Steven Brinberg IS Barbra Streisand

“When you first hear Steven’s Simply Barbra CD, for the first brief moment, you almost think, ‘My God! Is that really her?’ [Streisand] It’s so captivating! Not only does he have a wonderful take on her — not at all mean-spirited — and this ability to imitate her, he also captures a lot of moments and nuances that are terrific. It was very impressive.”  –  Marvin Hamlisch

Me too!  When I first heard Steven sing Barbra, I was  quite impressed. He was just in Chicago and I had the chance to see and hear him perform live. Steven  is the premier Barbra Streisand impressionist, performing his incredible show, Simply Barbra, to international acclaim both on stage and television (and performing twice with none other than Marvin Hamlisch!) as he pays homage to all that is Streisand!

Steven does not lip-sync his performances but accurately portrays Streisand with his own voice! With over a decade of performing experience, his amazing show has Steven in demand literally worldwide!

Steven conceived Simply Barbra in 1993 at Don’t Tell Mama in New York City, where the show continues to run when he is not touring. The ever-changing show has been seen in London’s West End, The Edinburgh Festival, Atlantic City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Houston, Washington, D.C., New York City, and many other cities both in the United States and around the World!

We chatted briefly in Chicago, then Steven was headed off to Ireland.  His career started quite by accident as he tells  DEEP DISH …”I was performing cabaret shows as myself, and I would sing snippets of other voices – Cher, Katharine Hepburn, Billie Holiday – but my Barbra was the most popular. One day a friend suggested that I do an entire Barbra show, but I was like “I don’t even look like her and I don’t know anything about makeup.” But I finally booked a couple of weeks to perform as Barbra in New York – and the show just took off.”

Singing Streisand is a rarity. “Other than the veteran performer Jim Bailey, I am the only other male Barbra (that I know of) who sings live. Hers is such a unique voice that it is very hard to do properly. I was inspired when in an interview Barbra was asked what she thought of all the men who do her and she said “I wish they’d do me better!” and I thought I am going to be the first one to do her justice and NOT cross my eyes and be mean…I wanted to be flattering to her because I am such a fan…..I have never met Barbra…..but she knows me. Her manager hired me to sing at Donna Karan’s birthday party – and through her stage director, she told me what to say at the party. We almost met when she was at the same play I was – but I lost my nerve to go over to her. She later learned that I was there and said, “Why didn’t he say hello?” But I just wasn’t ready to meet her…”

Steven has been able to see Babs  perform on several occassions – giving him an opportunity to study her up close.
 He tells  Barbra news

“I had a friend in Los Angeles who knew someone who knew someone who could get tickets for the  1986 ONE VOICE  concert. There were only 500 seats and it wasn’t easy. When he said yes, then I had to convince my parents to give me the money… a lot for a kid to spend! Even then, people were saying this might be her last concert. It was well worth it. We were served dinner on her tennis court. I saw Bette, Whoopi, Goldie,Walter Matthau (they must have made up from DOLLY) everyone seemed to be famous except my party. It was amazing to hear her sing live for the first time and think “This is not a record!” You could look in the windows of her houses, but there were portisans and her trailer set up as bathrooms. I used the latter, and saved the pink heart shape soap I found by the sink!

More recently, I was in Australia while  she was  there also, and Marvin got my pianist and I great seats up close (the concert in the rain in Sydney). It was wild. I did my show one night, saw her show the next night, did my show the next night, and people in the audience waved the flashlights they got at her show! I did a lot of TV while I was there and am told that she saw me on one of the shows! I hope it was the one where the lighting was so beautiful (The Bert Show) cause that’s important to me, and to Barbra. The brief scene I have in the new  movie CAMP (after the very end credits) is also lit beautifully. I think she’ll be pleased at how I look as her.”

What’s next for Steven Brinberg?
“Continuing to tour all over the place – and I’m hoping to perform again as myself. My real voice and look are so different than Barbra – but I’m not giving up Barbra. I would just like to be a boy also. I’d love to be a CSI killer and have people go, “Guess what else he does.” “

Catch him in New Jersey ,  July  8th, 2010.  Also follow Simply Barbra on Facebook

Simply Barbra  by Steven Brinberg 

         The  Best  of  Gay  New  York

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