Steven Brinberg: Simply Barbra’s Broadway

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Steven Brinberg

Simply Barbra’s Broadway

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, September 18, 2017

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Steven Brinberg
Photo: Devon Cass

Don’t Tell Mama hosted an international star for a wonderful selection of her most well-known song: Barbra Streisand. Or not? [Named for] playing off the 1967 album Simply Streisand, Steven Brinberg’s exceptional Streisand impression provides a laughter-filled show. Joined on the stage by pianist Christopher Denny, Brinberg’s jokes were clever and classy, poking fun at some of Streisand’s idiosyncrasies, such as clearing her throat during her performances and praising New York despite living in California since the ’70s. One of the funniest moments came when discussing a passed-up role made famous by another actress, Brinberg said, “I just wasn’t sure how [Jennifer] Aniston would feel playing my mother (rather than the expected vice versa).”

Brinberg moved through his set fluidly and confidently. Despite singing in a high octave, it could take a few moments and a hint from the performer before an unwary audience member would realize that “he wasn’t a she.

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” “Love Is Only Love,” from Hello, Dolly! astounded, and Brinberg calmly joked the movie would soon be made into a stage musical (despite being released in 1969, then an adaptation of the 1964 stage musical.) Just when the Broadway and musical references were about to run out, Brinberg performed the most impressive sequence of the night, inviting a medley of “guest stars” to “join” him on stage, starting with Streisand’s Malibu neighbor, Cher. Each impression was equally impressive and distinct, capped off by a “duet” of sorts between Streisand and “Anthony Newley” of “Who Can I Turn to (When Nobody Needs Me).” The way Brinberg switched between the two singers was simply wow.

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Simply Barbra returns to Don’t Tell Mama on November 6. I recommend it to fans of Streisand.

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see