“Timeless” Concerts (1999-2000)

Staples Center

Los Angeles, California

September 20—21, 2000

Streisand's note to fans in concert program

(Above: Barbra's note in the concert program)

L.A. Credits:

Streisand in black sequined outfit

When it was announced that Barbra Streisand would perform “final” concerts in California and New York, the advertising tag line was: FOUR LAST PERFORMANCES, TWO BIG CITIES, ONE LEGENDARY VOICE.

Final Newspaper ad

The official 7/19/00 press release for these concerts said:

Barbra Streisand, whose "Timeless" concert in Las Vegas last New Year's Eve established the all-time single performance box office record, will do two concerts at Los Angeles's Staples Center (September 20, 21) and two more at New York's Madison Square Garden (September 27, 28) which her management confirms will ring down the curtain on one of the greatest... and rarest... personal appearance performing careers ever.

Martin Erlichman, the artist's career-long manager, stated, "Ms. Streisand has chosen to conclude her public performance career in the two cities most closely associated with her work."

Seats were priced in four categories: $2,500, $1,275, $375, $150.

Conductor and friend Marvin Hamlisch was not on board for the L.A. and N.Y. shows. “I did the Millennium concerts with her and then Australia, but I won't be doing her last ones,” Hamlisch advised Mitchell Fink in the New York Daily News (7/31/00). Hamlisch added, “All good things come to an end. I wish I could be there. It's sad for me.”

With director Richard Jay-Alexander on board (he restructured the Second Act), and music director Bill Ross replacing Marvin Hamlisch, the set lists for these last four shows followed closely what had been sung in Las Vegas, with the Second Act differing slightly from the Las Vegas shows.

Jay-Alexander told BarbraNews that they had to hire a new girl backup group, due to the unavailability of the original backup singers, a new choir, and a new tap dancer. He explained that there were “two Overtures written—the legit version, and also a tap version, which featured Savion Glover originally. We had hired the hottest new classical dancer in New York for Overture ONE and when I got to L..A., it was decided that the TAP Overture was going to stay intact. I panicked and had to find a new tap dancer….fast! I came across Mark Mendonca. He was great, and by sheer luck just happened to live across the street from me in L.A. and had done the tour of Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk. Perfect.”

The cast, crew, and original set were reassembled at Culver Studios for a short rehearsal period with Bill Ross and orchestra.

Set List from September 20—21, 2000 Staples Center, California Shows

Act 1

Scenes from Staples show

Act 2

Encores

Copper colored costume

Barbra wore a copper-colored, sequined version of the Act One pantsuit. And in Act Two, the voluminous gowns from Las Vegas were replaced by a simple, off-the-shoulder, sequined top over a black skirt — with a slit that showed off her leg!

Black sequined dress

Mark Iskowitz wrote these wrap-ups about the “final” shows in 2000:

Notes from 9/20/2000 Staples Center, L.A. Concert

Barbra's Stage Patter

Celebrity Attendees: John Travolta (introduced by Barbra) & Kelly Preston, Pierce Brosnan & Keely Shaye Smith, Lucy Liu, Salma Hayek, Jane Krakowski, Leann Rimes & Andrew Keegan, Burt Bacharach (introduced during "Alfie" intro), Neil Diamond (introduced), Orson Bean (introduced prior to "Cry Me A River"), Jeff Bridges, Ray Stark (introduced during "The Music That Makes Me Dance" segment), Sidney Poitier, Sydney Pollack, Kevin Spacey, Sherry Lansing (seated next to James Brolin), Helen Hunt, Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell, Anjelica Huston, David Foster, Noah Wyle, Harry Hamlin, Christine Lahti, Sela Ward, Courtney Cox Arquette, Calista Flockhart, Sugar Ray Leonard, Sally Kellerman, Jackie Collins, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Josh Brolin & Minnie Driver, Bill Maher, Roseanne, and James Brolin.

wide view of the Timeless stage and jumbotron

Notes from 9/21/2000 Staples Center, L.A. Concert

Streisand at Staples Center

Barbra's Stage Patter

Celebrity Attendees: Front row center were James Brolin with daughter Molly and son Josh, Jack Nicholson & Lara Flynn Boyle, Elizabeth Taylor, Roger Clinton. Other notables included Dustin Hoffman, Lauren Bacall, Barry Manilow, Quincy Jones, Carole Bayer Sager, Michael Crawford, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Julianna Margulies, Renee Taylor, Angie Dickinson, Barbara Sinatra, Dick Clark, Debra Messing, Dick Van Dyke, Ellen DeGeneres, Blythe Danner, Charlene Tilton, and, for the second consecutive night, Alan & Marilyn Bergman.

(Below: An audience photograph from close to the stage. Courtesy of Gustavo.)

Streisand points to audience

End.

Credits for this page: Many thanks to Mark Iskowitz for sharing set lists and concert details; I've borrowed heavily from his Barbra Streisand Music Guide Timeless pages—with Mark's permission.

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