Legions of Streisand fans commemorated the anniversary of the 1968 film ― starring Babs as legendary singer-actress Fanny Brice and based on the 1964 Broadway musical ― with screenings and online tributes. On Saturday, performer Steven Brinberg will pay homage in his signature way, performing as Streisand at The Green Room 42 in New York.
HuffPost got a sneak peek at Brinberg’s performance with the above video. In it, he croons the classic “Funny Girl” ballad, “People,” which remains a Streisand concert staple.
But Brinberg is not your average celebrity impersonator. The New York native, who describes himself as “ageless and evergreen,” has performed as Streisand for 25 years, toured with legendary composer (and Babs’ longtime musical director) Marvin Hamlisch and appeared in films like 2003’s “Camp” and 2016’s “Thirsty.” He’s also recorded two albums, “Steven Brinberg Is Simply Barbra” and “Simply Barbra: The Duets Album,” both dedicated to the Streisand songbook.
“Barbra is in a class all her own,” Brinberg told HuffPost. “She’s so unique and opened the doors for so many great ladies that came after her, from Bette Midler to Lady Gaga. I love that she can just stand there, sing and draw you in, like Peggy Lee or other great artists who don’t run all around the stage to make you pay attention.”
As to why Streisand remains a queer icon after six decades, he said, “She has done so much for the community ... she was among the first to speak out and do something when it wasn’t popular.”
Though Brinberg has yet to meet Streisand in the flesh, he’s come pretty close, attending an intimate 1986 concert held on the grounds of Babs’ Malibu, California, home. That show, which featured performances of songs like “The Way We Were,” “Happy Days Are Here Again” and, of course, “People,” was captured for posterity on the 1987 live album and television special “One Voice.”
If he ever gets the chance to shake hands with Streisand, who is currently at work on a new album and a memoir, Brinberg would ask her when she plans to release expanded soundtracks for two of her other films, 1969’s “Hello, Dolly!” and 1970’s “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.”
The rest of their prospective conversation, he said, would be more personal.
“I’d love her to be in the audience sometime,” he said. “She’d like it! And give me tips, too, I’m sure!”
“Simply Barbra: Steven Brinberg Celebrates 50 Years Of ‘Funny Girl’” plays New York’s Green Room 42 on Sept. 22.