If all you know about Barbra Streisand is that Lea Michele sang a bunch of her songs on Glee, I’m here to tell you that you’ve been depriving your ears to an unparalleled catalogue of music and a timeless performer. Case in point: Her new album, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, is a triumph; it’s a beautiful addition to Streisand’s countless collection, featuring the iconic Funny Girl singing — and acting — alongside the biggest stars of the day.
True, unless you are a Broadway/Sondheim nut, you’re probably not going to recognize a ton of these songs, but you will recognize the famous duet partners Barbra has chosen to sing with. There’s the pretty and perfect rendition of ‘At The Ballet’ from the smash A Chorus Line, where Barbra shares the mic with Anne Hathaway and Daisy Ridley, aka Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Yeah, got your attention now, don’t I? Yeah, but guess what? It doesn’t end there…
Barbra also sings with Hugh Jackman on a power ballad duet from Marvin Hamlisch called ‘Any Moment Now.’ It’s romantic, it’s sexy, it’s Wolverine serenading Fanny Brice. DEAD. The, skip ahead a few tracks, and you’re treated to Chris Pine‘s soft, sweet voice weaving in and out perfectly with Barbra’s on a musical mash-up from My Fair Lady and Right This Way. You may never turn it off.
Still, there were two stand-out tracks for me, both complimenting the album’s purpose. “The concept came to me when I was sent a version of a Marvin Hamlisch song called ‘Any Moment Now,'” she explained to NPR while promoting the album . “It was such an interesting relationship between a dysfunctional couple, and the dialogue gave me the concept for the rest of the album: I thought, “Hugh Jackman is the one to sing this and play the part of the husband to my wife.” Then I said to myself, “You know, we really need other actors who can sing!'” With that in mind, her duet with Melissa McCarthy perfectly exemplifies Bab’s acting chops. As the pair spar during ‘Anything You Can Do,’ Bab’s is playful, biting and completely in her element, giving a level of sass only a legend can accomplish. But when it comes to the musical highlight of the record, nothing compares to her powerhouse performance of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from The Sound of Music with Jamie Foxx. The song will leave you breathless, with Barbra hitting notes that will make your cry and Jamie sounding his best, on par with his vocal stylings on Ray. Truly, this is an album to enjoy!
HollywoodLifers, will you be giving Bab’s album a listen?