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92 of 97 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Whether it was nostalgia or just a great idea to promote her new record with Diana Krall, Barbra's one night at the Village Vanguard, a 123-seat, 74-year-old jazz club in Greenwich Village, captures an intimate example of her ability to connect with an audience. I live in NYC, but wasn't lucky enough to attend. However, I got to see Ms. Streisand in 2006 at Madison Square Garden and was front and center as a kid at Arizona's Sun Devil Stadium in March 1976 when she put on a one-day concert event to film for her "A Star is Born," film. In both cases, the audience of thousands just shut up and listened when she sang. In the case of Sun Devil Stadium that included a lot of drugged out teens and adults there to rock out to Peter Frampton and other acts.

Here she scales back her famous voice and personality to fit the venue and gives back to her fans a sample of what it was like in the early '60s to have heard her sing in one of the many nightclubs around the US where she got her start. Along the way, she covers a few of her standards, but more importantly some others that are not so famous, but equally great. "Spring is here," which she once sang on the Tonight Show is a highlight. Just a beautiful song of hope, love and loss. She's in great voice here and hits some amazing notes. If she misses a couple of others, who cares? She certainly goes for it on several songs like the "Way We Were." That's part of the experience of seeing someone live. I think it's good she didn't clean everything up too much in post-production. And what makes her so great is her ability to act songs.

Along the way, she introduces the rich and famous who attended, along with the lucky contest winners. This include President Clinton, his wife, our Secretary of State, Nicole Kidman, SJP, Donna Karan, and her husband, James Brolin. She also introduces or is introduced by, a lot of people who where or are old friends and have stayed with her for almost 50 years. One of the things that comes across about Ms. Streisand is her incredible loyalty to the people who are loyal to her. She doesn't say much about it, but she also uses her talent and resources to support multiple charitable causes through her own foundation. She puts her money where her mouth is. No matter what you think of her politics, Barbra Streisand tries to make the world a better place. If we were all as socially conscious, the world would be a much better place.

So, if you're just a casual fan thinking this might be a boring paint-by-numbers event that was thrown together to promote her album, you'd make a mistake not to buy it. It's just like being there in the audience. It was a master-stroke by Ms. Streisand to do this and making things that are old entirely new again. Oh, and she also looks nice.

And to the person who said her husband looks bored - sorry, I honestly don't know what you're talking about. An amazing young actor named Ashton (HBO's The Pacific, and A History of Violence) Holmes sits to his right during the performance, by the way.

Overall, the evening presents an eclectic mix of people and songs. The star likely planned it that way and comes up with something her fans will love and even casual fans will really enjoy. Now, if she will just consider making another movie or two worthy of her great talent ... :)
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I love Barbra -- have for years. "Love is the Answer" is one of my favorite of her recent albums. But there were moments in this new Streisand DVD that took even this ardent Streisand fan by surprise. Her voice has always been a combination of technical amazement and an actors' instinct of time and place. All that is in abundance here -- an actor in an intimate space, surrounded by more peers than fans and with no BS allowed. You can fully see Barbra "sensing" it -- that vibe that says "Be real." That's what makes this DVD one of her greatest performances. It has a roughness in both voice and intimacy that excites. Her career, always a balance of commercial success and artistry, is in full view here. I urge you to share this DVD with your friends, your children and especially anyone who wants to be in "The Show Business" because here is captured an exciting record of countless years of fame, awards and acclaim distilled in a small New York club, with sensational songs, marvelous musicians, and that rarest of all things -- an artist in her prime and still fully in her game. Brava Barbra!
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 24, 2010
Format: DVD
Of course we're all writing in advance of the release of this DVD or DVD/CD combo; but before her single or double CD was released last year, I found, here on AOL, that I was able to view five of the selections from her new album in this venue now being released as a DVD. It was magic seeing and hearing her; she looked lovely and seemed quite at home in the intimate setting she chose to present her new work. At that time I anxiously awaited the release of the double CD that is now in my collection. Today, as I write this, Barbra is celebrating her 68th birthday. While I'm sure we fans wish her many more, what a body of work she has to look back on from over the last forty-five or more years! My favorite Barbra has always been her presentation of the standards; the songs she covers on this new DVD don't disappoint. Very low-key, seldom straining a voice that doesn't quite do what it did when she was nineteen, she can still just send shivers down one's spine..."Some Other Time" is a good example of her causing this reaction from me. This gorgeous Leonard Bernstein classic is immediately claimed by Barbra as hers alone. And what a kick to have her, at least on the CDs, drawing on the talents of Diana Krall as Barbra takes a new direction in her recording. Diana is a favorite of mine, and I was thrilled, prior to the release of the album, to read the two were working together. I hope it's not the only time they do this. Anyhow, my pre-order is in...but just for the DVD, for the CD will simply be near-identical to the album(s) I already own. I love watching Barbra as she sings. And, in the intimacy of the Village Vanguard, she once again shines before an audience.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2010
Format: DVD
This is an extraordinary DVD or rather a nightclub performance film, with the bonus CD containing every second of music from the glorious September 2009 evening in NYC. While I wasn't in attendance, with this film, I felt like I was in the room with Barbra and her 100 or so guests. You'll experience every expertly mixed sound amidst a wonderfully engaging and stylized capture of the minutes before, during, and after the show. Barbra's voice is as good as its been lately, showing the sublime breath control and sustain at the end of soft notes which conclude many numbers. Seems she could go on and on and on. The band, led by wondrous jazz pianist Tamir Hendelman, offers Barbra magical musical support. She's often witty, engaging in frequent banter and humor, showing little nervousness and great joy with the room's incredible warmth. So watch the DVD time and again, and listen to the CD in your car and/or import to your MP3 player to surround yourself with this eventful Village Vanguard performance by Barbra Streisand.

