When Barbra decided to give one last major New Year's Eve concert (and subsequent mini-tour), she had a very tough act to follow: Herself! Barbra's 93/94 concerts are one of the best things she has ever done in her extraordinary career, and trying to stage another show must have been very difficult. Not surprisingly, she more than succeeded in giving fans a phenomenal show that managed to give the previous show a run for it's money.
Even more autobiographical than the last time, there were sketches detailing past events from Barbra's life, reminisces with friend Shirley MacLaine, and Barbra's poignant reflections on the father she never knew. However, the main event of evening is defiantly the music, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Once again, the song selection features a good number of surprises (especially "Alfie" and "The Main Event/Fight," neither of which had ever been performed live by Streisand before). Barbra's voice is noticeably thinner now when she enters the very highest part of her range, but she still sounds amazing - her gorgeous tone and incomparable timbre are indeed timeless! The smoky performance of "Cry Me A River," the vocal spender displayed of the terrific "Something Wonderful/Being Alive" medley, and the gorgeous rendition of "Send In The Clowns" are just a few of the highlights in a show overflowing with highlights.
TIMELESS was also released in audio format as a beautifully-packaged two-CD, but there are a lot of references to particular visuals that may be confusing to those who haven't actually seen the show. If anyone were trying to decide between buying either this DVD or the CD set, I recommend that they go with the DVD. Though there are no real extras (just a discography), the DVD's picture and sound quality are stunning, and the menus are well-designed. Though the CD version is the only place to find the performance of the previously unreleased song "Simple Pleasures" (an adequate song written by Marvin Hamlisch and the Bergmans), this DVD is the way to really experience the "complete" show - visuals and all. I thought it was impossible for Barbra to top her '94 concerts, however she came awfully close to doing just that. TIMELESS is another triumph!
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