Thursday, February 28, 2013


The Donna Karan New York gown worn by Barbra Streisand in her performance at the 85th Annual Academy awards was designed by Ms. Karan, specifically for the artist. Entitled 'City Lights' the black asymmetrical, bias-cut dress is a waterfall of chiffon layers encrusted with matte gold sequins and beads. A long sleeve capelet adds the final layer of chiffon, its back dramatically falling to the floor.

"Everything I do with Barbra is a collaboration­ born of our artistry, our friendship and our love for one another. We're sisters." -- Donna Karan

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Wireimage.


Oscars Impact: Streisand Spikes, 'Les Miserables' Album Drops

By , Los Angeles
Oscars Impact: Streisand Spikes, 'Les Miserables' Album Drops
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Final numbers: Shirley Bassey's "Goldfinger" jumps 310% for the week; Adele's "Skyfall" nets 56% gain

The week's official sales figures are in, and, as previously forecasted, a lot of songs see gains thanks to exposure on Sunday's Academy Awards broadcast (Feb. 24).
The show, which occurred on the final day of the Nielsen SoundScan sales tracking week, featured a bevy of performances from the likes of Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey and Barbra Streisand.
OSCARS 2013:
Adele's "Skyfall," which earned her and co-writer Paul Epworth the Oscar for best original song, sees a 56% gain in sales for the week ending Feb. 24 according to Nielsen SoundScan. The tune sold 56,000 downloads -- up from 36,000 the week previous.
The song has now sold 1.6 million in the U.S. It's the first song from a James Bond film to win an Academy Award. "Skyfall" is expected to rise on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, from No. 83, when the chart is released tomorrow (Feb. 28).
Dame Shirley Bassey, who performed the Bond song "Goldfinger" during a tribute to the film series, also posts a gain. Her rendition of the tune gains by 310% to sell 1,000 downloads for the week. Bassey likely profited a bit more from the social exposure she earned from the show. On the day of the Oscars, according to Topsy analytics, Bassey was mentioned 36,000 times on Twitter -- up from just 150 mentions a day earlier.
Traffic to Bassey's Wikipedia page also soared by 30% on Feb. 24, receiving 6,600 views.
Another performer on the show was Barbra Streisand, who sang her 1974 No. 1 Hot 100 hit "The Way We Were" during a tribute to the late Marvin Hamlisch. The composer, who died last August, won one of his three Oscars for co-writing "The Way We Were" (with Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman).
Sales of "The Way We Were" gained by 209%, selling 2,000 downloads for the week.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


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Too Early To Talk 2014 Oscars? Harvey Weinstein Buying ‘Grace Of Monaco’ With Nicole Kidman As Grace Kelly

By MIKE FLEMING JR | Sunday February 24, 2013 @ 4:25pm EST
Comments (13)
Mike FlemingEXCLUSIVE: With two Best Picture candidates in the hunt, Harvey Weinstein has begun putting together the Oscar season slate for next year. I’m told that The Weinstein Company is wrapping up a deal to acquire domestic rights to Grace Of Monaco, the Olivier Dahan-directed drama that stars Nicole Kidman as actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, Tim Roth as Monaco’s Prince Rainier III. I’m hearing that TWC has made a big bet, paying a $5 million minimum guarantee and a P&A commitment around $10 million for a minimum 800 screen run. I was unable to get comment from TWC or CAA, which shopped the domestic rights and established the film as a hot buzz title by showing a sizzle reel footage at Berlin. TWC’s Weinstein and David Glasser made the deal Friday night here in Hollywood with CAA on behalf of Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, who produced the film with Uday Chopra and Arash Amel. Amel wrote the script. The film will be released in December, smack in the middle of next awards season, a release pattern that will be similar to the one TWC used for The Iron Lady. Inferno and Silver Reel were also in the deal. A $2 million deal for Canada is also in the offing. 
The drama chronicles how Princess Grace made the transition from star of films like Dial M For Murder and Rear Window to her role as princess by playing a major role in helping her husband settle a dispute between her country and France’s Charles De Gaulle over tax laws in the 1960s.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Barbra Streisand--National Treasure