CD Track Listing:
Intro. by Marty Erlichman and greetings by Barbra
Here's To Life
In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
Gentle Rain
Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
If You Go Away (Ne Me Quitte Pas)
Where Do You Start?
Nobody's Heart (Belongs To Me)
Make Someone Happy
My Funny Valentine
Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
Evergreen (Love Theme From A Star Is Born)
Exit Music
Some Other Time
The Way We Were
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I just got my pre-ordered DVD - and I am verklempt! This is an intimate and magical performance. One Night Only is one of a kind. Barbra looks great and sounds better. This performance is special to me because it took place on my 50th birthday - whihc marked 40 years of me being the greatest fan of the greatest, greatest star.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2010
Format: DVD
What a Rare Treat To See Barbra Streisand going back to her roots where it all began for her, at a small Intimate club in NYC! I Love the Way that Barbra takes Old Standard Classics that have been done over and over again and makes them her own! I felt that with each song in this concert, it was like I was hearing it for the first time! her voice has never sounded better and she seems so Comfortable in such an Intimate Setting. I am thrilled that Barbra released the DVD/CD for her fans and the price at $13.99 is such an Amazing Bargain!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2010
Format: DVD
What a sublime treat this DVD is! Barbra unplugged; so real, natural, funny and so brilliant. Yes, the voice is now rough around the edges on occasion--though not often, and her pure, sweet bell-like head tones are essentially intact, as is apparent on "Bewitched" and "The Gentle Rain." To say she doesn't look, sound or act her age--approaching 70--is a grand understatement. She has always innovated and pushed down barriers and is now doing it for "seasoned citizens," without making a big deal about it. The Vanguard show is pure Streisand and it just doesn't get any more compelling. In a day when so many singers over sing, over ornament and are overproduced, these pared down exquisite performances can stand as a textbook for aspiring singers of all generations, assuming they are blessed with otherworldly talent and taste to begin with.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2010
Format: DVD
A wonderful experience. Probably my favorite of all her live performance disks; such a pleasure to watch.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
I'm driving my poor room mate crazy with what he sardonically calls my "Barbra karaoke." His bedroom is one thin wall away from the table where I have my laptop and watch DVDs. And I cannot watch this wonderful DVD or listen to the accompanying CD without at least humming along -- although often I am so overwhelmed with the wonder of this release that I cannot help but burst out in song. Barbra Streisand as revealed in this intimate package is hypnotic indeed, and I am so thankful that she had this event recorded and is sharing it with her fans. I love so many things about her -- her Jewishness, expressed as she says "l'chaim" at the conclusion of "Here's To Life," to her wonderful story about Marlon Brando. If there is one minor irritant in the program it is Miss Streisand's talking over the brilliant piano play of Tamir Hendelman. Other than that, I find everything about this release quite fabulous. The song selection is superb, and her haunting rendition of "My Funny Valentine" stunned me. Her magnificent talents as an actress are evident in her performance of "If You Go Away." This is simply one of her finest offerings, and one that I cannot stop watching, listening to, singing along with.

Oops, there I go again, bursting out in song, and the poor fellow one thin wall away is trying to sleep. I shall cover my mouth and whisper the words, although my heart sings loudly and lovingly.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2010
Format: DVD
Pushing 70, Streisand's voice is not what it once was. It's still a voice of unmatched radiance and skill, but the 68 year old Barbra is not the 28 year old Barbra. That said, the only valid question is "Is she still an unparalleled singer and unrivaled star?" The only valid answer is a resounding "yes!" It's easy to be great when you have the greatest voice in popular music. It's amazing to maintain the magic and brilliance when one becomes a mere mortal. Barbra does it.
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