it all. The Bergmans were there when Barbra was 18; they're there for Streisand now at 69. But in between has been a lifetime of love and collaboration and accomplishment. "What Matters Most" sums it all up and, as Barbra hoped, it leaves us with the lingering thought. That is, all great friendships should be like theirs.

And for me, my final lingering thought… how lucky we are that we live in the time of Barbra Streisand, an artist who continues to grow, evolve, entertain and illuminate. I can't wait to hear and see what she does next…but until then, I'll be playing "What Matters Most" again and again.

On my rating scale, "What Matters Most" is an "A" all the way.

Barbra Streisand's favorite songwriters

by: M.G. Russell - AARP.

Read the article here:


Barbra Streisand Tackles Portuguese in Newest Single

by Sofia M. Fernandez - HollywoodReporter.com

She teamed with composer Dori Caymmi for the Bossa Nova-tinged "So Many Stars."

Barbra Streisand delves into the catalog of songwriters Alan and Marilyn Bergman in her upcoming Columbia Records release, What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Out Aug. 23, the two-disc collection includes her take on "Nice 'n' Easy," "That Face," "Alone in the World" and "Solitary Moon."

It also features a recording of "So Many Stars," which was a hit for Sergio Mendes & Brazil 66 when it came out in 1968. Streisand's never recorded the song before and adds a Portuguese twist to it for her new album.

STORY: Barbra Streisand in 'Heated' Talks for Columbia Records Deal Renewal

She told the New York Times she felt it was the right time to record the tune in Mendes' native tongue, "I love Bossa Nova music and the Bergman's wrote 'So Many Stars' with Sergio Mendes. There's never been a Brazilian translation of the song actually but I felt I should sing some of the lyric in Portuguese."

Streisand was briefed on singing in Portuguese by Brazilian composer Dori Caymmi, who coached her on the lyrics at the 11th hour, "The day before I recorded it I asked Dori Caymmi to come up with a translation for part of it. It was fun to do.

"The Way We Were," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," and "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" are also included on Streisand's latest collection.

Pre-orders for What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman are being accepted now on Streisand's official website and include instant downloads of "That Face" and "Windmills of Your Mind." Pre-order customers will also be automatically entered to win a trip to the spring 2012 U.S. premiere of Streisand's new film, My Mother's Curse.

A Love Song For Barbra

By Alan and Marilyn Bergman

On August 23, Columbia Music will debut Barbra Streisand's new album "What Matters Most," in which she performs only songs with lyrics by noted award-winning (Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Cable-Ace) lyricists, Alan and Marilyn Bergman. They write below:

To hear Barbra Streisand sing a song we've written is to know why we chose to become writers.

She always gets exactly what we mean in a lyric. And more. The actor that she is, the director that she is, the singer that she is gets it. And more. Shadings, feelings, nuances emerge that never fail to surprise and thrill us. How do you sing a question mark? A smile? How do you sing the text and sub-text of a song while never sacrificing musicality for meaning or meaning for musicality? Never choosing style over substance or substance over style?

She was eighteen-years-old when we first saw her. Appearing at a club in New York's Greenwich Village. She stepped on the small stage in an outfit of her own creation: a full-sleeved white chiffon blouse, a vest and long skirt of menswear herringbone. An original. Everything about her was original. Then she sang, "My Name Is Barbara" (a song of Leonard Bernstein's). The sound of her was unique. The beauty of her was unique. Everything was within her and before her.

We met backstage that first night. She had a tiny dressing room which she shared with Phyllis Diller (who was the headliner). One of us asked, "Do you know how wonderful you are?" She didn't answer, but she had to know. You can't be that wonderful and not know. That was 50 years ago. We've never been out of each other's lives since then.

