Barbra Streisand's second television special, consisting of her singing and doing comedy skits.

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Nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Barbra Streisand's second television special, consisting of her singing and doing comedy skits.

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Comedy | Music

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30 March 1966 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The concert was one of the first to be filmed in color. The technology was so new that when two of the three cameras broke immediately prior to the show, there were no parts available to repair them. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kathy Griffin Is... Not Nicole Kidman (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

C'est si bon
Music by Henri Betti
French lyrics by André Hornez
English lyrics by Jerry Seelen
Performed by Barbra Streisand with Michel Legrand and his Orchestra
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Draw me a circle
20 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After the across-the-board success of MY NAME IS BARBRA, CBS television permitted Barbra to create an even more elaborate follow-up as her second special. Streisand wisely knew, in order to follow in the ground-breaking success of MY NAME IS BARBRA, that her second special would indeed need to raise the bar even further in inventiveness and spectacle. Not surprisingly, she succeeded once again. Even more impressively, Streisand managed to mount this large production without sacrificing the intimacy and vision of MY NAME IS BARBRA.

Once again, the special is divided into three distinct Acts. Filming on location at Bergdorf Goodman's department store was so successful in the first special, that Streisand and company decided to film on location once again for the first Act of this second special. The decided-upon location this time was the Philadelphia Art Museum, which would allow endless chances for Barbra to "enter" different art works that would correspond with the songs being performed. In addition to the numerous artistic possibilities that this location made possible, the museum would offer the perfect opportunity to take advantage of filming in color.

After the recording of "Draw Me a Circle" that is set against the opening credits, Barbra then dashes around the museum in a maid costume to the strains of Kern and Harbach's "Yesterdays." She stops to admire various paintings and statues, often becoming the character that is depicted and singing a thematically appropriate song. Streisand performs a bittersweet rendition of Hammerstein and Romberg's "One Kiss" as Thomas Eakin's CONCERT SINGER, delivers a hilariously campy performance of Chopin's "Minute Waltz" as Marie Antoinette, embraces abstract art with the frenetic rhythm of Peter Matz's "Gotta Move," and performs a wrenching rendition of "Non C'est Rien" as a distraught Modigliani girl. The high point of Act I, however, is when Streisand compares profiles with the bust sculpture of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, while singing a tour de force rendition of Rogers and Hart's "Where or When." The Act II circus medley allows Streisand to interact with various farm and circus animals, while singing various songs with farm/circus/animal themes. Some highlights include Barbra singing "Were Thine That Special Face" to a baby elephant, performing "I've Grown Accustomed to that Face" as a serenade to a piglet, the campy "Sam, You Made the Pants to Long" sung to a group of baby penguins, and Barbra comparing profiles with an anteater while crooning "We Have So Much in Common." Streisand also swings on a trapeze and leaps from a trampoline to the chorus of "Spring Again," and then slows things down by performing a haunting version of "I Stayed Too Long at the Fair" while seated alone on stage. Barbra also gets the chance to show off her pet poodle Sadie in this segment, and even speak a little French.

The Act III concert is once again the high point of the hour. Dressed in a slenderizing white wool dress, the concert segment is performed on a uniquely-designed stage with a partial staircase that leads nowhere. Streisand opens the Act with a sultry rendition of Harold Arlen's "Anyplace I Hang My Hat Is Home," before launching into heartfelt versions of the familiar standard "It Had to Be You" and the rarely-heard "C'est Si Bon (It's So Good)." Streisand then really amazes the audience with a breathtakingly powerful, octave-soaring performance of the Sweet Charity ballad "Where Am I Going," of which Streisand delivers the definitive rendition of. Streisand also introduces the then-newly written Richard Maltby, Jr.-David Shire ballad "Starting Here, Starting Now," which contains an impassioned vocal from Streisand that ranks among the very best vocal performances of her long career.

More than anything else, Color Me Barbra was a showcase for Streisand's ever-increasing, mega-watt star power. Despite the presence of even more visual razzle-dazzle, Streisand herself is always the main attraction. Her voice sounds as beautiful as ever, and this special was the first to showcase how strikingly she photographs in color. As with MY NAME IS BARBRA, COLOR ME BARBRA was another rating-smash and spawned yet another Top-Five, Gold-selling soundtrack album. Simply put, COLOR ME BARBRA defies tradition and emerges as a sequel that is nearly on par with a classic original.


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