YENTL
1983, Park Circus/MGM, 132 min, USA, Dir: Barbra Streisand

Adapted from Isaac Bashevis Singer’s short story/play, this engaging musical is set in a Jewish community in Poland in the early 20th century. After her father’s death, Yentl (Barbra Streisand) wants to continue her study of the Talmud but, according to tradition, that is strictly a man’s work. So Yentl adopts a male alter ego and enrolls in a Jewish religious school - where she winds up in a romantic triangle with a fellow student (Mandy Patinkin) and his fiancée (Amy Irving). Streisand’s directorial debut raises thoughtful questions about religious and gender identity while it entertains, and it earned her a Golden Globe. The score earned Oscars for Michel Legrand and lyricists Alan & Marilyn Bergman; among the memorable songs in the film’s hit soundtrack are “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” and “The Way He Makes Me Feel.”


FUNNY LADY
1975, Sony Repertory, 136 min, USA, Dir: Herbert Ross

Barbra Streisand’s continuation of the life of Ziegfeld star Fanny Brice (begun in the award-winning FUNNY GIRL), features songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb (CABARET, CHICAGO) and Peter Matz, and fine direction by Herbert Ross (THE TURNING POINT). Streisand is terrific as the star who falls for Billy Rose (James Caan) while trying to purge herself of her love for Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif). Co-starring Roddy McDowell and Ben Vereen. Nominated for five Oscars, including Best Cinematography (James Wong Howe – brought on to the project due to his history of filming iconic starlets, including Clara Bow), Best Costume Design, Best Original Song and Best Original Score.


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