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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hello, Gorgeous! Barbra Streisand Turns 70

Rosie O'Donnell's  appearance on today's "Today" show was her first TV appearance since the Oprah Winfrey Network cancelled her ill-begotten series. After getting into an argument with "Today's Professionals" fellow panelist, Donny Deutsch(bag), Rosie, just before the segment wrapped up, interrupted  to wish Barbra Streisand a happy birthday. "Can I just say it's Barbra Streisand's 70th birthday today?" O'Donnell asked. A relieved Matt Lauer laughed and said ok. "Happy Birthday, Barbra Streisand!" O'Donnell yelled excitedly.

And so it is. Barbra's birthday. Not any birthday. 70th fucking birthday! Can you believe?

Per Huffington Post, "The singer and actress has two Academy Awards, five Emmys, eight Grammys, a Special Tony and a Peabody.... She went on to record an astounding 33 studio albums and appeared in 20 films. She has been featured on 47 soundtracks"

For 70, she doesn't look bad by any standard. But, as my mother used to remind us, "Neither would I if I had her money." First, she was a Funny Girl, then she was a Funny Lady, now she's a Funny Alta Caca! Still, I gotta say, "Hello, gorgeous!" as I celebrate, tonight, with some Streisand music and maybe some Manischewitz wine!

When I lived at 12 Fifth Ave. in the Village, I'd give friends the Babs tour. The Lion's Den on West 9th St. (off 6th Ave.), where she got her start, was the first stop. It's now a restaurant called The Lion, but was a very popular, largely gay cabaret. Then, we'd go to the site of the old Bon Soir on 8th St., now shuttered down. Here, at this once chic location, Streisand was famously discovered. She was an opening act for Phyllis Diller.


"We shared a dressing room at the Bon Soir club in Greenwich Village. It was the size of a pea pod and usually you could smell fear in there. But she wasn’t a bit nervous – at least not that I noticed," Ms Diller once told US magazine. "I admit, I was unimpressed when I first met her. She was so young. She said hello, and that was it. She told me her shoes were antique and they cost her 35 cents. But then she went out and did her numbers and when she hit about the third note, every hair on my body stood up. It was unbelievable. She opened with ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf,’ and I thought, Oh, my God, what a fabulous choice. She also sang Harold Arlen’s ‘A Sleepin’ Bee,’ which really showed off that voice. It was scary. I knew she was going places. At the end of the week, I said to her, “I know it’s bold to say this but don’t you ever cut your nose.” I knew lousy, insensitive agents would come along and say, ‘Hey, baby, do this, do that.’ Now everyone takes credit for telling her not to get a nose job, but I had her first."

Here's a dance-music video to help you celebrate Babs' 70th:

 
 

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