A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Barbra: The Music...The Mem'ries...The Magic is a documentary that presents the concert the uniquely gifted Streisand gave in Miami. Dividing the show into Acts I and II and using projected film clips and photographs as "accompaniment," in addition to a full orchestra and her backup singers, Barbra brings more than six decades of her music to the stage. Her selections come from past albums, Barbra's films, and Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, her 35th studio recording, released in 2016. Her banter and style are conversational, setting up a vibrant connection with the audience. In fine voice, and with an array of celebrities on hand for brief filmed appearances, and one special guest, the nearly two-hour performance is impeccable. Luckily for old fans and new ones, streaming services such as Netflix, which carries this concert, offer a wonderful opportunity for audiences to see documentary films, and provide a platform for the filmmakers. Caution: An occasional curse word (e.g., "damn," "hell") is heard, as is one use of "f--k."
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What's the story?
BARBRA: THE MUSIC...THE MEM'RIES...THE MAGIC showcases Barbra Streisand at a concert in Miami, the last stop on a 13-city tour promoting her latest album. With the exception of one surprise musical guest, the program is all Barbra. Act I includes a song from each of her #1 Billboard hit albums ("No More Tears," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers"), songs from Broadway shows ("People," "Being Alive") as well as numbers from her movies ("The Way We Were," "Yentl"). In Act II, Barbra performs selections from 2016's Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, closing with her iconic "Happy Days Are Here Again." Then, of course, the encores. She augments the vocals with significant photos and film clips, including brief moments with Encore: Movie Partners Hugh Jackman, Melissa McCarthy, Daisy Ridley, Chris Pine, Anne Hathaway, and other popular performers.
Is it any good?
Streisand proves that music, talent, and the ability to connect with her audience is ageless; six decades of one-of-a-kind excellence continues. And, she knows that audience. Barbra: The Music...The Mem'ries...The Magic is top-to-bottom Streisand at her most emotional and soaring. The filmed inclusion of some of the stars who appear with her on her latest duet album add spice to the show. A number in which Barbra performs alongside film of the late Anthony Newly is particularly affecting. The directing, editing, and production design are all top-notch. Barbra, who co-directs/co-writes, is obviously always in charge. She surrounds herself with fine musicians, dazzling backup singers, and a well-thought-out program. Satisfying and heart-warming for Streisand fans, this concert is available on streaming services, which is a delightful way to introduce her to new audiences, especially younger ones. An incomparable performer singing exceptional songs is able to cross generational borders. This movie proves it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the value of concert films such as Barbra: The Music...The Mem'ries...The Magic for wide audiences. Given the very few cities that host the events and the very high ticket prices, do you see such films as important for both artists and fans? In what ways does the movie help the artist, and in what ways do viewers benefit? Would you like to see more films like this one?
What does Barbra mean when she says, "Music transcends politics." Do you agree with her?
What do you think about the almost limitless variety of music that's available to audiences in the modern era? What are your favorite genres? Why is it beneficial for music fans, especially kids, to experience many different styles? Do you consider yourself "adventurous" and willing to listen to many genres?
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