STREISAND: LIVE IN CONCERT 2006  [Blu-ray] [US Import] With the visual and sonic clarity of Blu-ray, this premiere release of Barbra Streisand's Live Concert 2006, is a front row seat to a historic, record breaking performance. Singing many of her most popular hits, as well lesser known selections from her illustrious catalogue, Live in Concert 2006 is a reminder of why Barbra Streisand is considered the greatest female artist of our time.
Artists: Barbra Streisand and Il Devo
Directors: Barbra Streisand and Gary Smith
Producers: Barbra Streisand, Gary Smith, Lara Karchmer and Martin Erlichman
Screenplay: Barbra Streisand and Jeffrey Richman
Music Department: William Ross
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 5.1 LPCM Surround Sound, English: 2.0 LPCM Stereo and English: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish
Running Time: 140 minutes
Region: Region A/1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: HIP-O Records
01. Funny Girl Overture (Original Broadway Version)
02. Starting Here, Starting Now
03. Down with Love
04. The Way We Were
05. Ma Premiere Chanson
06. Evergreen (with Il Divo)
07. My Way (Il Divo)
08. Come Rain Or Come Shine
09. Funny Girl
10. The Music That Makes Me Dance
11. My Man
13. Music Of The Night (with Il Divo)
14. Jason's Theme
15. Carefully Taught / Children Will Listen
16. Unusual Way
17. What Are You Doing the Rest Of Your Life
18. Q&A (with Stoney End)
19. Happy Days Are Here Again
20. (Have I Stayed) To Long At The Fair?
21. The Time of Your Life
22. A Cockeyed Optimist
23. Somewhere (with Il Divo)
24. My Shining Hour
25. Don't Rain On My Parade (Reprise)
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: A singularly impressive concert film, a record of Barbra Streisand's 2006 tour and shot mainly during performances in Sunrise, Florida. Barbra Streisand features a phenomenal late-career performance by the singer-actress and sometimes-director, while the film of the event is co-directed by Barbra Streisand as well and is both intimate and epic, capturing the excitement and synergy between artist and audience exceptionally well. The Blu-ray disc is also impressive, with excellent video and audio, some good extra features, and well-designed menu screens. The show, also known as 'Streisand: Live in Concert 2006' was broadcast April 25 on CBS; this network airing apparently is the reason behind why the Blu-ray's delay in the U.S.
'STREISAND: Live in Concert 2006' is an ideal venue, and ideally suited to the uniquely talented diva. Barbra Streisand clearly is feeding off her fans and in return she gives them one of the best performances of her career. Sixty-four at the time, her voice is still strong if throatier (she still hits those amazing high notes on "People") and her interpretation of the songs' lyrics has the kind of maturity that can only come with age. Barbra Streisand herself jokes about getting older, though she looks great.
The programme opens with the Overture from 'Funny Girl' while onscreen there's a montage of the stage being set-up, and there are brief interviews with excited fans entering the area. (An older couple who saw her perform "Happy Days Are Here Again" when she was 17 wonder if she'll perform it again that evening. She does.) There's also a pretty incredible montage of Big Name celebrities arriving to watch the show (Oprah, Tony Bennett, Stephen Sondheim, Tom Hanks, Bill and Hillary Clinton, etc.) including a brief glimpse of Barbra Streisand's actor-husband, James Brolin.
The stage, intended to resemble a smoky nightclub, apparently, is an odd jumble of railings and platforms and it looks like where they keep the tractor beam on the Death Star, or maybe the kind of labyrinthine line you have to go through to get to those E-ticket rides at Disneyland. Barbra Streisand is backed by a full orchestra conducted by her arranger, Bill Ross. The multinational, operatic pop vocal quartet Il Divo is featured on a couple of songs, but otherwise Barbra Streisand dominates, as well she should. The show is a pleasant mixture of Barbra Streisand hits "The Way We Were" and "Evergreen" and popular standards "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Smile" and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" and songs popularised by others or in other media like "The Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera.
Barbra Streisand sings an excellent "Ma Premiere Chanson," which she co-wrote and confidently performs in French, which I loved with her Je m'appelle Barbra Streisand CD Album, one of her few non-hits. The charmingly goofy "Stoney End," first introduced by Peggy Lipton and apparently something of a cult tune with Streisand fans, is sung during an amusing Q&A break with the audience. The show makes reference to Streisand's activism, though the Blu-ray eliminates entirely a comedy sketch featuring Steve Bridges as George W. Bush. Though it drew a mixed (if mostly positive) reaction from the audience, it's still a shame that it's not included here.
