Barbra Streisand – O2 Arena

Barbra Streisand performed at the O2

Barbra Streisand performed at the O2

Barbra Streisand performed at the O2 on June 1 and 3.

Something of a miracle happened when Barbra Streisand succeeded in turning the cold and unwelcoming atmosphere of the O2 into an intimate family reunion. Where else but at this venue are you denied to move to better empty seats at intermission since you paid hundreds of pounds to get in anyway? One can only wish that Streisand might one day play venues like the Royal Festival Hall, London Coliseum or the Royal Albert Hall, which would be better suited to the intimacy of a family affair like the one we were treated to.

Backed by an amazing orchestra and in terrific voice, especially compared to her 2006 Paris concert, Streisand gave it her all during a two and a half hour programme, starting with an energetic ‘On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)’ and closing Act I with a Gypsy medley, maybe hinting at her potential movie project. Yes, she would truly deliver as Mama Rose, made obvious by her renditions of ‘Rose’s Turn’ and  ’Some People’. Other highlights were a moving tribute to Marvin Hamlisch with ‘The Way We Were’ and the Act II closing ‘Make Our Garden Grow’ from Candide, complete with a large backing chorus, and all her guests joining in. ‘Some Other Time’ from On The Town was another excellent encore choice, as were the rarely reprised tracks ‘Woman in Love’ and ‘No More Tears (Enough is Enough)’ which gave this neat concert an additional punch.

In the guest department, it was a real treat to see Streisand united with her sister Roslyn Kind in the duet ‘Smile’. On her own, Kind sang an electric rendition of ‘The Best is Yet to Come’, but it was obvious Streisand’s heart belonged to her son Jason Gould, who surprised everyone with his amazing voice in a moving interpretation of ‘Misty’, as well as his own composition and a duet with his mother, ‘How Deep Is The Ocean?’ All in all a worthy and satisfying evening with some magical moments and a classy, warm and chatty Streisand, still vocally impressive.

Patrick Honore

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