Aguably one of the finest voices to grace any venue in the last fifty years,
Barbara Streisand's status as one of the most successful singers of her generation is even more remarkable when one takes into account the
fact that she mostly veered away from rock and roll, staying with picture perfect ballads and show tunes. Also notable is the fact that Ms. Streisand used her voice as a springboard for a endeavors such as stage and film actress and
One Voice is a concert film that first saw life as an HBO exclusive; Streisand used the event- her first live concert since 1972- to vocally protest against nuclear arms buildup in the Reagan era, at a time prior to the conclusion of the Cold War. Erecting an elaborate stage in her own backyard (which opening comedian Robin Williams tags as "Camp Barbara")with tickets going for $5000 a pop. Planned at the time as a fundraiser for
Democratic candidates, the concert has raised more than $7 million in profits that have been channeled through the Streisand Foundation to
charities committed to anti-nuclear activities, human rights, civil liberties, and the preservation of our environment. Footage of the
attendees make it clear that some considerably big show business names were willing to shell out the cash in order to be a part of the event; stars such as Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer-Sager, Bruce Willis, Glenn Close, Don Johnson and Goldie Hawn are shown in the audience as well as arriving and gushing
excitement over getting to see Babs performing live.
Hest is a setlist of the show-
Robin Williams: Camp Barbra with various celebrities
Send In The Clowns
Over The Rainbow
Guilty (with Barry Gibb)
What Kind Of Fool (with Barry Gibb)
Papa, Can You Hear Me?
The Way We Were
It's A New World
Happy Days Are Here Again
America, The Beautiful
The song lineup is pretty safe. I'll go so far as to say I've heard Streisand better, but seriously, does Barbara EVER sound bad? She does seem a bit tense at the onset of the show but relaxes as she reacqaints herself with the process of performing live. Some people may not care for the duets with Barry Gibb- coming from the 1980 album "Guilty", (they have since done a second 2005 album, "Guilty Pleasures") but I grew up in the era and was particularly fond of the more upbeat, looser material she released in that period. Give Babs a break- after all, this is a concert that took place in 1986, so the material is timely given it's vintage. Also on display here is a fine take on "Papa can you Hear Me?" from her wonderful film, "Yentl"- wrongfully snubbed come Academy Award time, she
nails the theme song here. The same goes for the Marvin Hamlisch written theme song from "The Way We Were", a hit that became her first number one single and won an Oscar.
Say what you will about Barbara, her radical politics and the fact that
she has on several occasions used her notoriety in order to voice her
personal opinions, mostly anti-Republican in leaning. There are many
hostile to her because of her outspokenness, and in the years since
concert that has only flourished. Babs came to this stage after many
years away from live performance, and gave us a night worth her
considerable vocal renown.
Does she get preachy here? To a point, certainly- that was the reason
for the concert to come to be to begin with. To Streisand's credit, her
opinions never get in the way of the music nor her performance
throughout the hour. One could hear far less majestic voices than
Barbara Streisand's one could hear closing out a show with "America The
Aspect ratio here is 1.33:1 fullscreen; for the most part the picture is good, if not exceptional; a bit softer than I would like to have seen, but colors appear to be well represented.
Again, while the audio track is nothing to write home about, there is a sufficient degree of depth and clarity and it should please most
A curious period piece clocking in at 68 minutes,One Voice is a decent showcase for Barbara Streisand and her song catalog up to that date. While there could easily have been more material, it was Babs' first foray back to live performance at the time, and the pieces she does perform here are for the most part splendid. If you're a fan of Streisand's work,
this is a no brainer to add to your collection. Recommended.