Friday, August 12, 2016

Dear Barbra Streisand: Thanks for The Mem'ries!

You have got to discover you, what you do, and trust it.
How I wish we lived in a time when laws were not necessary to safeguard us from discrimination.
I go by instinct - I don't worry about experience.
Men are allowed to have passion and commitment for their work... a woman is allowed that feeling for a man, but not her work.
I've been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good.
Courtesy Rose Apuzzo (8/11/16)
I just don't want to be hampered by my own limitations.
Why is it men are permitted to be obsessed about their work, but women are only  permitted to be obsessed about men?
Art does not exist only to entertain, but also to challenge one to think, to provoke, even to disturb, in a constant search for truth.
-Barbra Streisand 

Happy Friday, August 12th, 2016!
August 12 is the 225th day of the year. There are 141 days remaining until the end of the year.
As I began my blog today, I was listening to
Courtesy: Rose Apuzzo
Frank Sinatra sing from his Ol' Blue Eyes concert. The song that I am listening to as I type these words is You Will Be My Music. As I listen to the lyrics, I am also basking in the afterglow of having seen Barbra Streisand last night at the Barclay Center

This was my third concert of Streisand's. I've loved them all and each has a unique place in my heart.Last night proved that the third time is the charm. 
This show is called The Music...The Mem'ries...The Music!
It has nothing to do with orientation. It has to do with having good taste. Where I was seated last night, there was old and young, gay and straight, various nationalities. We were all there to celebrate an amazing talent.
As I sat there in the nose blood section of the Barclay's Center, it didn't matter. We all were in a hallowed space and we all were there to celebrate one of the greatest artists of our time. 
As we made our way to our seats and as each audience member arrived, we all started chatting as if
we were all among friends...and we were! Everyone was there because we share something in common, the love of a woman whose musical gifts have touched all of us at one time or another in our lives. As I sat there waiting for the concert to begin, I drank in all of the times I have been lucky enough to see her perform live. I remember her first big concert return in 1994. 
I remember the live feed of her from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on New Year's Eve.  At that moment, I vowed that if she came to New York, I would do my damnedest to see her. 
One View from last night
Until this tour Barbra had only toured once in 1966, where she cut an initially planned 20 city tour, to 4 dates, due to her pregnancy. 
Although she has sung concerts this was her first tour after a suggested 28 year bout of Stage Fright. This return was a BIG DEAL! At the time, I was performing with a guy who happened to be friends with Roslyn Kind, Barbra's sister. He was able to secure 12th row center seats at Madison Square Garden at a very reasonable rate! I couldn't believe it! I was going to see a woman who had touched my heart throughout my entire life up close. We saw the concert on June 26th, 1994. She was everything I had hoped and beyond.
I last saw her when she did her Back to Brooklyn dates (also at the Barclay Center) in October 11th, 2012. Again, no disappointment! 
When I heard she was returning to Brooklyn as part of her current tour, I immediately wanted to buy tickets. However, they were FAR out of my price range. I kept checking daily to see if the prices came down. I entered the contest on her website.
On the night before she opened her first show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, there was an invited only audience. I felt like Cinderella not being invited to the ball as I saw post after post of my
(photo copyright 20th Century Fox, all rights reserved).
lucky friends who were invited. The green eyed monster took over. I was insanely jealous. 
I followed the posts of all those who were lucky enough to see the previous concerts of this tour in Los Angeles, San Jose, Las Vegas, and Chicago. 
Then low and behold, I got a notice from Goldstar offering more affordable tickets (for me) and I grabbed two. Again, last night surpassed the two concerts for me. Streisand was relaxed, in amazing voice, and it was great to revisit the soundtrack of my life. There are many singers who I love and admire: Judy Garland, Doris Day, Lena Horne, Liza Minnelli, Shirley Bassey. But as I look through the
Courtesy: Rose Apuzzo

Memories, Like the corners of my mind, Misty watercolor memories of the way we were, Barbra is the one constant.

Author James Gavin posted the following today from Sylvia Sims: “The most beautiful diamond, the one that shines the brightest, has a carbon flaw in it. A perfect diamond is very valuable but it doesn’t have any kind of shimmer. The imperfections of life cause you to shine, baby. In the theater we say, use it. If you’re fat, use it; if you’re skinny, use it. If you’re old, use it.”  