As a songstress, Barbra Streisand really comes alive by "Evergreen," offering an excellent interpretation of "Come Rain or Come Shine" and a heartfelt "Funny Girl," a performance I found vastly superior to the one she did in the 1967 film. "Unusual Way" is another brilliant standout, maybe the best in the show. Throughout the performance, Barbra Streisand is funny and charming, humbled by the warm reception given her. As co-director of the concert film, she strikes just the right balance of song and conversation, of intimacy with her audience, of knowing when to cut away to them reacting her singing, and of knowing when to play with a song and when to leave it alone and allow its melody and lyrics to work its total magical performance.
Blu-ray Video Quality ' The 1080p high-definition encoded image displays a really extremely good quality picture. As with other concert titles in high-definition, being able to see so much more detail and such a wider colour palette, to be able to read the myriad faces in the crowd, to study the orchestra, and to see deep into the eyes of Barbra herself, reading her every emotion, adds an immediacy that the inferior NTSC DVD just cannot provide. The different levels of black can be delineated and combined with the great texture detail makes clear the folds of the fabric in her gown. The gold sparkles and pops off the screen in contrast. The sparkling backdrop and lighting are vivid.
Blu-ray Audio Quality ' The audio is a knockout, with a varied selection of 5.1 LPCM Surround Sound, 2.0 LPCM Stereo and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound track. Optional English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided, but these only appear between songs; the songs themselves are not subtitled, possibly due to publishing restrictions. The menu screens are well-designed, and chapters take the viewer to specific song selections. The audio experience is immersive as the orchestra, the echo of her voice, and the audience ambiance puts the viewer in the canter of the action.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Nobody's Heart (Belongs To Me) / When The Sun Comes Out [1080p] [1.85:1] Last performed by Barbra Streisand when she was eighteen years old, at the Bon Soir in Greenwich Village, New York.
The Woman On The Moon: Final U.S Tour Concert, Los Angeles, 21st November, 2006 [1080p] [1.85:1]
Senza Catene: Performed by Il Divo [1080p] [1.85:1]
Regresa A Mi: Performed by Il Divo [1080p] [1.85:1]
Special Feature: Interviews and Behind The Scenes [1080p] [1.85:1] [6:00] The people behind the scenes are Marty Erlichman, Bill Ross, Jay Landers, Richard J. Alexander, Gary Smith, share their thoughts on the tour, what it means to them, what type of memories it brings back about Barbra Streisand and her music, what it means to work with her, etc.
Special Feature: Interview: The Streisand Foundation [1080p] [1.85:1] [11:00] Executive Director Marge Tabankin talks about her relationship with Barbra Streisand, the star's dedication to help those in need of help, how the foundation came to exist, etc.
Special Bonus Colour Booklet: With this Blu-ray disc you get a really beautiful 8 page booklet that contains different contents, which read as follows: THE CONCERT: Here you get the full listings of the tracks and the bonus extras. IF NOT NOW, WHEN?: Here we get very informative information by Jay Landers  on different comments about what was observed at the different locations of the Live in Concert in 2006. BARBRA: A PORTRAIT: Here we get Jay Landers  talking about why Jay Landers is a massive fan of Barbra Streisand and you get three sections divided into the following headings: ORIGINAL adj; GENIUS noun and ETERNAL adj. Plus there are lots of colourful photos relating to the 2006 Concert.
Finally, fans of Barbra Streisand should definitely take a look at this very attractively priced Blu-ray release. 'STREISAND: Live in Concert 2006' is a really lovely joyous concert film that I am convinced you will enjoy immensely. The Blu-ray disc, courtesy of Universal Music, sounds good and looks terrific. If you have never seen Barbra Streisand before, here is your chance to experience one of the greatest artists of all-time perform. She looks great, sounds great, and proves that she still knows how to thrill a crowd. This is one special night of music to relive over and over, up close and personal, possibly even taking the place of seeing her from a bad seat faraway, at least you get up close and personal. I cannot recommend this enough. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller ' Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom