In a recent interview on WNYC's The Leonard Lopate Show, Oscar, Tony, Grammy, and Emmy winner Barbra Streisand, who returns to the concert stage in May, spoke about her award-winning career and revealed how fellow stage and screen legend Liza Minnelli once helped her battle with stage fright.
In response to Lopate’s query about her long break from touring, Streisand explained, “I don’t like live performances. I’ve always had a bit of stage fright…I forgot my words in front of 150,000 people in Central Park…I remember it was a traumatic moment to go blank and I wasn’t charming and cute about it. And it just stopped me from performing. For 27 years I didn’t sing and charge. I only did it for free for fundraisers. That’s all.”
When asked what brought her back to the concert stage, Streisand said, “What brought me back was I saw Liza Minnelli sing in a living room. And I was a guest and I thought, ‘My God, look how she gets up and sings in front of these people…with the lights on.’ I have to have blackness when I sing, so these arenas give me the blackness. I can’t perform. I’m just very uncomfortable performing live. This tour, I’ve been told that people say I’m the most at ease…and in a sense I am. I’m the most grateful. I’m grateful that people still come to see me.”
Streisand will offer two concerts in May in New York, featuring songs from her new album, ENCORE: Movie Partners Sing Broadway.
The entire interview with Streisand can be accessed by clicking here.