Entertainment

Back To Brooklyn

by Steven Bergman
Contributor
Thursday Dec 19, 2013
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"Back to Brooklyn" brings the famous New Yorker herself, Barbra Streisand, back to her hometown for the first time since she left the borough as a teenager to pursue her path to a celebrated career that continues to captivate audiences around the globe five decades later. The instantly recognizable voice, the dry wit, the remarkable ability to deliver a song, have all been traits of this superstar, and this concert is a welcomed new recording from the storied performer.

The Sony Music release consists of both a DVD and a CD, with the concert containing hits both originally performed and/or written by Streisand, and others that have been favorites of the singer, but had not been recorded by her. She pays tribute to several of her good friends, including Marvin Hamlisch ("The Way We Were," "Through the Eyes of Love," and who passed away while she was preparing these shows) and the songwriting team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman ("Nice ’n’ Easy," "That Face"). Streisand has never been shy about getting permission to change lyrics, and this recording is no exception. She turns both Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "As If We Never Said Goodbye" and Cole Porter’s "You’re the Top," into Brooklyn love letters, molding the audience into putty in her hands from the very beginning of the evening.

One of the musical highlights of the evening is a three-song medley by another Streisand friend, composer Jule Styne. Hearing the superstar sing "Rose’s Turn" and "Some People," both from the famed musical, "Gypsy," you’d wish she had played the iconic role of Mama Rose, while her version of "Don’t Rain On My Parade" is still, at 70 years of age, the only voice that should tackle this challenging solo from Styne’s "Funny Girl."

An endearing duet with her son, Jason Gould, of "How Deep Is The Ocean," several pieces accompanied by Chris Botti on trumpet ("What’ll I Do," "My Funny Valentine") and the group, Il Volo ("Smile," only on the DVD release) help to mix up the evening, but ultimately the audience only cares about hearing Streisand sing whatever she wants to. As the Webber song says, she’s "come home at last."

"Back to Brooklyn"
Barbra Streisand
CD, DVD and Digital formats
Columbia Records / Sony Music Entertainment

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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