Not many deserve to be called iconic. Lincoln? Yes. XTina? Not so fast. Caitlyn Jenner? No Way. But exceptions will be made for Barbra Streisand, who returns with a new Netflix special this week.
Streisand has taken to the streaming network rather than to undertake another tour. The show, titled, Barbra: The Music … The Mem’ries … The Magic! bowed on the service last Wednesday and takes a more intimate look at the star of stage and screen who has been a household name longer than most of her audience has been alive.
It’s rare to see her so revealing, since the singer/actress/director has typically let her work speak for itself; she’s notoriously controlling when it comes to how her voice, face and work are displayed as well. And, believe it or not, she has horrible bouts of stage fright and abandoned live performing for nearly three decades after forgetting her lyrics at a 1967 show — when the Beatles were still in their psychedelic stage.
She wants it to be known that there’s a difference between being a diva and a perfectionist, and says that at this juncture in her life, she has no plans to resume stage work. She’s said farewell to concert performance before only to return, but this time she says she means it, calling the preparation and execution simply “exhausting.”
Overall, the 75-year-old star says she prefers the solitude of the studio, where she can create the sounds she hears in her head without worrying about costumes, lights, travel and all the variables that can swirl around a rigorous touring schedule.
In a sit-down with the Associated Press, Streisand says she considers recording “a private thing,” and that she’s “just too vulnerable. It’s too hard for me. I wish I loved it. There are so many performers who perform practically the whole year, you know, 200 or 300 days a year. They love it. And I wish I felt that way.”
The documentary presents Streisand exactly the way audiences have come to love her — in her words, attempting “to inhabit each song, you know, as an actress. I try to think of the whole (special) as the producer/director. I try,” she muses, “to be very honest with my audience.”
Read about the New Streisand Book Becoming Barbra
Last modified: July 26, 2019