As the name suggests, it is a celebration of the songs of the legendary singer Barbara Streisand. It is not an impersonation or life-story, rather a showcase of the songs of Streisand. Between the songs, Pulman tells facts about Streisand including her first recording at age 13, her audition at 18 and being cast in the Broadway musical Funny Girl at the age of 21, a the role that would lift her to stardom. I have definitely come away knowing more about Barbara Streisand then I did before.
Pulman is an acclaimed singer, comedienne and one part of the comedy trio Fascinating Aida. This performance comes after the launch of her double A-side single, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers/The Way We Were. These songs were originally written and sung by Neil Diamond and covered by Streisand before becoming a duet between the two.
Pulman and Musical Director Joseph Atkins have taken Streisand’s songs and have created new arrangements and orchestrations. Given the scope of Streisand’s work not every song can be performed in the time frame of 90 minutes. Classics performed included: Evergreen, The Way We Were, Second Hand Rose and Happy Days are Here. Carol King’s You’re Got A Friend, Randy Newman’s I’ll Be Home and Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind all featured. The jazzy Don’t Rain on My Parade opened the night with the encore being the thought-provoking People (Who Need People). The achingly beautiful You Don’t Bring Me Flowers was a favourite of the night.
Pulman’s ability to belt out the high notes and sustain them is showcased during many of the songs. Six years of opera training is very apparent in this area of her vocal talent. Her energy was also apparent during the faster-paced songs. Despite this Pulman took a sip of water at the beginning of nearly every song and fiddled with her earrings a little too much which was distracting.
Stardust Ensemble, Pulman’s six-piece band, was extremely talented. Piano, accordion, drums, percussion, bass, guitar, trumpet, saxophone and clarinet all feature. As a clarinetist myself I particularly enjoyed listening to this beloved instrument.
Liza Sings Streisand is touring the UK on selected dates in November 2017 and in March 2018. For more information on dates, venue and prices please see the links below:
Written by Caitlin Neal