The audience segments were filmed in a small TV studio in New York City just down the street from where Barbra Streisand was performing in "Funny Girl". The audience consisted of about 200 members of Streisand's fan club. See more »
At least 3 times during the "POVERTY MEDLEY" in ACT TWO, the front of the studio camera and individual crew people appear in the mirrors in the Bergdorf-Goodman store scenes. During "Second Hand Rose", the camera shows up in two of the oval shaped counter-top mirrors (screen right)near the beginning of the interior segment @30:24 on the DVD. Next @31:03, a single crew man in a dark suit and bow tie is clearly visible in another counter-top oval mirror (screen right) just as Barbra approaches immediately prior to putting on a very large, heavy necklace from the counter top. Finally, @32:09 a young crew guy with dark hair and an open shirt is clearly visible for several seconds in another oval mirror (lower screen left) as Barbra dances in a big mink coat singing "I Got Plenty of Nothin". See more »
Barbra Streisand in 1964 was still a curiosity, and probably raised more than a few industry eyebrows when CBS signed her to 10-year, $5 million television deal (nothing these days). But more important than that, Barbra and her manager insisted on creative control--and got it. She had this special filmed her way, and for the most part her vision was by turns clever, canny, and incredible. Opening Act I with the title song (not written specifically for her), Streisand races through a classy cast of songs linked with "I'm Late" (from "Alice in Wonderland"!--she even keeps in the line about fuzzy ears and whiskers and "too much time to shave"!); this is a totally charming, if not bizarre, selection--and enjoy it because it didn't make the TWO soundtrack albums released. She slows down for "Make Believe" (which gets perhaps too slow), but the dramatic "How Does the Wine Taste?" is amazing. "A Kid Again" is cute (with Streisand looking tiny in a huge chair--is that where Lily Tomlin got the idea?), as is "Sweet Zoo" ("I'm an alligator--crocodile??--no, alligator!"). "Where is the Wonder" is very cool and elegant, and her "People" number, surrounded by an orchestra who tap for her at the song's close, is stunning. Act II is set in New York City's Bergdof Goodman, with Streisand acting kooky in high fashion get-ups (when she playfully stomps on the mink, the audience watching the tape actually gasps). Act III, before a studio audience (made up of lucky fan club devotees), begins with a powerful version of "When the Sun Comes Out" (Streisand actually looks out of breath at the dramatic close), followed by "Why Did I Choose You?" (probably her best early song), a too-quick "Lover, Come Back to Me" (where she's ultimately drowned out by the orchestra), and a 'Funny Girl' medley. The finale, "Happy Days are Here Again", which reportedly took 12 takes, closes the hour in amazing fashion. Sponsored by Chemstrand (a fiber-making company!), this black-and-white gem moves fast, with jazzy set-ups, terrific cinematography, kicky sets and costumes. They really don't make 'em like this anymore--and that pertains to the special and to La Streisand.
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