People who need Barbra will only have to wait to September, when Barbra Streisand will sing farewell concerts in New York City and Los Angeles, two cities she is most associated with due to her Broadway and Hollywood successes.
Reuters reported July 19 that Streisand's manager, Martin Erlichman, announced that the 58-year-old singer-actress "has chosen to conclude her public performance career in the two cities most closely associated with her work." She will play two final concerts at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Sept. 20-21, and two at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Sept. 27-28.
Tickets will go on sale through Ticketmaster July 30 for the L.A. shows and July 31 for the Manhattan gig. The Brooklyn native who made good in boites, on Broadway, in the recording industry and in Hollywood, has had a lifelong fear of public performing, but triumphed in several "event" concerts in the 1990s (including appearances in a handful of cities in 1993-94, and Dec. 31, 1999, and Jan. 1, 2000, concerts in Las Vegas).
The fall appearances in L.A. and New York were hinted at as early as January, but not confirmed until now.
Streisand played cabarets and bars in the early 1960s and then landed a choice featured role in the Broadway musical, I Can Get It For You Wholesale. She leaped to stardom as Fanny Brice in the Jule Styne tuner, Funny Girl, in 1964. She moved to film work (reprising the Brice role twice, in "Funny Girl" and its sequel) but never lost her association with show tunes and characters who sing. On film, she was Dolly in "Hello, Dolly!," Daisy in "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," and the title character in "Yentl," a major directing-acting coup for her.
Among her many albums are two devoted to show tunes. Her 1994 concerts and the New Year's 1999-2000 appearances were rich with theatre music.
-- By Kenneth Jones