Two years ago the Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences had an evening in tribute to us. Quincy Jones was the host. Many friends and colleagues took part in it. Michel Legrand came from Paris. Dave Grusin came from Santa Fe. John Williams from Boston, Marvin Hamlisch from New York and Barbra. We talked informally with Quincy and Barbra for a short while and Barbra quite suddenly announced: "My next CD is going to be a tribute to you guys." We were speechless!

Not too long after, she began thinking about which songs she would include (she's already recorded over 50 songs of ours). She knew she wanted to do songs that she'd never sung before. She asked us to make a list for her consideration. Then her work of selecting, conceptualizing, singing began. Perhaps unconsciously, creating a dramatic context for herself for each song, as an actress would for a character or a scene.

Once she decided on the songs, with the brilliant orchestrator Bill Ross, the arrangement, the musical environment for each song was decided upon. Then came the most focused, careful work at her recording space which she calls "Grandma's house" -- a small cottage on the grounds of her Malibu home. Rehearsing, discovering the songs.

Finally, the day of the first session arrives. The eponymous Streisand Scoring Stage at Sony Studios was filled with Hollywood's finest musicians. The familiar sounds of setting up, tuning up and chatter in anticipation of the first downbeat and Barbra's arrival. She walks into the studio and the air changes. Bill Ross steps onto the podium. The room quiets. There's excitement mixed with respect. It is always an event when Barbra Streisand sings -- even for these musicians who have heard them all.

After the take, the orchestra responds spontaneously. They know we've all just heard a singer at the peak of her artistry.

She will make suggestions to Bill before the next take. They both know how to make it better. And that's what it's about, making it better. These are artists at the top of their game with the same goal: getting it as close to perfect as possible. And so it goes. She did four songs that first day. And five the next session several weeks later.

How many times have we experienced that rare alchemy of words, music, Barbra? It's always as if it were the first time. And now this CD. How to put into words what we feel when we listen to it? Perhaps if there were a melody, we could find the words. It would certainly be a love song.

"Do you know how wonderful you are?"

BroadwayWorld.com Reviews WHAT MATTERS MOST

By Pat Cerasaro

Only once in a lifetime does a talent like hers arise and only one in a billion of us ascends to this level of legendary as far as history is concerned - yet, here with an anomalous, unique new album to go with the seventy that have come before it is the voice of a generation, Barbra Streisand. The new album, WHAT MATTERS MOST: Barbra Streisand Sings The Lyrics Of Alan & Marilyn Bergman, is as much a touching tribute as a touchstone in her unparalleled career in the recording industry. Never before - not even on GUILTY or WET - has Barbra sounded this lush, loose, relaxed and, well, sexy. There is a mood to this album that is entirely unique in her catalogue and the ebbs and flows and waves and crashes and climaxes are all here to hear and experience. It is a romantic getaway of an album- a weekend, alone, off the grid. It would seem impossible for a performer of Streisand's stature to do something new while carrying it off so effortlessly - as with almost all aspects of her multi-dimensional talents - but she does so on this album. It is elegant, carefree, yet passionate and moving. It has moments of playful courting, coursing emotions and some off-the-course frolics. While Disc 1 is superb, the true experience comes along with the Deluxe Edition with Disc 2 and all of the classic Bergman tracks she has recorded over her forty-year-career. Once is not enough for so many of these classic songs. You'll want to hear them repeatedly- and the first disc is the ideal companion. Together? An ecstatic coupling, if ever there were any.

