Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Stealing

1) What do you think is the best costume for Halloween? I once had a boyfriend who refused to get into an elaborate costume for a Halloween party, saying he'd feel "silly." I told him he'd stand out more by not dressing up. We went round and round on it and finally he promised me he'd appear in a costume that wasn't "silly." So I was surprised when he picked me up wearing the same brown sports coat and tie he'd worn to the office that morning. Then I saw he'd pasted a badge to his lapel: HELLO! My Name Is: Rob Petrie, New Rochelle PTA. (Richie's Dad). I thought it was genius!

2) What would an alien think of humans if it came to Earth on Halloween? They might feel right at home among their own.

3) Who would you haunt? I'd like to observe my best friend without him being able to see me. I want to know how he's really faring through this period of unemployment. I worry about him.

4) Are you afraid of the dark? Nope

5) Do you pass out candy, or hide with the lights off? Neither. I simply won't be home in time. Trick or treating ends at 7:00 in my town.

6) What scary movie do you like best? Psycho

7) If you had to wear a costume for a week, what would you be? Harpo Marx. I think the horn would be a most effective way to get my point across.

8) What do you think about Ouija boards? Not a big believer.

9) Have you ever told ghost stories around a fire? Sure. I was a Girl Scout.

10) Trick? or Treat? Treat, please.

11) Have you ever been in a haunted house? Only at the amusement park.

12) What would you do if you saw a ghost? Depends on the ghost.

13) Question 13, should we have skipped this and jumped to 14? Nah. I'm feeling brave.

14) Are you brave enough to walk into a grave yard after dark on Halloween? Absolutely

15) Do you like chocolate? what kind: I have never met a kind of chocolate I didn't like

16) Who would look better in a clown costume? Obama or Romney? HONK! I hate this question. One of these men is going to be our Commander in Chief and they deserve more respect than we're giving them.

17) Are you in the path of Frankenstorm?   Nope

18) Post a link to any other blog:  Blogblast for Peace. My peace globe is ready to go. What about yours?

Not enough!

So I saw my beloved Babs on Friday night and -- after spending hours and hours with Bruce Springsteen and Sir Paul (who is only 2 months younger than Streisand) -- I was a little disappointed. Her show was considerably shorter, had what I felt was an annoying amount of filler, and she left me wanting to hear so much more.

On the other hand, whereas The Boss and his lordship are singer/songwriters, she is purely a singer. We were there to hear That Voice, live and in person. Perhaps this is what she needs to do to preserve that amazing instrument. I heard people around me discussing how both Madonna and Cher "sweeten" their live performances by lip synching to pre-recorded tracks. There is no doubt that I was hearing Streisand -- live and unfiltered.

She is not a tall woman and the United Center ("The Madhouse on Madison") is a cavernous place. And yet she filled it with her presence. She literally ascended from the floor and walked toward the front of the stage, singing "On a Clear Day" and she took my breath.

Just as I was moved by how many young fans Sir Paul attracted, I was touched by how many women younger than me brought their little girls to see Streisand. Young ladies under 10, all dressed up, clutching their Barbra souvenirs in one hand and Mom's hand in the other. I was reminded that Babs is a singer but so much more. She's a feminist icon in the true, old school sense. (I'm getting verklempt!)

1) On a Clear Day
2) Nice 'n Easy/That Face
3) Didn't We
4) Smile (with Il Volo)
Il Volo performs here
5) No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
6) The Way We Were/Through the Eyes of Love
7) Rose's Turn/Some People/Don't Rain on My Parade
8) Guilty
9) Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered*
10) What'll I Do? (with Chris Botti)
Chris Botti performs here 
11) Lost Inside of You
12) My Funny Valentine
13) Evergreen
14) How Deep Is the Ocean? (with Jason Gould)
Jason Gould performs here
15) People
16) Make Our Garden Grow/Somewhere
17) Here's to Life
18) Happy Days Are Here Again (with Roslyn Kind)

*My favorite moment

This is by no means an exhaustive or official set list. It's just what I remember, and I'm posting it here so I can help myself remember this fabulous evening.

I also must remember NOT to drink champagne. It seemed to right, so special, to be sipping bubbly while watching Babs. But it gives me a bitch of a headache every time. When will I learn?

As the lady herself said, it was "family night in Chicago." Her son, Jason Gould, sings well and is much better looking than I recalled. (He had a part in Prince of Tides.)  Her sister, Roslyn Kind, got the suicide mission of singing Garland's part on the "Happy Days/Get Happy" encore. For me, it was a completely unsuccessful way to close the show.

Except for this -- Garland's voice failed her toward the end of her life and she was dead at 47. Whitney Houston had been called The Voice and she's gone, too. The "Happy Days/Get Happy" duet reminded me that Streisand is still here, still looking and sounding terrific, and that should be celebrated. We spend so much time wringing our hands over tragedies that I don't think we fully enjoy the successes in our midst.

The only thing better than seeing Streisand is seeing Streisand at age 70. The woman who has been teaching me through her work and her example for the last 40 years still inspires.

Photo credit: The Chicago Tribune