‘Hello, Gorgeous – Becoming Barbra Streisand,’ by William J. Mann – NYTimes.com

Her early life is a writer’s feast. It involves childhood tragedy the death of her kindly father when Streisand was an infant, emotional neglect from her mother, Diana, a frustrated singer who rarely gave her a warm word of approval and outright abuse by a stepfather who called her ugly. Erasmus Hall High School’s “odd duck” pursued acting with a vengeance, but met mostly snubs.

Sidney Fields/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images (1962

Sidney Fields/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images (1962)

Singing was her second choice. In the cabarets of Manhattan, which embraced talented weirdos, Streisand found a home. Supportive friends, many of them gay, helped transform her into a Brooklyn Cinderella. Bob Schulenberg, an illustrator, did her makeup in the style of a ’30s movie star, and suggested retro-glam clothes. Dennen, a fledgling actor-comic, went further, schooling her in the great singers and steering her toward several of her best-known songs. He urged her to enter a talent contest at the Lion, a local gay bar — she won — and groomed her for her debut at the Bon Soir, the fabled basement cabaret on West Eighth Street. Romance bloomed: Streisand moved into his Village apartment, where they conducted an unlikely love affair.

via ‘Hello, Gorgeous – Becoming Barbra Streisand,’ by William J. Mann – NYTimes.com.

The book is here…you know the drill, click!

4 comments

  1. Thank you, Esth– uh – Vickie. Have I told you again recently – yet again – how much I enjoyed your book? I keep thinking I can run down the hill to meet Anne, Cliff and the baby at Treuscher for a champagne truffle. Or two.
    Or three!
    Stay de-migrainesd!

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