Barbra is a once in a lifetime phenomena. I
co-director Richard Jay-Alexander with Barbra in Chicago (Source:
don't think there is one area she hasn't succeeded in. That is another reason I am so drawn to her.

She appeared on the Jack Paar Show two months after I was born and she has been in our hearts, minds, and homes ever since. Barbra, Thanks for the Mem'ries! Here are some of my favorites found on social media just today alone. 

 I know what you’re thinking. So let’s just get it out of the way: Like buttah. Like satin. Like whatever that perfume is that Elizabeth Taylor hawked. Oh, right: White Diamonds. Barbra Streisand sounded like diamonds. And porcelain and a freshly drawn bath and consommĂ©.
-New York Times Review (8/12/16)

On Twitter: Barbra Streisand, leopard-print duds, and cake. What is not to love?(Source: James Grissom)

Fall 1962: Barbra Streisand during auditioning days, while trying out for new Broadway shows.

Barbra Streisand will perform at a Sept. 9 LGBT campaign fundraiser for Clinton in New York. Barbra is slated to croon for the Democratic presidential nominee and her supporters at an LGBT for Hillary event at Cipriani Wall Street.Click HERE for Tickets
One of the MANY highlights from last night: Barbra Streisand Performs 'The Sound of Music' Classic with Jamie Foxx: Watch

The Road To The Music...The Mem'ries...The Magic! (Dates in my lifetime)

AUGUST 1, 1961
Barbra auditions and wins a role in an off-Broadway musical-comedy revue called "Another Evening With Harry Stoones." 

JULY 30-AUGUST 9, 1966 Barbra does concerts in Newport, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago, before retiring at home in New York to wait for the baby to arrive. 

 Barbra Joan Streisand is an album by Barbra Streisand, released in August, 1971 on Columbia Records. It is notable for including "I Mean to Shine", the first recording of a song written by the Steely Dan duo of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The album also features production and backing work by members of the female band Fanny.

Superman is an album released in 1977 .
The single "My Heart Belongs to Me" became a hit in 1977, peaking at #4 on the US pop chart.
The album peaked at number 3 on the Top 200 LP Billboard album chart and on the UK Albums Chart at number 32. It has sold 2 million copies in United States and was certified 2× Platinum

Memories is an album released by Barbra Streisand in 1981. It is primarily a compilation of previously released material, but includes three newly recorded songs. The album was certified 5× Platinum by the RIAA,reaching number 10 on the US albums chart.First released on Columbia, it was re-released under the CBS imprint in 1981 with four additional tracks. In the UK, where it was released as Love Songs, it reached number 1 on the albums chart for nine weeks (seven of them consecutively and it became the UK's best-selling album of 1982, the first album by female performer to achieve it.The album was certified platinum in the UK (prior to multi-platinum awards being given), and 6× platinum in Australia. According to the liner notes of Barbra's retrospective box set: Just for the Record, the album also received a record certification in Holland and in Switzerland.Three previously unreleased tracks, Memory, Comin' In and Out of Your Life, and Lost Inside of You were featured on the album. "Comin' In and Out of Your Life" was the most successful of the new singles, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.

 One Voice is the third live album released by Barbra Streisand. The album was recorded at a benefit concert at Streisand's Malibu, California home on September 6, 1986 and released in April 1987.It has been certified Platinum in the United States and New Zealand for sales of 2,000,000 and 15,000 copies.According to the liner notes of Barbra's retrospective box set: Just for the Record, the album also received a record certification in Australia, Canada, Holland and United Kingdom.

SEPTEMBER 16, 1992
Barbra sings at a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton.


Barbra does post-production on her new album, "Higher Ground," including mixing the duet created for her and Celine Dion, "Tell Him." 

The Essential Barbra Streisand is a two-disc compilation album of Barbra Streisand (her first career-retrospective) released by Sony BMG as part of their Essentials series. Released in January 2002, and drawing from four decades of her work, it includes all but one of her top-ten hits, and most of her top-forty hits. The album was particularly well-received as it reviewed most of her career—throughout its 38 songs, there are 26 albums represented. In addition, it includes two previously unreleased songs—"Someday My Prince Will Come" and a rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone". The album was a big hit. It also went Platinum in the UK and Australia.

