Adoring fans lined up outside the Village Vanguard on September 26, 2009, chanting “Barbra, Barbra” as they awaited Barbra Streisand’s arrival for a one-night performance. Those attending the event included Nicole Kidman, Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton, Sarah Jessica Parker, and James Brolin, as well as many who have known Streisand professionally and personally in the years since the start of her career in the early '60s.
The last time Streisand performed in Greenwich Village was 1962. Styles have changed and those of us who were around then are just a wee bit older. Time has been kind to Barbra, she looks great and her voice is strong, although more mellow and mature. Her performance at the Vanguard was accompanied by piano, bass, guitar, and drums.
With a small audience in a small room, Streisand entertains the audience with memories and patter, sometimes speaking directly to audience memories. Thirteen songs from that performance are included on the DVD/CD set, One Night Only – Barbra Streisand and Quartet at the Village Vanguard.
Streisand combined some of her biggest hits (“Evergreen,” “The Way We Were”) with classics (“In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Make Someone Happy,” “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”), and other songs from her repertoire that are not as well known or which she never recorded (“Nobody’s Heart [Belongs to Me]”) to create a special, fan-pleasing show.
The first four songs are a warm-up to the sensational “If You Go Away (Ne Me Quitte Pas),” in which Streisand hits her stride. With this song, her audiences (live and CD/DVD) bond with her performance. After more than 40 years, her rendition of “My Funny Valentine” still stirs, and she gives “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” an ironic interpretation—somewhat wistful, somewhat rueful.
Now approaching 70, Streisand the woman is still the Brooklyn girl. She is also still the political activist, campaigning for the Clintons from the stage. Her effusive praise for the entire Clinton family is the introduction to “Evergreen,” Bill Clinton’s favorite Streisand number.
One Night Only – Barbra Streisand and Quartet at the Village Vanguard is sure to please die-hard Streisand fans with its mix of music and nostalgia. Appropriately, Barbra closed her set with “The Way We Were.” Memories…
The DVD and CD in this set include the same songs; the DVD extra is "Vanguard Vignette."