Barbra Streisand's CBS
television special. "Streisand Live in Concert" received Emmy
recognition today with the nomination of its musical director, Bill
Ross. Ross's nomination (in the category of Outstanding Musical
Direction) was the show's one and only Emmy nod. Ross conducted for
Barbra during her world wide tours of 2006 and 2007. He is also
responsible for orchestrating the musical arrangements that are masterfully
presented on the live album.
Ross will be competing for two Emmys this year. In addition to his
work on "Streisand Live In Concert," he is nominated in the category
of Outstanding Music and Lyrics for The 81st Annual Academy Awards
telecast. In 2007, he won his only Emmy to date for Outstanding
Musical Direction on the 79th Annual Academy Awards show.
Barbra Beats Jim in Ratings Battle
total viewership, Barbra beat all of her competitors, including
husband James Brolin who was appearing opposite her on NBC's "Law
and Order." With the exception of "48 Hours" (also on
CBS), Barbra's concert was the most
watched show of the night on any of
the four networks.
Streisand Live in Concert
Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets
OK, to be totally fair, we must admit that the James Brolin "Law and
Order" episode was a repeat. A win, however, is still a win.
Congratulations to both James and Barbra,, a.k.a. Mr. and Mrs.
Television, for collectively dominating the airwaves last night.
When Barbra spoke about her first
television special at the 1965 Emmys,
she said, "I couldn't believe the
amount of people that watch you in one
given amount of time, let's say an
hour which was my special. I figured
it out and I'd have to work in the
theatre in "Funny Girl" 58 years to
reach the same amount of people.'"
math still applies. More
people were tuned in to watch Barbra
on CBS last night than have ever seen
her perform live - that includes every
performance she ever gave in the
theatre and every live nightclub,
concert or benefit fundraiser she ever
sang at throughout her entire career
That ought to be good enough to sell a
Returns to CBS in Hi-Def
April 25, 2009
a while since Barbra Streisand's first television special for CBS
was broadcast. Back in 1965, "My Name Is Barbra" was taped in
glorious black & white and became a ratings blockbuster and multiple
Emmy winner. Some forty-four years later, Barbra is still the
darling of CBS television. This time around, Barbra's most recent
television special was shown in superb wide screen hi-definition, a
first for a Streisand TV broadcast.
CBS television special, "Streisand Live In Concert" featured a
selection of performances from her 2006 concert. The special was divided into four
separated by commercials, some of which promoted the upcoming DVD
release of the complete concert. For the
TV special, less than half of the numbers Barbra performed during
the actual concert were presented:
to "Funny Girl" (slightly edited)
Starting Here, Starting Now
The Way We Were (in memory of Sydney Pollack)
Evergreen (with Il Divo, minus their dialogue with Barbra)
When the Sun Comes Out
Carefully Taught/Children Will Listen
Don't Rain On My Parade (reprise)
Barbra's dog Sadie even made her network television debut in some
off-stage footage and on stage, taking a curtain call with Barbra. Most
noticeably absent from the CBS line-up were two Streisand
signatures: "People" and "Happy Days Are Here Again." The hilarious
Q&A segment (and "Stoney End" performance) was also omitted. And the
elusive George Bush sketch remained hidden away as well.
Overall, we were quite satisfied with the CBS offering.
Excluding commercials, approximately forty-five minutes were allotted for an overall concert that,
in reality, lasted over two hours. Still, CBS managed to put together a very nice "cliff
version of the show. Recognizing that video sales are financially
lucrative (as opposed to a one-time television broadcast), the CBS special
was really a well constructed "teaser" and a seemed a great way to actually market sales of the concert's DVD and Blu-Ray
releases. To further entice people into buying the DVD, the commercials
during the broadcast featured cuts
from some of the songs not in the telecast.
So, having received a substantial
taste of the concert this evening (especially in Hi-Def), folks
will no doubt be heading out to their local retailers on Tuesday to purchase the
Mr. and Mrs. Brolin will be starring opposite
each other on competing networks this evening at 8 PM. While
CBS is airing "Streisand Live in Concert" tonight, NBC will be
broadcasting "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" with guest
star James Brolin. So who will win when Barbra and James go
head-to-head in the coveted battle for TV ratings? More
importantly, which station will the Brolin household be tuned
to at 8 o'clock? Stay tuned for the results.
The Blu-Ray Review
two years in the making, the newly released Blu-Ray
version of Barbra Streisand's spectacular performance in Florida,
2006 is simply breathtaking. There are three elements that combine
to make this the absolute best home video experience of any
Streisand release to date: Barbra's monumental performance, the
seamless editing, and the extraordinary high definition production
value offered on Blu-Ray.
Blu-Ray is the cutting edge in home video technology that offers
near perfect high definition viewing (provided you have the required
home equipment). This is the first Barbra Streisand title offered on
Blu-Ray, and you'll be amazed at the quality of both the video and
audio. With Barbra performing her concert in high definition, you'll
experience a Streisand visual odyssey that you've never known
before. The crispness of her vocals is matched by the uncanny detail
you are treated to with each frame. The colors of her wardrobe jump
from the screen, her jewels sparkle brightly, and Barbra's every
close-up is the definition of a master artist's brush stroke.
The show has the look and feel of an actual film rather than just an
ordinary video taped performance. The stage and musician's pit are
so beautifully lit that you'll feel like you're sitting fifth row,
center. And the lighting accents Barbra so beautifully as she
navigates her way around the cavernous stage.
Barbra's performance that evening stands out as one of the best of
her 2006 tour to be sure. Nearly every moment from the actual
concert is presented, from her exciting collaboration with Il Divo
on "The Music of The Night" to her encore performance of "Smile"
(with her dog, Samantha). The "Ask Barbra" segment is included as
well as she offers up some great one-liners in response to audience
The best number, after watching the concert on Blu-Ray, is, hands
down, "Somewhere." Yes, it is one of Barbra's standard numbers, but
it was so well conceived for this performance. The masterful way it
was captured on film, meticulously edited and dramatically lit made
it the standout performance of the entire disc.
The concert connects Barbra with her audience in a way that has
never before been captured on video. With the house lights on,
Barbra was able to see her audience in full view the entire duration
of the show. She was in synch with her public, and she enjoyed every