Friday, November 24, 2006

The Vegas Experience: Barbra

What can I say? Two and a half hours of pure magic. The woman managed to make the 16,800-seater MGM Grand Garden Arena seem like an intimate supper club. Honestly, dear reader, I'm no rabid Barbra fan, in fact, prior to this concert, I had just one - not terribly good - cd of hers. But I grew up hearing her voice on the radio and seeing her movies - including the stupendous "Funny Girl" - on tv, with the result that I know nearly all of her early repertoire. And being a hopeless romantic, "The Way We Were" has always been one of my favourite films. So for me it was an added bonus that this concert was all old-skool Barbra, nothing more recent that "Evergreen" - apart from "The Music of the Night" from "The Phantom of the Opera" with Il Divo. She's described herself as "an actress who sings" and that's what these early songs are all about - theatre. Numbers like "I Stayed Too Long at the Fair", "People", the exhilarating "Don't Rain on My Parade" - to hear THAT voice sing them live, complete with those trademark soaring notes, well, it's indescribable. She even sang a song in French from "Je m'appelle Barbra" - "one of my least successful albums, it's just gone gold after 42 years" - and poked fun at herself in the process (let's face it she can afford to!). I didn't want it to end. And yes, when she sang "Somewhere" from "West Side Story" I had a tear in my eye. It was a concert that I'll always remember, and it's not often you can say that. For more about Barbra, read this.
P.S. The audience was just as amazing. Not since the 1980s have I seen so much big hair and so many shoulder pads.


Reluctant Nomad said...

Someone is having too much fun!!

I've always had very mixed feelings about Streisand but she does have an amazing voice.

When are you back on this side of the Atlantic?

rhino75 said...

Am back and am even back at work today ;{ (sniff!) But you're right, it was great fun!!