What We Were & Are, Again & Again

Once is not enough. When you are the singular musical talent of your generation you have no one to impress anymore. It has been a particular joy since the turn of the century to see Barbra Streisand begin to reveal her laid-back, relaxed side on albums such as A LOVE LIKE OURS and last year's simply flawless double-disc LOVE IS THE ANSWER, as well as her endearing appearances on OPRAH, LARRY KING and elsewhere. Yet, after last year's beyond-reproach Diana Krall-produced collection of jazz and Broadway standards, we are lucky enough to have ten new tracks to go along with ten classic tracks from the pens of the married friends who happen to have been dear friends of Ms. Streisand's for many years, the Bergmans. Believe it or not, an album so seemingly spontaneous in its conception, while absolutely pristine in its polished, precise delivery on record (as is always to be expected, though Barbra sounds the best she has since BACK TO BROADWAY nearly twenty years ago here, which is certainly saying something significant in and of itself). Lest we forget, THE WAY WE WERE album, not to be confused with the soundtrack of the motion picture of the same name though they both share the Marvin Hamlisch/Alan & Marilyn Bergman title song, was originally intended to be a concept album of sorts with music entirely by Michel Legrand and lyrics entirely by Marilyn & Alan Bergman. While the grand collaborative project of their dreams would not be realized until YENTYL, the album yielded a handful of the most lushly romantic and eerily evocative album cuts of her entire career - the majority of which have been ported over to this new release's second disc (although, to be perfectly honest, I would have liked "Summer Me, Winter Me" to be included in lieu of YENTYL material or "The Island"). From the very first moments of Disc 1, it seems clear that the idea of a concept album tracing a relationship from its first glances over candlelight through the entire journey of a relationship to its eventual end has finally been enacted. Evidently, the first track states the theme - as happens in many great symphonies - and then the story the songs tell reveal their ecstasies as the album plays out to its conclusion.

Song order is surely essential to the listening experience, and hearing the entire two-disc set as summer comes to a close like I did and it is - particularly with the aforementioned first track surprise stand-out stunner, along with the haunting Legrand composed "The Summer Knows" playing out near the end of Disc 2 as its parallel, in its way - it feels quite like a summer romance always destined to be. Just like this. And, like all great affairs: doomed to end, as well - with a longing, heartfelt, tender kiss goodbye. But, first: hello (gorgeous).

"The Windmills Of Your Mind" from THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR is one of the most instantly-recognizable soundtrack themes from films of the 1960s, so for Streisand to reinvent it in a stirring, dramatic and satisfying way such as this is actually merely the very first of its multitude of glories. The second, no doubt, is the sensitive, sensuous arrangement. Opening in silence; then, the word round, as the first verse plays out in a stark, nearly unadorned arrangement; the evocation is at once hypnotic and high drama. As the melody spirals like the lyrics it intones, the violins and strings work alongside Streisand's voice and they then enter into a sensual, erotic dance. Yet, above all else, it is the timbre and tone of her instrument- here and throughout Disc 1 (and the classic tracks on Disc 2, natch) - and the way she paints the surreal story of the psychedelic lyrics - what matters most to Barbra when recording a song; and, without question, what fans want most from her new recordings - is what really makes "Windmills" perhaps her finest single of the new century. It undoubtedly ranks with the very best - the highest echelon - of Streisand's work, which is to say: WHAT MATTERS MOST is one of the finest listening experiences of her recording legacy for those tuned-in and turned-on to her timeless talent. Listen to the opening track for yourself as a sample and see if you don't agree - and then let the rest arrest you with its seductive, softly insinuating songs and soundscapes. All of this adulation, and that's just the first ten percent! Unquestionably, a superlative recording as strong as "Windmills" could have been released as a stand-alone single, solo, without an album attached to it and still pack a powerful punch. More than many - maybe any - Streisand recording to date, the enunciation of every sibilance and syllable gives it the added layer of allure and sensuality. It is without a doubt the perfect introduction to the alternately moody, moving, majestic, titillating and touching material that makes up WHAT MATTERS MOST.

