Monday, August 31, 2009

The Drama Drop -

Barbra Streisand may make amazing music, but she rarely listens to it.

"I don't understand today's music," Streisand acknowledged in a recent LA Times article. La Streisand added that she does enjoy some contemporary artists. "I saw John Mayer recently. My God, what a great guitarist and singer, but I don't turn on music. I listen so much when I am making a record. . . . I get so tired of music."

"I can't relate, [to today's music]... I guess the society is getting somehow angrier and angrier and less from the heart. It's sad. You know we are living in very hard times. We are living in fear and anger, and that is represented by the music."

Love Is the Answer, Streisand's first album since 2005, is set to drop on September 29th. It marks the first time that the Oscar-, Emmy-, Tony- and Grammy-winning Streisand has worked with award-winning Canadian jazz artist Diana Krall and her combo. Streisand acted as Executive Producer while Krall produced the album.

Barbra Streisand will celebrate the release of Love Is The Answer by singing selections at New York's legendary Village Vanguard on Saturday, September 26, where she last performed in 1961.

Can't wait to hear it. To read the full LA Times interview, click here.

For more information on how to get tickets to the Village Vanguard show, please visit La Streisand's website... but, you gotta play to win!

[Photo - Barbra Streisand. Getty Images.]

If you know of someone who hasn't every experienced opera... first, smack them over the head. Then, have them read this quaint and charming article from The Sacramento Bee.

Although I believe that many things in it are a little far fetched - for example, the author Edward Ortiz likens going to the opera for the first time as "going into battle" ... the more preparation you do, the better the outcome. - it does give a lay-person's background of opera. In addition, it gives a few pointers on etiquette and potential show choices.

Liza Minnelli played the Hollywood Bowl this weekend and critic Charles McNulty wrote a review that is almost as spastic as one of Liza's performances. One difference - we can forgive Liza because she's at least entertaining.

Not sure whether he wants to give her a thumbs up or give her the ol' heave-ho, McNulty vacillates between applauding her legend and complaining about her well-broken-in manner of performing.
...the only thing that remained intact was her singular genius for being "Liza." And that was more than enough to galvanize the vast majority of the Bowl's audience, who cheered her on in the knowledge that this diva’s act is a two-way street — the more audible the adulation, the more likely she’ll rise to some semblance of her former greatness... But the love fest couldn’t undo the shock of Minnelli's careening unsteadiness
What I'd like to ask McNulty is how he thinks HE would do - outside, in the smoggy California heat, draped in sequines, under the lights, while trying to dance and sing?

Chances are ... not very well.

And get this, at one point he says:
Vocally, Minnelli could never hold a candle to her mother, Judy Garland, a truth reconfirmed by her nonetheless rousing “Palace Medley.”
For shame. This is like comparing a Cadillac to a Lincoln. This is like comparing COACH to Louis Vuitton. It's completely unfair. Judy Garland died when she was 47 years old and Liza is currently performing at 63. We don't know what shape Judy would have been in if she had lived to 63. Given Garland's propensity for hard living ... well, need I continue with that thought?

What McNulty does say that I cannot help but agree with is
Basking in her presence is all that’s needed to beckon the ghosts of a more glamorous theatrical past. Which brings to mind an indisputable truth: If Minnelli didn’t exist, show queens would have to invent her. Long may her razzle-dazzle, fabulous even when faded, live on.
For the full, yet disconnected, review - click here.

[Photos- Liza Minnelli at the Hollywood Bowl. By Stefano Paltera for The Times]

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