I first saw Steven Brinberg as Barbra Streisand at the Metropolitan Room October 2006. I was amazed by his vocals, simulating Streisand down to the tiniest inflection. Close your eyes and you hear Babs singing. Open your eyes and you see Babs singing. Mr. Brinberg looks strikingly like Streisand right down to the fingertips. Literally. It’s an amazing impersonation.
To quote myself – “Having been weaned on the recordings of Streisand and a most ardent fan – lo these many, many years – I hesitated to see a male impersonator of my favorite super star. Well, was I in for a surprise. A very pleasant surprise. The ninety minute show is an uncanny and loving tribute to Barbra’s voice, her mannerisms, her nails, her ego, her unique phrasing, intonation, diction and, of course, her humor. Steven Brinberg, at times, IS Barbra. And that is no small accomplishment. No detail goes unnoticed – down to her simple diamond wedding band. The voice is almost as good and sometimes an eerie duplication of the diva herself. I was amazed. He even got the final “t” in “but” in Our Love Is Here To Stay.”
In May 2007 Steven was kind enough to be interviewed as both Streisand and himself in honor of the release of his new CD “Simply Streisand – the duets album” – which I have just listened to – It’s sublime. What a glorious recording. Steven still has all his powers of impersonation intact. And he sings songs that Streisand never recorded, songs that she probably wished she recorded and some of her all time super hits – including “One Less Bell To Answer/A House Is Not A Home” where she sang the ultimate duet – with herself. I wish Steven had taken on the challenge of singing both parts. But he has a wonderful partner – Debbie Gravitte – singing this powerhouse arrangement.
“When In Rome” with Kaye Ballad is outstanding. Karen Mason, Alix Korey, Hugh Panaro, Betsy Joslyn, Heather MacRae, Mark Sendroff, KT Sullivan, Claiborne Cary and Mimi Hines who replaced Streisand in Funny Girl on Broadway all do a wonderful job. Favorites: “At the Ballet” “The Other Woman” “Why Can’t I Walk Away” and “I Wish I Were In Love Again”. Well, I am in love again with Steven Brinberg as Barbra. Even if he wasn’t singing as Streisand this would be a must have recording. He’s that good.
His next New York appearance is March 20th at BAM Café in Brooklyn. www.SimplyBarbra.com