There's an arc for those in public life, created mostly by the media: An artist (or athlete or politician) is heaped with praise as they ascend, become subject to nit-picking criticism as they work at the height of their powers, praised again if they make a comeback, and then--if they have been around long enough and been successful enough--deified as a "living legend" or a "national treasure."
       The root of this phenomenon is in the ego of reporters and reviewers. They want to be seen as discerning and hip enough to discover a great new talent. Then they want to be seen as discerning and hip enough to criticize the same performer if he or she doesn't live up to the writer's exalted expectations in every way and at all times. And finally the performer, by sheer dint of staying power, wins over (most) critics, who come to realize that they are in fact among the greats of all time.
       No one of her generation illustrates this phenomenon better than Barbra Streisand. Has anyone ever been praised by the press so highly early in her career or criticized so viciously by many of the same men and women later on? It's hard to think of one. Barbra got through all the harping, all the sexist Oscar snubs, and continued to work at an almost preternatural level of excellence.
       And now she is at the National Treasure stage. Never was this more apparent than during her appearance at the Academy Awards last night. No introduction was necessary. She walked out in shadow humming the opening bars of "The Way We Were," the audience clapping and abuzz because they all knew exactly who it was. Looking lovely for any age, she gave unquestionably the most emotional rendition of the title song from one of her most popular movies. For the first time ever, after the lyrics, "If we had the chance to do it all again, tell me would we?," Barbra interjected "of course we would," a poignant sentiment anyone over fifty could understand.
       The appearance was a highlight of an uneven Oscar show. But then, all of Barbra's public appearances have been  highlights, have they not?

Friday, February 22, 2013


(Above) Co-Oscar winners Paul Williams and Barbra Streisand pose with Neil Diamond, who presented them with the 1977 Oscar for Best Song ("Evergreen").

After A Star Is Born won five Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture, Actor and Actress (in the musical or comedy category), Barbra fans had high hopes that the film would win some Oscar nominations. In the event it got just one, but it was one Barbra took great pride in: Best Song, "Evergreen," which she had composed and Paul Williams had written the lyrics to as the love theme from A Star Is Born.
     At the ceremonies, after a spirited introduction by Jane Fonda ("Yeah! Barbra Streisand!"), Barbra brilliantly sang the song to a thrilled world-wide audience. The award was presented by Barbra's friend Neil Diamond, who said that he wanted Barbra to win so much he had told her that he would announce her name no matter who won! He didn't have to fake it: "Evergreen" was named Best Song.
     Barbra glowed as she accepted her second Oscar. "Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I'd win an Oscar for writing a song," she said. "I'm very excited and very grateful."
Barbra will sing at this Sunday's Oscar ceremony. Be sure to tune in for what promises to be an Oscar history highlight!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Barbra Streisand has appeared at the Oscar ceremonies a number of times--four times as a nominee (two wins), about a half dozen times as a presenter, and once as a singer--of her own composition, "Evergreen," which won Best Song in 1977. Now, thirty six years later, she will sing at the Oscars again this Sunday. What she will sing is being guarded as zealously as a state secret. All the show's co-producer Craig Zadan will say is, "Barbra is going to come out and do something really special and blow people away!"

Isn't that tantalizing! I know I'll be watching!

Monday, February 18, 2013


On Wednesday, November 20, Peter got a call from President Kennedy. During the conversation, Jack delightedly told Peter that Jackie had agreed to accompany him on a political fence-mending trip to Texas. She rarely made such trips, but this was a particularly important one, with the next presidential election less than a year away, and Jack knew that his wifes presence at his side would help make it a success. He had pleaded with her to come, and she had finally agreed. Isnt that great, Peter?the President said. We leave tomorrow morning.
After Peters show the following night, he and [his companion Chuck] Pick threw a little get-together with some peoplethat lasted until four in the morning. Peter didnt have a girl stay over that night; instead he sat up with Chuck until seven A.M. Friday and talked about Jack Kennedy.

