Scroll To Top
Arts & Entertainment

Streisand puts
heckler in his place

Streisand puts
heckler in his place

It was an evening that elicited tears, standing ovations, laughter, and shouts of joy from the audience--and that was just in the first few minutes.

Yes, Barbra Streisand's return to touring after a 12-year absence was the extravaganza that it promised to be. Monday night's show at Madison Square Garden was the third stop of a 20-city jaunt across the nation--a virtual lovefest between the ultimate diva and an adoring, sold-out, celebrity-dotted crowd.

Streisand crooned through a select repertoire of her four decades of hits. But the night's most riveting moment came during what was perhaps the only unscripted--and truly uncomfortable--episode in the three-hour show.

There was Streisand, enduring a smattering of loud jeers as she and "George Bush"--a celebrity impersonator--muddled through a skit that portrayed the president as a bumbling idiot.

Though most of the crowd offered polite applause during the slightly humorous routine, it had gone on a bit too long, especially for those who just wanted to hear Streisand sing like she had been doing for the past hour.

"Come on, be polite!" the well-known liberal implored during the sketch as she and "Bush" exchanged zingers. But one heckler wouldn't let up. And finally, Streisand let him have it.

"Shut the fuck up!" Streisand bellowed, drawing wild applause. "Shut up if you can't take a joke."

With that one f word, the jeers ended. And the message was delivered--no one gets away with trying to upstage Barbra Streisand, especially not in her hometown.

After the outburst, which Streisand later apologized for, she noted that "the artist's role is to disturb" and delivered a message of tolerance before launching into a rendition of "Somewhere." That put the focus back on what the audience came for: her singing.

Streisand's voice doesn't seem to have been affected much by her long layoff from performing.

Early on she seemed to fall short of her full potential--moments when she once belted a tune, she now seemed simplytosing at a steady register, sounding great but not delivering the big showstopper as she had in the past. But as the evening progressed she got stronger, such as during her stirring performance of one of her biggest hits, "People."

Though she sang a few of her signature songs, the evening was not designed as a hit parade. Instead, the show had more of a cabaret feel, from the choice of songs to her onstage banter.(Nekesa Mumbi Moody, AP)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff