Music-Q&A-Barbra Streisand (copy)

Barbra Streisand performs in a scene from her concert special, “Barbra: The Music ... The Mem'ries ... The Magic!” streaming now Netflix. 

Barbra Steisand is my girlfriend.

My wife and family know it, even if she doesn't.

For the third time in the past few years I've shelled out big bucks to hear her sing at Chicago's United Center. She fills up the place just like the regular tenants, the Blackhawks and the Bulls, do.

Sandy and I saw her last week. She's on a sort of mini-tour, and although she's 77, I'd swear she doesn't sound any different than when she starred in the stage version of "Funny Girl" back in 1963.

This time, my Streisand experience was a bit unnerving. Another singer emerged onstage to sing a duet with her. I hadn't a clue who she was or why this young woman was even a small part of the show. All I know is that old Barbra was as spry as the young woman as they danced to and sang a song called "No More Tears."

When I asked who could this person be, a younger woman in the row behind me said, that's Ariana Grande, you oaf!

After the show, I climbed in a cab and the young driver wondered if the show was any good. I said it was "awesome." That's when he asked, "who was the performer?"

I said, "Barbra Streisand."

"Who?" he asked. It was then that I decided he wasn't going to get a very good tip.

Later in the week, back in Madison, my two granddaughters, Emma and Ellie, wanted to know how we liked the Streisand show. Grandma Sandy said it was great, and Ariana Grande did a fine job, too.

"You saw Ariana Grande?" the two chimed in awe. "No way! How do you get to see the best singer ever?"

Wait a minute, I thought — I did see the best singer ever, and I'll bet Ms. Grande won't be able to sing like her when she's 77.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com608-252-6410 and on Twitter @DaveZweifel.  

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