Arts and Entertainment Nicola Benedetti: 'Barbra Streisand is always a joy to watch'

'Barbra Streisand is always a joy to watch'

The Music Man, Festival Theatre, Chichester

The Chichester Festival Theatre has a winning way with Broadway musicals. This season, it's busy reclaiming shows that are seldom staged because they're so strongly associated with their original stars. In the Minerva Studio, Angus Jackson and Samantha Spiro have established that you don't need Barbra Streisand to score a hit with Funny Girl. And now, in Rachel Kavanaugh's ridiculously enjoyable revival, she and Brian Conley prove that Robert Preston is not indispensable to the success of The Music Man, Meredith Willson's funny, folksy celebration of small-town life in pre-First World War Iowa.

Album: Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark (Columbia)

You know time has caught up with you when you are mentally preparing your review of Scroobius Pip when your editor tells you that, instead, you have been earmarked for the new Neil Diamond.

Yentl

Directed by Barbra Streisand

Album: Laura Nyo, More Than A New Discovery, (Rev-Ola)

Today’s young female singer-songwriters will have to go some to equal the precocious talent of Laura Nyro on this debut album, recorded in 1965 when she was still just 19.

CULTURAL LIFE: TIM BURGESS, SINGER

Books

Theatre: A Life in the Theatre Apollo Theatre London ooo99

BEING A "senior" actor is a doubled-edged sword. On the one hand, there's no shortage of parts - from the Everest peak of King Lear downwards. On the other, however, the younger generation of actors is forever knocking at the door, demanding to be noticed.

BOX OFFICE: FILMS

UK Top 10

FILM: TOP 10 FILMS UK & IRELAND

Most film sequels (apart from The Godfather Part II, of course) are subject to the gloomy law of diminishing returns, both critically and financially, but Jay Roach's Meet The Fockers (which follows 2000's Meet The Parents) has at least hit the box office top spot in its first week. But the combination of A-list Hollywood stars (including Dustin Hoffman, above) and lavatory humour has proved less successful with reviewers. Nobody seems to like it but the public.

Ocean's Twelve (12A)

When more is less

Barbra Streisand: A star is reborn

Dustin Hoffman has been boasting of his success in getting Barbra Streisand's juices flowing before shooting saucy bits together as a bohemian married couple in the new comedy film, Meet the Fockers, the highly lucrative sequel to Meet the Parents. He resorted to straightforward flattery, commending her on the splendour of her boobs. "I whispered to Barbra, 'I love your breasts. They look great today.'" It worked, he says, because Streisand "loves her breasts". Meanwhile, he has been spilling the beans on something she told him on set - that she and her husband of six years, the actor James Brolin, enjoy sex six times a week. (Hoffman, 67, is apparently satisfied with just once.) It's a good thing it is Hoffman pulling these tricks, because only a star almost as big as Streisand could get away with it.

Good Scene / Bad Scene

Chosen by Mark S Waters, the director of 'Mean Girls'

Only a shmuck would think that Kabbalism can win a game of football

A little Jewish fatalism, for example, would have taught us not to score so early as we did against the French

FIRST NIGHT: The lump that dare not quack its name

Honk! Olivier Theatre London

Comedy: Weird and witty

ENNIO MARCHETTO QUEEN'S THEATRE LONDON

Theatre: Hiding behind the mask of love

THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE ALMEIDA THEATRE LONDON
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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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