"I'm the Greatest Star" The Essential Barbra Streisand on Disc

By Ben Rimalower
25 Jan 2014

2. Funny Girl, Original Broadway Cast Album (1964)

It's been said a multitude of different ways by a sea of people: Barbra Streisand was the perfect star for Funny Girl and Funny Girl was ideal vehicle for Barbra Streisand. The original cast album offers an embarrassment of Streisand riches, even beyond the out-and-out hits, "People," "Don't Rain On My Parade" and "I'm The Greatest Star." Any one of the somewhat lesser known "The Music That Makes Me Dance," "Who Are You Now?" and "Cornet Man" could have been the standalone showstopper in another show. Even in the duets and novelty numbers, Streisand is stellar — untouchable really — in the amount of voice and heart she brings, along with her distinctive and spot-on comedy. The 2002 Actors Fund benefit concert of Funny Girl (with an all-star cast of "Fanny Brices," each performing one scene/song) proved amply that it takes dozens of performers to approximate the contribution of one Barbra Streisand.