Barbra Streisand will make a much anticipated return to her childhood home of Brooklyn, NY, in a rare musical performance this fall.
Streisand will be one of the first performers ever to grace the stage at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which opens its doors on September 28 with a concert from part-owner (and Brooklyn-born) Jay-Z.
Streisand grew up in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, attending Yeshiva and then Erasmus Hall High School, where she was a member of the chorus.
The legendary singer is known for her reluctance to perform in public, having toured just three times in the past two decades. This concert comes as Streisand celebrates 50 years in show business, with a new movie, “Guilt Trip,” and new 12 DVD set, including rare footage from Streisand’s own archives, due out later this year.
In a press release announcing the news of Streisand’s return to her hometown, she remarked, “Brooklyn to me means the Loew’s Kings, Erasmus, the Yeshiva I went to, the Dodgers, Prospect Park, great Chinese food. I’m so glad I came from Brooklyn — it’s down to earth. I guess you CAN come home again.”
In fact, this is the first time the singer has come home again to perform. It seems hard to believe, but Streisand has never played a Brooklyn venue in her professional career.
According to a recent article in New York’s Newsday, presales for the show’s $1,500 tier tickets started on May 12, with public onsales for tickets ranging from $90 to $650 beginning on May 21.
As expected, sales for such a momentous performance have been chaotic, with some fans expressing disappointment and frustration with the process. A May 14 story run on New York’s CBS 2 reported that a number of fans were shut out of presales when “resellers and scalpers” bought up blocks of tickets to the show, selling out presales in a matter of minutes.
Early in the day on May 21, the front page of the Barclays Center website posted a notice that Streisand’s October 11 show had sold out and a new show had been added on the 13.
Barclays Center is a 19,000 seat arena which this fall will become the new home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, formerly the New Jersey Nets. In addition to sports, the arena will host premier musical artists this season, including Streisand, Rush, and Andrea Bocelli.
Streisand’s appearance at the new venue just two weeks after its opening is quite an impressive accomplishment for the venue. Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Fred Mangione discussed with TicketNews just what this event means for Barclays Center.
“First of all,” said Mangione, “it’s a homecoming for [Barbra Streisand]. She’s coming back to Brooklyn. Second, it just really keeps our great launch lineup showing the top notch acts we’re going to have in this building. It’s all about having top acts coming to Brooklyn.”
Bringing the best of popular entertainment and sports to Brooklyn has been and continues to be a priority for Barclays Center, according to Mangione: “Brooklyn’s responded tremendously to us and it’s up to us to deliver top notch events to the community and the borough.”
“We like to promote ourselves as volume and variety, so for those who see we have Barbra coming, we have Rush the next week. And then we have the Nets and family events. Our goal over the first couple of months is to have a big variety of events so people can eyeball the facility.”
Following Streisand’s homecoming, which is sure to boost local pride and commercial profits, the Barclays Center will continue to help the area economy, according to Mangione. The VP noted the growing number of retailers surrounding the arena and ready to enjoy an anticipated increase in area consumers. “Is the arena going to drive extra foot traffic to the area? Absolutely. That’s one of the reasons that location was picked, its easy accessibility.”
But for now, the Barclays Center is clearly betting on Streisand’s ability to provide a grand kick off this October. “The big key for Barbra Streisand,” said Mangione, “is she hasn’t played this market in a long time. We are just excited that she’d come in and be able to put on a show in this great new building. It’s going to be something that people talk about for a long time.”