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BABS IN (WOLVES) ARMS: MS STREISAND BRINGS FRIENDS TO WIND BACK WEDNESDAY



The Screen Actors Guild awarded a Lifetime Achieved Award to Barbra Streisand last week, celebrating her with a raft of material from her major acting/singing/directing performances.


There was a lot to celebrate and a lot to show (and it inadvertently reminded me that I must get my hands on The Second Barbra Streisand Album, if for no other reason than her version of I Stayed Too Long At The Fair) so no doubt they had to make hard calls on what to show and what to leave out.


But did they include anything from her 2016 album of duets, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway? No? I wonder why not.


Wind Back Wednesday is here to correct this, with bonus Hugh Jackman, in a brief hit of why and how.

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THE SHORT ANSWER to why Barbra Streisand chose to sing with Hugh Jackman on her new album of Broadway-inspired duets, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, is well, who wouldn’t?


There’s a longer answer though from the legendary singer, actor, film director and, among other things, gay icon.


The song she chose, Any Moment Now, was written by Marvin Hamlish and became “the first song that I chose for this album”, Streisand said in a promotional video for the album.

Written for a musical called Smile, Any Moment Now appealed to the actor in Streisand, who said “I like to sing songs that give me something to act”. The song and its theatre roots had the singer no one calls Babs to her face seeing it as the perfect vehicle for “actors who act and sing”.




On that basis, Hugh Jackman was “the first person I thought of” Streisand said. No, not because he can act as Wolverine with the silliest sideburns since Jimmy Edwards, but because she hears “a truth in his performance that I find very touching”.


Jackman accepted the offer to sing with Streisand because, well, who wouldn’t? And also because his wife, actor and activist Deborra-Lee Furness is a big Streisand fan who screamed when she read the email from her heroine.


 “You’re doing it,” she told Jackman as he um and aahed about how to respond. ”Of course I’m doing it,” he replied.


Something similar may have happened with other names who lined up to sing - albeit not in the same room as the sessions were recorded separately - with Streisand, including Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, The Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane.


As well as those three already known for singing on screen, Streisand also has called in the likes of Chris Pine, Patrick Wilson and Melissa McCarthy. If you didn’t know McCarthy was a singer you may be even more amused by the duet she’ll be performing with Streisand, Anything You Can Do, from the musical Annie Get Your Gun.


For now you’ll just have to wait to hear the two women bat back and forth lines sung in the film version by Betty Hutton and Howard Keel, such as

I can jump a hurdle.

I can jump a hurdle.

I can wear a girdle.

I can knit a sweater.

I can fill it better!

I can do most anything!

Can you bake a pie? No.

Neither can I.

 

Though who would really say she or he can sing better than Barbra Streisand?



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