Written by Senora Bicho
Barbra Streisand is someone that I have always wanted to see in concert; however, the ticket prices have always kept me at bay. Streisand: Live in Concert 2006 provided an opportunity to learn what I have been missing.
The concert begins with a “Funny Girl Overture” featuring the 58 musicians who accompany Barbra. Interwoven with the music are interviews of the extremely diverse fans that are in attendance. It provides a great sense of the feeling at the show and creates great anticipation for her to appear. I got the chills and must admit that tears came to my eyes when she took the stage. From there, all of my expectations were exceeded.
The range of songs performed during the show is expansive. She sings well-known favorites such as “Evergreen” and “People,” but also belts out obscure numbers like “Unusual Way” and “Cockeyed Optimist.” My favorite song of the show is one I had never heard before called “Ma Première Chanson” and hearing her sing in French is absolutely fantastic. Barbra performs 22 songs but there are so many more she could have included I wish it would have gone on for many more hours.
Aside from the amazing music and vocals, the stage set-up is extremely impressive. The stage is 360? and allows Barbra to reach more of the audience. There are tables, chairs, and flowers set up in multiple places providing a very homey feeling. She is very comfortable on stage and you can tell that she is really having a good time. She talks between each song, providing historical information about the music along with personal tidbits. For example, when talking about selections from Funny Girl, she explains what is happening at the moment that the song takes place in the story and its significance. In addition to educating the crowd about the music, she also wants the chance to share a piece of herself. She even takes some time to answer questions from the audience. While it is obvious that the questions are pre-selected and she likely has some pre-written adlibs, it still provides a chance for her to make a connection and establish herself as a down-to-earth person. Her politics are part of who she is and while she does make several political comments, she never does anything that would alienate “non-liberal leaning” viewers.
The bonus features include two additional songs from Barbra and two songs from her special guest of the evening Il Divo. There are also behind-the-scenes interviews and information on The Streisand Foundation.
The 1080p high definition presented 16x9 displays a really great picture. The different levels of black can be delineated and combined with the great texture detail makes clear the folds of the fabric in her gown. The gold sparkles and pops off the screen in contrast. The sparkling backdrop and lighting are vivid.
The audio defaults to PCM 2.0 and is also available in PCM 5.1 Surround. The audio experience is immersive as the orchestra, the echo of her voice, and the audience ambiance puts the viewer in the center of the action.
If you have never seen Barbra Streisand before, here is you chance to experience one of the greatest artists of all-time perform. She looks great, sounds great, and proves that she still knows how to thrill a crowd. This is one special night of music to relive over and over, up close and personal, possibly even taking the place of seeing her from a bad seat faraway. I can’t recommend this enough.