Legendary singer Barbra Streisand returns to her hometown of Brooklyn tonight to perform the first of two sold-out concerts at the new Barclays Center. After a run-through of the show last week at Temple University in Philadelphia for friends and family, it was evident that nothing has been left to chance.
“Every single word that comes out of her mouth is in the teleprompter,” one insider who attended the rehearsal told me. “Not just the lyrics to all her songs, but also all the banter between the songs is scripted. It was shocking that when she introduces her son, who comes on stage to sing a duet with his mom, even that is in the teleprompter.”
After forgetting the lyrics to a song during a concert in new York City's Central Park in 1967, Streisand started using teleprompters to make sure it never happened again. In an interview in 2006 with Oprah Winfrey, she revealed that she had also begun taking anti-anxiety medication in a bid to control her stage fright.
“Her exchange with son [Jason Gould] is scripted but charming. She invites him onto the stage and offers him tea or a sweater,” says the insider. “She opens the show with the Andrew Lloyd Webber song ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’ from 'Sunset Boulevard,' except she has special lyrics that reference Brooklyn. At the rehearsal, she made several costume changes and had trouble walking in a few frocks; that will be fixed. She also wanted to make sure the stool she uses on stage was a little higher for tonight. But at the end of the day, she sounded better than ever.”