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Steven Brinberg On...Simply Barbra

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Barbra Streisand Impersonator Steven Brinberg writes and stars as Simply Barbra which is updated annually as he travels the globe with the show. This year he appears with Marvin Hamlisch and the Symphony Orchestras of Dallas, Milwaukee, Buffalo and Norfolk. Prior appearances with Mr. Hamlisch include one with Barbara Cook and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and another at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh. He recently narrated the New York City Gay Men's Chorus concert at Avery Fisher Hall, written especially for him by Terrence McNally. That program was also seen in Seattle.

Brinberg has performed at Stephen Sondheim's birthday concert at the Library of Congress; at Carnegie Hall with Uptown Express; and on Broadway in the concert version of Funny Girl with Whoopi Goldberg. Simply Barbra has toured New Zealand, Australia, the UK and all over the U.S. This popular 'funny girl' returns to Salford in July.

Why do you think Barbra Streisand's career has lasted so long?

Because she has true talent unlike some people today who are famous for no reason. She has covered every aspect of the business as well.

She has a huge gay following - why do you think this is?

We have very high standards. Barbra is in great company with Judy, Liza, Bette, Lena Horne - all the great musical stars. We are also very loyal and will stick by our girls no matter what!

What do you think of Glee and the juxtaposition of popular songs and showtunes?

I enjoyed it at first but now it's gotten silly and the autotune that they use on the vocals is horrifying. I also think it's absurd that Kurt would be the only gay kid in the school and the glee club...please...just more US TV avoiding gays!

For anyone who has not seen Simply Barbra before - what can they expect?

It's like going to a Barbra concert on a more intimate and humorous scale. If you love her, you will get every little thing that I sing and say....and if you just know who she is you will also find it fun.

You have performed with Marvin Hamlisch - how did this come about?

Marvin heard my CD and hired me for a concert and we have appeared in 15 cities in the last decade. Just last week we were in Seattle with the symphony. A trombone player in the orchestra loved my performance and offered to come to one of my shows and he played on “Send In The Clowns.”

I know Babs herself likes your act. But how long do you think she can keep going for?

Well, Barbra is 69 and is filming one movie now, planning another, has a new CD - she's busier than ever...Betty White is 89 so I think there is much more to come and I'll always be young enough to be her son so as she gets older I
can just age up onstage!

What's your favourite track from the Yentl soundtrack?

“The Way He Makes Me Feel” - when I saw the movie when I was young - it meant one thing. Now that I'm older, I start humming it when I see a cute guy.....

Do you get much time to yourself when you visit the UK?

I’m a theatre addict and always came to London to see shows before I was even performing so I always manage to see things as well as other tourist things. You can never run out of things to do.

Talking of theatre then, what was the last thing you saw on Broadway/on tour that you enjoyed and why?

I saw Book of Mormon -  the smash Broadway show written by the South Park guys. It was very funny and the music is old fashioned and fun.

Following the tour, what are your plans?

Recovering from jet lag...and then after a short rest I’m doing shows up in Provincetown on Cape Cod.

Steven Brinberg was speaking to Glenn Meads.

Simply Barbra is at the Lowry on 3 July.


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