Watch Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn Friday, Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. on WV PBS
“I love people from Brooklyn. Because they’re real. Down to earth. They tell it like it is.” So Barbra Streisand informs an adoring audience at the opening of her heralded hometown return at the brand new Barclays Center.
Mixing her trademark classics with rarer older material and selections from her more recent albums, Streisand, in her first concert appearance in six years, and backed by a 60-piece orchestra led by William Ross, keeps the capacity house enthralled. In all, she sings 27 songs, nine of which she never before performed live, and three which she sings in different ways; that is, either with different arrangements or with newly composed lyrics.
Streisand masterfully holds the stage for two hours, joined by special guests Il Volo, trumpeter Chris Botti, and son Jason Gould, who thrilled the audience singing solo and in a duet with his mother.
The songs are framed by multi-faceted video montages of Streisand’s childhood and early career. Her alma mater Erasmus High School, the Loews Kings Theatre, the Dodgers, her yeshiva, Brighton Beach and Brooklyn Heights all figure in her reminiscences. The superstar left her fourth-floor apartment at 3102 Newkirk Avenue (one of three residences at which she lived as a child) when she was 16 to pursue her acting career, and the rest is history. She joked that “the last time…(she) sang in Brooklyn was on a stoop on Pulaski Street.”
Throughout the concert, she sings selections from every stage of her career, including “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” (which she sang during her memorable appearance on “The Judy Garland Show” in 1963); “Enough is Enough (No More Tears)” (her disco hit with the late Donna Summer); “My Funny Valentine” (from her 1967 album “Simply Streisand”); and “The Way We Were” (in loving tribute to Marvin Hamlisch who unexpectedly passed away in August 2012).
And then there are songs from her more recent albums like “Nice ‘N’ Easy,” “That Face,” “Some Other Time,” and “Here’s to Life.”
The concert also includes “Make Our Garden Grow” from Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide,” a song she recorded for an unreleased Broadway album in 1988. Here, she’s backed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.