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Thursday, September 22, 2005


Barbara Streisand. The very name elicits pretty strong opinions across the board – ya either love her or hate her. Considering my deep love for musical theatre, most people assume I am a die hard, over the moon fan of Streisand which couldn’t be further from the truth. I started out as a fan of her films…yet I just couldn’t fully get gung-ho into Streisand as an actress/vocalilst.

Once upon a time, when I was 9 years old, I went to a little dinner theatre in Anaheim to see Funny Girl with my parents. Sitting in the 1st balcony, next to the dry-over-processed-mass-produced-dinner-theatre-chicken, I fell in love with the story of Funny Girl and the character of Fanny Brice. My parents didn’t really understand it as they thought I was too young to understand the meaning of the story. In true Lisa-fashion, this interest of mine turned into an obsession. I couldn’t get enough of the music, the story and the film. At every opportunity, I begged my parents to rent Funny Girl so I could watch it over and over again. Never having been a fan of Streisand before, I watched this film, completely entranced without obsessing over the stars (which is unlike me to do). Thus began my odd relationship of "admiring" Streisand from afar and in semi-denial.

To be completely honest, I was never in awe of Streisand on the whole. Though she has a very distinct, powerful singing voice, it never really struck a chord in me, never made me take notice. It’s hard to describe why I don’t care for her voice, other than I just don’t. Yet, when I think of some of my favorite films, two of them are Streisand's films, Funny Girl and The Way We Were and in both are songs synonymous with Streisand (“People” and “The Way We Were” respectively). Go figure.

When "Babs" made a special appearance at Stephen Sondheim's 75th: The Concert, I was floored and excited beyond belief. I remember turning to Tianyi, commenting that how impressive it was to see her there and how special a moment this was because we would never experience anything like it again. Hell, we could honestly claim we sung (along with the entire audience at the Hollywood Bowl)"Happy Birthday" to Steve WITH "Babs" (and Warren Beatty)!

What prompted me to post about Streisand is the Primetime Live special tonite. I didn’t know it was on and when I found out Streisand was the starring interview, I couldn’t bear to change the station. I watched the interview in its entirety and then thought about posting about her (like a good musical theatre queen). Either I am just fooling myself and really am in denial that I am a Streisand fan, or I liken her to a car crash…you just can’t turn away.

On another note, is an album with Barry Gibb really necessary?!


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