Streisand gives early nod of ap­proval to Lady Gaga’s ‘Star’

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

LOS AN­GE­LES » Bar­bra Streisand’s “A Star Is Born” is be­ing re­born on­line with a scene she’d cut from the 1976 movie.

Long known as a per­fec­tion­ist, Streisand tin­kered with the film to re­store an ex­change be­tween the star-crossed lovers played by her and Kris Kristof­fer­son and an in­stru­men­tal take on the Os­car­win­ning tune “Ev­er­green.”

The ro­man­tic drama, com­ing to Net­flix along with other Streisand projects, isn’t the only “Star” on the hori­zon: A new ver­sion with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper will be in the­aters this fall.

Streisand is giv­ing an early thumbs-up to the fourth re­make of the ro­mance be­tween a ris­ing young per­former and a fad­ing one, which Cooper di­rected.

“What I saw of it was very good,” Streisand said. “It’s just it feels rem­i­nis­cent of mine, but they added some new things which I liked, too . ... I’m sure it’ll work.”

She com­pared “A Star Is Born” to other clas­sic tales that re­main com­pelling.

“The story works. It worked in 1937. It worked in 1954, it worked in 1976 and it’s go­ing to work in 2018 . ... It’s Romeo and Juliet — ev­ery­one knows the end­ing, but they like watch­ing how we get there.”

The orig­i­nal 1930s film starred Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, with Judy Gar­land and James Ma­son in the ‘50s re­make.

Streisand’s re­vised “Star” will be avail­able on Net­flix as part of a deal that in­cludes her 1960s TV spe­cials “My Name Is Bar­bra,” “Color Me Bar­bra” and “Bar­bra Streisand: A Hap­pen­ing in Cen­tral Park,” among other projects. Re­lease dates were not an­nounced.

The singer, film­maker and Os­car-win­ning ac­tress took the op­por­tu­nity with “A Star Is Born” to right an er­ror of omis­sion for the film that was di­rected by Frank Pier­son but on which she had the fi­nal edit.

“It’s a scene that never should have been cut out in the first place and I cut it out, so I have only my­self to blame. I was try­ing to move the pic­ture along,” Streisand told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

In the re­stored se­quence, Streisand’s as­pir­ing ac­tress-singer Es­ther takes gui­tar in hand to play “Ev­er­green” for Kristof­fer­son’s char­ac­ter. Streisand wrote the mu­sic, with lyrics by Paul Wil­liams.

Streisand said she re­al­ized the mo­ment helped il­lu­mi­nate the pair and their re­la­tion­ship. She also added footage to the movie’s fi­nale that fea­tures a med­ley of the “With One More Look At You” and “Watch Closely Now.”

The movie and some of its songs are part of a con­cert film, “Bar­bra: The Mu­sic. The Mem’ries. The Magic!” that’s on Net­flix and has been sub­mit­ted for con­sid­er­a­tion for this year’s Emmy nom­i­na­tions, com­ing in July.

Streisand, who has made no se­cret of her re­luc­tance to per­form on­stage, paused only briefly when asked why she agreed to the 201617 con­cert tour.

“My mo­ti­va­tion was that I wanted a paint­ing by Modigliani, and so I worked for it. I don’t en­joy live per­form­ing. I love record­ing, I love mak­ing movies, but I don’t en­joy be­ing on the stage.”

Did she pur­chase the Ital­ian artist’s work? “I did,” Streisand said, hap­pily. Lynn Elber can be reached at lel­ber@ap.org and on Twit­ter at http://twit­ter.com/lyn­nel­ber.

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