Streisand—Back to Brooklyn

Back to Brooklyn title logo

Broadcast on PBS November 29, 2013

  • Executive Producers: Barbra Streisand & Martin Erlichman
  • Produced by: Scott Lochmus, Eileen Bernstein
  • Directed by: Scott Lochmus
  • Written by: Barbra Streisand, Jay Landers, Richard Jay-Alexander, Jeffrey Richman
  • Edited by: Guy Harding
  • Concert Directed by: Barbra Streisand and Richard Jay-Alexander
  • Music Director: William Ross
  • Stage Designer: David George
  • Lighting Design: Peter Morse
  • JMD Supervising Producer: Elyse Katz
  • Associate Director: Stefani Cohen
  • Stage Manager: Tom Ucciferri
  • Concert Audio Recorded, Edited, & Mixed by: Dave Reitzas
  • Music Supervision by: Jay Landers
  • Ms. Streisand's Wardrobe Designed by: Donna Karan
  • Assistant to Ms. Streisand: Renata Buser
  • Ms. Streisand's Hairstylist: Soonie Paik
  • Tour Script Supervisor: Amy Shaughnessy
  • Additional Assistants to Ms. Streisand: Monique Impagliazzo, Kim Skalecki
  • Assistant to Mr. Erlichman: Tracy Quinn
  • As If We Never Said Goodbye — Special Lyircs by Jay Landers & Charlie Midnight
  • Through the Eyes of Love— Special Lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman
  • You're the Top — Special Lyrics by Jay Landers & Charlie Midnight

Streisand in front of the Brooklyn audience

Streisand's heralded hometown return at the brand new 19,000-seat, billion-dollar Barclays Center, Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn aired on PBS’s Great Performances series as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival. This edited version of the full-length Columbia DVD ran 3 hours on PBS (including several pledge drive breaks to raise money for the station.)

Idina Menzel on PBS

Idina Menzel: “Us Jewish girls from New York, we have a bawdiness about us. She was first album I ever owned—A Star is Born—I was five [...] Being a belter, having that kind of range is great and it's fun to sing that kind of music, but it's not everything, you know. She doesn't have to do that in every song. She can sing the most delicate, fragile piece and touch you the same way.

Closeup of Idina Menzel

On performing for Streisand at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors: “I was asked to sing Don't Rain On My Parade which is like the hardest song to do—she doesn't breath ever. And when you're nervous it's hard not to breath. It went great. I just told myself I wanted to be somewhat in my body and have the experience and not be so flustered that I don't know what happened to me, so it's pretty good.”

Richard Jay Alexander on PBS set

Back to Brooklyn's co-director, Richard Jay-Alexander, talked during two segments:

“Working with and for Barbra over all these years—actually since back in 2000—I really wish everybody could have the experience I have. She's a unique creature, but she's so smart and so talented, obviously. But I like her so much. I always say this to her, ‘I like you so much, I always forget how talented you are.’ Her voice is so identifiable. She is the biggest star of our lifetime especially in all the vernaculars: whether it's directing, producing, the intelligence. Her passion—which is probably the one word I would equate with Barbra Streisand— it's unparalleled. She's passionate about everything she does. And also her truth.”

Chris Botti and Barbra

Talking about Barbra and the show they put together, Jay-Alexander said:

“Well her truth is her truth. I hate the words journey and arc. But there's no other way to describe an assemblage of what you do. You have to look at the body of work: all the recordings, all the films, all the stuff, how people fell in love with her, their favorite movies.

“She's still got information for us, she's still got gifts to share.”

PBS host and Richard Jay-Alexander

Again, about Barbra in live performance mode:

“First of all, she wants to put on a great show, she actually cares about the show she wants to put this great production for people,” Richard Jay-Alexander explained.

“She's a life force. I love watching that, I love watching her perform.”

Close up of Richard Jay Alexander

In the second pledge break segment, when asked if Streisand is bossy and opinionated, Richard Jay-Alexander answered:

“Not to me she's not. The thing I love about Barbra: She speaks with tremendous clarity. Tremendous clarity. And I get it. She's mint. She's like a silver dollar. She's so sharp and tight and good. I love that. I love crossing T's and dotting I's, I love good diction, I love commas. We get along very, very well, but I also honor her accomplishments, I honor her craft, I honor her skill set.

“If I could explain one thing to the audience it's how much she cares. She really wants to give the audience a good show. There's been so many other concert tours and television specials that you want to make it unique. So now this Barbra Streisand Back to Brooklyn special is exactly what it's supposed to be for right now.

“What you see is really what she's laying out there. Every necklace every jacket every costume fitting it's done because it's right. It just feels right.”

SONGS PERFORMED:

Streisand at the mic

Emmy Nomination

End.

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