Barbra Streisand

MGM Grand Garden Arena, Nov. 2

A true music fan’s bucket list only needs two items: See Babs perform in the flesh and get your tits autographed by Lemmy from Motörhead. I checked off the former over the weekend, surrounded by aging, Broadway-loving, mostly liberal Las Vegans. They came out strong for (a noticeably teleprompter-assisted) Funny Girl and were rewarded with an outstanding show. Bringing her Back to Brooklyn tour to a venue she christened in 1993, Streisand, 70, dazzled. Her vast orchestra kicked off with instrumental versions of “You’ll Never Know” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” as images of Babs growing up in Brooklyn shuffled on giant screens. She walked out, radiant and shiksa-blond, wearing a black two-piece top over a sequined gown and stunned with a shiningly rendered “On a Clear Day.” It was followed by “That Face” and a Rodgers & Hart-penned staple no one else should sing again, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.”

Stage banter bordered on Obama worship during a Q&A session. (The audience had been invited to drop questions into a box on the way in.) “Do I prefer reality TV or fantasy shows? Fantasy. Like Fox News.” Har! Politics aside, music was central and littered with stars and family. Opera-pop ensemble Il Vilo joined her on “Smile.” Chris Botti tooted his trumpet on “Emmanuel.” She honored composer Marvin Hamlisch, who died in August, by singing two of his tunes, the best songs she ever did, “The Way We Were” from the movie of the same name, and “Through the Eyes of Love” from Ice Castles. After a 25-minute intermission, Streisand finally rose from beneath the stage in a caped, empire-waisted red gown to singe hearts with “My Man.” Then she did two of her originals—“Lost Inside of You” and “Evergreen” (from A Star Is Born). Her son, Jason, arrived to duet “How Deep Is the Ocean.” Her sister, Roslyn, encore-duetted “Happy Days Are Here Again.” And we all left the Garden with our proverbial buckets filled after experiencing a legend. ★★★★☆



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