All About Barbra has received 2 fantastic behind the scenes articles. One by Jay Landers (Enclore) The other by Richard Jay-Alexander (The Tour) Here are a sneak peek into both. To read the entire exclusive articles, make sure you order the new issue! You can use the link below.
Every new recording project Barbra embarks upon is a unique adventure and Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway was no exception. Her basic concept was bold and I’m hard-pressed to think of another major recording artist who’s even attempted to weave a mix of scripted dialogue and music over the course of an entire album. OK, maybe there’s some “rock opera” or ’60’s concept album out there, but certainly not a collection of Broadway songs! Taken as a whole, Encore is nearly a cast album in and of itself.
Our story starts in 2013. Barbra was putting together the Back to Brooklyn shows, when she received a CD of an unreleased Marvin Hamlisch/Carolyn Leigh song, “Any Moment Now,” written for their unproduced musical Smile. The unpolished recording, featured Hamlisch and Leigh, not only singing, but also performing brief snippets of dialogue to give the listener an idea of the show’s lead characters. Somehow Barbra was able to hear past the sonic limitations of the demo to glean the true potential of the song. She phoned Marvin to tell him how much she loved it but was unable to reach him. The following day, we woke to the news of Marvin’s untimely passing, and suddenly “Any Moment Now” took on even great meaning. Barbra knew it would require a duet partner who could not only sing well, but who was also a sensitive actor. The first and only name she thought of was Hugh Jackman.
The Tour 2016 (Richard Jay-Alexander)
The first day is always exciting. You walk into Grandma’shouse and after the hugs and greetings, you sit there with Barbra, Marty Erlichman and Jay Landers, as we face a blank canvas and ask the question, “What should we do this time?” Barbra always wants to give the audience the best show she can and a lot of thought and caring goes into the process.
Then… we’re off and running, with all the excitement and twists & turns we take on the journey of assembly. There’s also a good amount of trial & error, as we try to focus on presenting material in a new and interesting way. In addition, we are celebrating 6 Decades of #1 Albums. It’s a big responsibility and you have some wonderful thinkers assembled in this room, who have achieved tremendous history and accomplishments. The great thing about all of us working together is that it’s a “safe” place and no idea is a bad idea … until it’s a BAD IDEA! Yes, we laugh a lot, but the level of respect for each other is truly humbling. Also, you can feel the passion in the room when each of us speaks and, often times, “act out” our ideas. It’s quite a remarkable process. And we mustn’t forget Renata Buser, Barbra’s longtime
personal assistant, who becomes part of our daily lives and takes care of us.
This is my fourth Concert Tour outing with Barbra, as Co-Director, and it never gets old or routine …. EVER!
Order the new issue here