After the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and the war zone of shopping malls on Black Friday, don’t you want to sit back and relax? What better way to do it than to watch the PBS “Great Performances” broadcast of “Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn” Friday night, 29 November 2013 at 9 p.m. (Check local listings).

Streisand is one of a kind. She kept the those, she kept control and she kept us enthralled with her beautiful voice and courage. She is joined by trumpeter Chris Botti, Il Volo and her son Jason Gould (singing a solo “Nature Boy” and a duet “Evergreen”) for two hours of her hits. Nine of the songs she has never performed before on a concert stage and two songs have special lyrics.

Streisand began in Brooklyn and this concert was filmed in the new 19,000-seat Barclays Center in her hometown. Streisand opened her tour in Brooklyn and then continued on to Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Chicago, Vancouver, Las Vegas, San Jose and Los Angeles. She then went to Europe.

If you aren’t up on Streisand’s career or want to introduce her to your friends and family, this concert is perfect. Between songs, she talks about her high school, Erasmus, and places she remembers from her Brooklyn days including Loews Kings Theatre, the Brooklyn Dodgers, Brighton Beach and Brooklyn Heights.

The musical program includes highlights from her musical career. That means “Funny Girl” material and Streisand also gives her interpretation of Mama Rose from “Gypsy,” something she hopes to remake.

Then there’s something from the disco era–“Enough Is Enough” which she sang as a diva duet with the late Donna Summer. Movie fans and romantics will appreciate “The Way We Were” and wish for another Redford-Streisand pairing.

Streisand is elegant, and that’s only partially because of her costumes by Donna Karan. Streisand commands the stage with an easy-going affable demeanor. She’s a star. She’s an American classic. She’s an original. She’s a gutsy lady and an inspiration to us all.

“Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn” is available on CD and DVD from Columbia Records. After a hectic week, you deserve the luxury of listening to this luscious voice. If you made the concert, this is a wonderful way to relive that experience. If you’re like me and didn’t get a ticket, then tune in.  “Great Performances: Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn” is on PBS, Friday night, 29 November 2013, 9 p.m.

 

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