Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Barbara Streisand

Dr. Bob Prescribes Funny Girl

Funny Girl, Barbra Streisand, and the Critics The famed Pauline Kael spent much of her review of Funny Girl in The New Yorker identifying what she called the film’s “weaknesses.” Roger Ebert, writing in Chicago Sun-Times on October 18, 1968, thought that: “The film is perhaps the ultimate example of the roadshow musical gone overboard. It is over-produced, over-photographed and over-long. The second half drags badly. The supporting characters are generally wooden.” According to Richard L. Coe, writing in The Washington Post, Funny Girl was: “Overdone . . . a long, trippy bore.” Renata Adler, writing in Barbra Streisand’s hometown newspaper The New York Times on September 28, 1968, found the movie “condescending and patronizing,” the critical meaning of which we can only guess. Despite all of this critical negativity, Funny Girl was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture (which it did not win; the best picture Oscar that year went to the musical Oliver!, which had been nominated for an astounding nineteen Oscars). Of its eight nominations, Funny Girl garnered but one Oscar, for Barbra Streisand as Best Actress. In fact, it was Streisand’s performance that carried the movie, a fact impossible to ignore whatever was the […]

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Music History Monday: A Voice Like Buttah!

We mark the birth on April 24, 1942 – 81 years ago today – of the American singer, songwriter, actress, and filmmaker Barbara Joan “Barbra” Streisand, in Brooklyn, New York.   But first, before we get to the magnificent Babs, a brief but spirited edition of “This Day In Music History  . . .” okay, “stupid” is too strong a word, so let’s just call it, “This Day In Music History . . . Dumb.” On April 24, 2007 – 16 years ago today – the American musician, actress, singer, and songwriter Sheryl Crowe (born 1962) declared on her website that in order to help the environment, the use of toilet paper should be limited to: “only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required.”  We cannot help but wonder precisely what “pesky occasions” Crowe might be referring to.  Additionally, we must assume that Ms. Crowe’s proscription again TP overuse was intended to be voluntary, as the issues surrounding enforcement are, indeed, troubling. Sheryl Crow’s environmental concerns extended, as well, to what she deemed to be the profligate use of napkins. She went so far as to design a […]

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Music History Monday: Everyone Should Have a Hobby!

On February 27, 2018 – five years ago today – Barbra Streisand (born 1942) revealed that she had cloned her dying dog Samantha (nicknamed “Sammie”) twice.   (No jokes here about Ms. Streisand singing “Send in the Clones.”) The revelation regarding the Samantha’s clones was made during an interview published in Variety five years ago today.  Samantha was a rare, curly haired Coton de Tuléar, a breed of small, white-haired dogs named for the city of Tuléar in the African island nation of Madagascar.  According to Kristine Lacoste, in an article published on the website Petful entitled Five Things to Know About Coton de Tuléar: “This breed is thought to have originated from a group of small white dogs that swam across the Malagasy channel following a shipwreck.” When Streisand’s Samantha (or should we say “Samantha Streisand”?) lay on her deathbed (blanket?) in 2017, Babs realized that she: “couldn’t bear to lose her.  I had to continue her DNA. There were no more curly-haired Cotons like Samantha — she was very rare. In order to get another I had to clone her.” In an article published in The New York Times on March 2, 2018, Barbra Streisand explained her decision […]

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