The sun was coming up,Pick remembered, and Peter was telling me stories about the President. We just sat around talking, and Peter spoke about how much
he loved Jack and how overwhelmed he would get sometimes just thinking that his brother-in-law was the President of the United States. I was really touched by how much Peter loved the man. He was so excited that he was going to be at the White House for Christmas.

Chuck and Peter finally went to bed at seven in the morning. About three hours later, Pick heard the doorbell buzz. I thought, Wheres the maid?’ Then I figured she must have forgotten her key and it was her buzzing.He got up, opened
the door to let the maid in, and groggily turned around to go back to bed. But then he realized that it wasnt the maid at the door but a man in a suit and tie he recognized
as one of the vice presidents at Harrahs. You have to wake up Mr. Lawford,the man said.

I cant wake up Mr. Lawford,Chuck snapped. What is it you want?”
Pick and the man from Harrahs argued back and forth a few times about disturbing Peter until, finally, the man said, The President was just shot.

What do you mean?
The President has been shot. Youd better wake up Mr. Lawford.
Chuck went into Peters bedroom. He was lying there. He was a very heavy sleeper, and normally, when I woke him, Id have to shake him and yell, Cmon, Peter, wake up!But this time I just kind of stood over him and put my hand on his shoulder and he opened his eyes and it was almost like he knew. He looked at me and I said,
Peter, the Presidents been shot.
Peter cried, Oh my God!and leaped out of his bed. There wasnt a second of disbelief,Pick recalled. Just Oh my God!and up. I ran out of the room and the guy from Harrahs was standing there. I said, We gotta go to Los Angeles immediately.
The man said, Mr. Harrahs plane is at your disposal. Whatever you need.
Peter came out of the bedroom and said, Chuck, weve gotta leave now.”
It seemed to Pick that the phone was ringing constantly, that everything was happening very fast. We put the TV on and heard that the President had been shot
in a motorcade in Dallas, but there was nothing about how badly hed been hurt. Peter started making phone calls. He called Mrs. Lawford and Rose Kennedy, but the lines were busy and he couldnt get through. Reporters started gathering outside, and the police came and blocked off the house.

Peter rushed from room to room, trying to make telephone calls, stopping
only long enough to listen to a few minutes of television news. But there was none; the
commentators knew nothing of what was happening at Parkland Memorial Hospital,
where the President had been rushed. Peter finally got through to Pat and then to
Rose, but they too were in the dark about Jacks condition.

Peter had just said once again to Chuck, We gotta get going,when the words from the television set caught his attention: Here is a bulletin from CBS News.He turned to the screen and saw Walter Cronkite, looking stricken, make the announcement: President Kennedy died at one P.M. Central Time in Dallas.

Peter got up,Chuck recalled, “went into the kitchen, and threw up all over the floor. Just threw up, everywhere. Then he fell apart. He was lying on the floor, sobbing — he was crying so hard I didnt know what to do. I never witnessed anything like that in my life. I never saw a man break down the way he broke down. It was a terrible thing to watch. It scared me. I went over to him and he said, Leave me alone.

I was just a kid. I didnt know what was happening. I started crying, as much because of what I was seeing happen to Peter as because the President was dead. But I had to be okay because he was so bad. One of us had to be strong and keep it together, and I was it. I was the only person he could really hold on to.

Within an hour, Chuck and Peter were on the way to the airport. Later, Chuck didnt remember getting dressed. I dont even think we brought our luggage. We just left. Peter didnt want to go through the crowd out front, but the police escorted us through it and took us to Tahoe airport and we took Bill Harrahs plane. There was a lot of crying and sobbing on that plane.

When they arrived at Santa Monica Airport, a helicopter awaited them. We got out of the plane and ran to the helicopter and Milt Ebbins was there. It was just a three-person helicopter — there was only room for Peter, the pilot, and Milt. I said,
Peter, Ill take a cab home. Ill be okay.
He said, No, no, I cant leave you like this.’ I said, Just go.Peter asked me if Id call him when I got home. I said I would. And then they took off. I took a cab home and I called the house and told someone that if Peter needed me Id be available.