Regine revisits her musical inspiration
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda () - November 24, 2003 - 12:00am
It is no surprise that most, if not all female singers of consequence, hold Barbra Streisand in the highest regard, making her the standard by which performances and careers are measured. Rightly so. After all, she has defined the sound of pop music for half a century now.

I must confess I’m a Barang (Barbra Streisand) fanatic. I remember the time when she was scheduled to perform in Manila, I presented my services to the promoters – as an all-around pageboy. I bragged that I knew Barang so well; I knew her brand of tea and the color of towel she prefers in her hotel room. Barang, of course, changed her mind. That too, I knew was bound to happen.

Year after year, Barbra gave the world some of the most beautiful songs of this generation. Her albums were consistent top sellers as her sound evolved with the times. While she eventually veered towards a more pop sound, even going as far as disco (Enough Is Enough/No More Tears), Barbra infused her inimitable style and continued to captivate her ever-growing audience worldwide. Streisand to this day defies age, voice, sex and beauty.

Local divas adore Barbra, making her songs a veritable staple in their repertoire. One of them is our very own, Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez, who admits Streisand is one of her most revered idols.

"I look up to her not just because of her enormous talent, but because of her fearlessness and dedication to excellence, her willingness to take risks and to be different," says Regine.

She is, Regine says, an artist who’s ahead of her time.

Which is why for her concert series billed as Songbird Sings Streisand at Onstage Greenbelt, Regine decided to revisit her earlier musical inspiration and pay tribute to one of her most admired idols.

"It is always a pleasure to sing Streisand’s songs, let alone a full show of only her very best. I’m really, really excited," shares Regine.

Though it truly is a daunting task selecting which among Streisand’s many hit songs will make it to the sequence guide, Regine is covering a wide range of genres comprised of Barbra’s best-loved songs, from classics and standards like People, My Man, Cry Me A River, The Way We Were, and the Yentl songs Papa Can You Hear Me, The Way He Makes Me Feel, and Piece of Sky to pop songs like Guilty, The Main Event, Enough Is Enough/No More Tears. Also included are Broadway hits like Sunset Boulevard’s As If We Never Said Goodbye, West Side Story’s Somewhere, Cats’ Memory, Phantom of the Opera’s All I Ask Of You and her romantic ballads Evergreen, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, Till I Loved You, My Heart Belongs To Me, On My Way To You and many, many more!

"We will be updating some of her songs, pero most of them, we will keep in their original form," says Regine.

If her sold-out series last year called Songbird Sings was a compilation of her own hits and favorite recordings, this time she says, "I will be singing the songs of the original Songbird naman." (Streisand released an album called Songbird in 1978, from which a song of the same title emerged).

Having served as her inspiration for many years now, Regine feels it is appropriate to pay a musical tribute to Barbra Streisand – who, after five decades in the business, still remains one of the most creative, compelling and controversial performers of our time.

Songbird Sings Streisand
premiered last Nov. 14 and will run every Friday and Saturday thereafter at Onstage in Greenbelt 1. Tickets are priced at P800, P1100 and P1350, and are now available at all Ticketworld outlets in major National Bookstore branches (891-5610), Tower Records, Robinson’s Malls, Onstage Ticketron and Maxi-Media Ticketing Office (551-7777 or 551-8999).
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