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Monday, December 9, 2013

Barbra Back in Brooklyn: the DVD

People who love Barbra can now purchase her Back to Brooklyn dvd/cd deluxe set for the holidays and feel like the luckiest people in the world. Doesn't make such a bad gift, either.

Until the opening of Barclay's Center, the borough of Brooklyn didn't really have a venue big enough for a name like hers. But here she is, filmed earlier this year, at this landmark homecoming event. And it is an event (don't say it ain't!) because vintage images over Barbra singing "You'll Never Know (Just How Much I Love You" are intent to drive that home. Literally and figuratively.

"Talk amongst yourselves, I'm getting verklempt," Barbra offers knowingly as she finishes her opening number before launching into a Sondheim tune.

She does have an Act II costume change into vibrant red, flaunting quite a bit of cleavage. I love Babs because she thinks she's like buttah when she's frequently like brass, juggling classy versus tacky in her choice of material. "I love Brooklyn cuz we tell it like it is," she says honestly. "Maybe because we have no manners."

Though, at 71, her voice is perhaps not just quite as lustrous as it once was, it is still an incredible force of nature beautifully controlled.

She does turn out her disco hit, "No More Tears," originally recorded with Donna Summer, plus sings with guests Il Divo and nepotistically with her son, Jason Gould. (See what I mean by "tacky"?)

She gives us "The Way We Were," touchingly, and saves "People" until late in the show, followed by a lovely "Here's to Life" (a holiday fave), and caps it all off with her classic arrangement of "Happy Days Are Here Again."

Well, here's to Barbra, one of our generation's finest divas, on her triumphant return to Brooklyn!

Available at Barnes & Noble and, and wherever fine music is sold.

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