With so little to be sure of, one thing that remains evergreen (do you see what I did there?) is the excitement I will always feel on the release day of a new Barbra Streisand album. It’s one of the many thrills of being an extremely gay man. Today is one such day, as Barbra’s new album, “What Matters Most”, is officially on my iPod. I will be working out to it this evening. (And you wonder why I have the muscle tone of a 9 year old ballerina. Pretty sure it’s because I work out to Marilyn and Alan Bergman ballads.)
To celebrate the event, I thought I'd share a portion of an in-depth interview I had with Barbra during a recent and intimate sit-down at her Malibu home. I hope you'll find it both informative and inspiring.
Randy Rainbow: Thank you so much for having me in your lovely home, Barbra. It’s absolutely breathtaking. And might I add, you are so beautiful in person.
Barbra Streisand: How did you get in here?
RR: Through the kitchen. I was walking by and noticed the back door happened to be cracked open a smidge after I broke the lock and kicked it in.
BS: You broke into my house.
BS: That’s so crazy.
RR: I know! But I just love you so much.
BS: Did you happen to smell the roses in my rose garden?
RR: I did, and they're beautiful.
BS: I’ve always loved roses. When I was a kid, growing up in Brooklyn, we couldn’t afford roses. So instead I used to collect antique Victorian porcelain dolls from around the world.
RR: I feel like roses probably would have been more economical.
BS: Did you notice that the roses in the rose garden match the wallpaper in the kitchen overlooking the rose garden?
RR: Yes! Barbra, only you would manage to find wallpaper exactly the same color as the roses! [laughs]
BS: I didn’t. I had the roses wallpapered to match the kitchen.
RR: I wish I had a green thumb like you.
BS: Isn’t that so crazy? [laughs]
RR: The house really is gorgeous, though. The photos in your latest book, “My Passion for Design”, don’t even do it justice.
BS: Oh, you like the book?
RR: I don’t know, actually. I didn’t buy it because there was no singing in it. But you have such impeccable taste. I love this couch I’m sitting on. Did you design this?
BS: Please don’t sit on that. I love couches. When I was a kid, we couldn’t afford a couch, so now I design them and sit on them whenever I want.
RR: I so get that. It’s like a real “eff you” to your childhood and your overbearing mother.
BS: Remember Mello Rolls?
RR: Nope. Let’s talk about your new CD, “What Matters Most”, for which you once again teamed up with your long-time friends, husband-and-wife songwriting team Marilyn and Alan Bergman.
BS: If you noticed, the liner notes match the peach colored roses in my garden.
RR: Oh yeah! Look at that!
BS: And it’s exactly the same peach as the color of my husband, James Brolin, and also the lining in my underwear. Look at this.
RR: Whoa! Hello, gorgeous! [laughs uncomfortably]
BS: Isn’t that so crazy? [laughs]
RR: Pull those up and let’s move on to the new Broadway-bound revival of “Funny Girl”. It was recently announced that Lauren Ambrose will play Fanny Brice. I’ve been dying to get your reaction to the news.
BS: There’s an old Jewish expression: “Ugh.”
RR: I know. No one will ever be able to follow you, Barbra, but I’m trying to be optimistic about the whole thing. I mean, I did love Lauren on “Six Feet Under”. Didn’t you?
BS: We never had HBO when I was a kid, growing up in Brooklyn. HBO or couches or roses to match the couches that we didn’t sit on while we didn’t watch HBO. Now I'm on HBO sitting on couches with matching roses. Is that crazy, or what?
RR: That’s crazy.
BS: Isn’t that so crazy?
The preceding interview was a dream I had last night after eating some particularly spicy Mexican food too close to my bedtime.
Real Barbra Streisand took no part in this dream interview. I love tacos.