Music

Fashion

Streisand's Grand Return

For her return to the stage, Barbra Streisand wore a dazzling costume – a black velvet gown over a cream-colored silk underlay – designed by her pal Donna Karan. Julien’s Auctions is excited to offer fans an opportunity to own not only this gorgeous dress, but also the tea table she used on stage and the very stool she sat on to sip tea.

January 1, 2024

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be many similarities between Norma Desmond, the delusional faded film actress played unforgettably by Gloria Swanson in the 1950 classic Sunset Boulevard, and Barbra Streisand, the entertainer who very believably sang “I’m the Greatest Star.” However, think of Desmond famously shouting that she hated the word “comeback” to describe her plan to resume her career. “It's a return, a return to the millions of people who have never forgiven me for deserting the screen,” she demanded. Change the word “screen” to “concert stage” and the statement could easily apply to Streisand, circa 1993.

Although she’d performed a few concerts, mostly at political fundraisers, Streisand had largely abandoned live performances, due to her notorious stage fright (read her just-published memoir My Name Is Barbra to learn about what caused this dilemma). She hadn’t performed for a general paying audience since the early 1970s. For numerous reasons (including the venue owner offering to give $3.5 million to Barbra’s favorite charity), Streisand agreed to return to the concert stage and chose the newly opened MGM Grand in Las Vegas as the appropriate venue.

Ever the fashion icon, Streisand wore a dazzling stage costume – a black velvet gown over a cream-colored silk underlay – designed by her pal Donna Karan. Julien’s Auctions is excited to offer fans an opportunity to own not only this gorgeous dress, but also the tea table she used on stage and the very stool she sat on to sip tea.

In a fitting nod to Desmond’s remark, Streisand opened the show with her rendition of “As If We Never Said Goodbye,” a showstopper from the stage musical adaptation of Sunset Boulevard. She’d eventually take this concert on the road, and it would gross an estimated $50 million – proving her fans really did want her back!

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