Equal parts arresting, assured and arousing - each track continues on from "Windmills" to illustrate a story of passion, joy, appreciation and spiritual transcendence. Following the stirring drama of the opener, the next selection sets the tone for many of the tracks to come with an impassioned and expressive rendering of the powerful "Something New In My Life". Next the mood moves to sweet anticipation and longing lust in a sumptuous and supremely sexy "Solitary Moon". Then, amidst oh-so-playful intimacy, the story's coupling reaches its apotheosis in "Nice N Easy". "Alone In The World" is the appreciation for the satisfaction gained and received and returned through love, experience and mere chance in this relationship (and Barbra‘s) - the emotion is almost overflowing, but tenderly. So tenderly. By half way through Disc 1 you realize that not only does Streisand sound the best she has in decades - which is certainly the highest compliment that can be paid to the absolute best recording artist alive, then and now - but, also, it is amply evident that she has a palpable affection for the material she is singing on WHAT MATTERS MOST and that, in particular, brings the entire affair that extra special element of magic that makes it really soar. For example, take the "Sleep inside my arms / Kiss the world away" section of the aforementioned "Alone In The World" and you have a passage to rank alongside her very finest recorded work of the last fifty years. This is a pinnacle. There are many moments of heart-stopping brilliance throughout and the entire tone and mood and theme is sustained in such a measured and exacting way as to create a real mood piece - a concept album with the emphasis on conception - particularly when taking into consideration the addition of all the songs on the second disc; each singularly masterful and singled out as such.

But, back to the rest of WHAT MATTERS MOST: "So Many Stars" displays Barbra's light, breezy side and the bossa nova beat compliments her seemingly casual but surely studied interpretation of the lyric in a particularly seductively swinging way - think chic 1960s cocktail hour. Bonus points for the caliente reading of the Portuguese lyrics! This may be many listener‘s favorite song to go along with the first. You‘ll instantly know why when you hear it - it captures, if only for a fleeting moment, the feeling of those great recordings from the start of her career - just as LOVE IS THE ANSWER sporadically managed to do last year. It‘s gold. "The Same Hello, The Same Goodbye" is the type of song only the Bergmans seem to write anymore - and who better than the prime interpreter of the Great American Songbook material to sing it? Some may snipe at the overriding saccharine sweetness, but the mature sophistication that Streisand brings to material that could so easily become treacherously maudlin in almost anyone else's hands and chords is one of the many, many pleasures that her Third Age of recording has brought. I mean, the "Must you and I / Say the same goodbye / Again?" is yet another example of a moment to stand tall, arm in arm, with the best of her catalogue. She is in it to win it this time - and you can tell. And hear it. And feel it. And, it's so exhilarating in exaction and exceptional on reflection. The close of the album comes in a triptych: "That Face" starts as a "Smile"-esque daydream before majestically morphing MGM-style into a raucously appealing cool jazz tune - with Barbra amping up the build with enough belting to buoy the notion that she is a Broadway baby, through and through, to this very day - now and forever. "I'll Never Say Goodbye" and "What Matters Most" are the thoughtful, introspectively intrinsic entities that bring the entire album all together- a bit like a chocolate box and roses unexpectedly arriving to you the morning after; love note attached - and, additionally, give it a healthy supply of spiritual and philosophical gravitas in the span of two inspiring and succulent songs. The collective impact of emotions, thoughts and ideas expressed in this exceptional selection of songs is even greater and richer and more moving than the individual parts taken together - but, oh, what engrossing and enlivening individual entities!

On WHAT MATTERS MOST, Barbra Streisand adds yet another major masterpiece to stand alongside MY NAME IS BARBRA, THE BROADWAY ALBUM, THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM, THE WAY WE WERE, and last year's deluxe edition of LOVE IS THE ANSWER, as the finest full-length albums of her recording career.

All in all, what really matters most here and now is that Barbra Streisand is back in the studio, somehow better and more committed to her craft than ever before - and making music that astounds, confounds and arouses as it wraps its arms around us. A throwback to her albums of the 60s and 70s - and something new, too.

It's an enveloping and lingering hug - made especially for those among us who are more than merely friends....

Read more: http://broadwayworld.com/article/SOUND-OFF-Barbra-Streisand-WHAT-MATTERS-MOST-20110810#ixzz1V75jybaR

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.