Streisand is Barbra Streisand's Fall 2006 North American concert tour. Comprising 26 shows, it was Streisand's first United States tour since 1994 and her first live concert events since her supposed farewell concerts that took place in Las Vegas in December 1999. The 2006 tour also marked the singer's first time playing in Canadian markets.

What Matters Most is the thirty-third studio album by Barbra Streisand. The album is Streisand's collection of songs by her longtime friends Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman. Streisand produced the album herself. The first disc contains Bergman songs not previously recorded by Streisand, while the second disc contains previously recorded Bergman songs.On November 30, 2011 the album received a nomination in the 54th Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.The album sold 68,000 in United States in the first week and a total of 210,000 copies (as of July 2012).

Barbra Streisand, who last year became the only recording artist or group to achieve #1 albums in each of six decades, now brings her legendary live performances to her hometown of Brooklyn on August 11 and 13. Buy Tickets NOW! You will thank me! Concert review: Barbra Streisand at the Barclays Center 

Kevin Mazur/Wireimage for BSB Touring

Barbra Streisand performs at Brooklyn's Barclays Center Aug. 11, 2016. 
Co-Directed by Richard Jay-Alexander and Barbra Streisand
Interesting Footnote: 1976, post production on A Star Is Born
She had just given a party for Bella Abzug at the end of July that year, in Beverly a fundraiser, Barbra was helping raises funds for Bella Abzug's senatorial campaign.
At one point, Barbra said, Screw the senate, it's the presidency.
Campaigning for a woman president in 1976 and 40 years later in 2016.

Sources: The Barbra Archives and Wikipedia and a very special Thank you to Joseph Marzullo

Here's to the future Mem'ries to be created! I'm looking forward to the future chapters of this amazing woman.
Again, Paty attention to what is going on around you. I urge you to READ, RE-READ, and TAKE NOTES! Some history should not be repeated.

As you can see, we have a LOT to be proud of. We also have a lot to be concerned about. Let's all agree to celebrate that pride in each other! 
Please send your suggestions for future blogs to

Thank you, to all mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!

With grateful XOXOXs from YOUR pro-active friend,

Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Dolly Gallagher Levi!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!   

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
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  1. How cool you have been able to see her perform live so many times. She's an amazing talent. I thought so when I heard her first album at 5 years old. I'm glad you got the opportunity to see her. Cheers!

  2. I have loved Barbra Streisand since I was 10. My sister road me around by the beach in CT 68 Camero 8 track of Stoney End. The rest is history. She is a musical genius and also in film. She got me through the good bad and ugly. Inspirational to me in every way. Great role model for all women. She made me strive to be the best I could be and I wish I had 5 minutes to tell her this face to face. I love you Barbra.

  3. FROM DEBI KLEIN A few more thoughts on the Barbra Streisand. concert, and a few more pictures.

    Although my body is physically back in Dallas, my head and heart are still in the Barclays Center in New York. And, I find myself crying when reading more reviews of the concert because they are, not only accurate, but so loving as well. Not all of my friends know how much I love Barbra Streisand, but I have been a fan since I was 10, or maybe even 9 years old! And, this was my first time seeing her in concert! I don't know why I never thought of going before - maybe it was the cost - but this time nothing was going to stop me!

    For two and a half hours I was in heaven! It felt like you were sitting in her living room and she was talking and singing to you. Song after song, memory after memory, joke after joke; Barbara owned the stage and the Barclays Center for two-and-a-half hours. She joked around and told stories. Her singing was still sublime perfection. After two and a half hours of singing, one would think her voice would be getting tired, but then came Climb Every Mountain with Jamie Foxx. It was superb. And just when you thought she wouldn't be able do possibly go on any more, she reached down and pulled out that Barbra stamina and finished this show with such greatness!!
    There are moments you remember all your life and this is one of them. Thank you Barbara Streisand, Richard Jay-Alexander, Marty Erlichmann, Jay Landers and everyone else connected with the show. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for a most amazing, spectacular, magnificent, incredible show.