Earlier this week, Barbra Streisand announced a fall concert tour, her first in six years.
Fabulous news for Streisand fans, who don't seem to question the wisdom of hitting the road at age 70. But the ticket prices? Insane! Admission to her Oct. 17, 2012, concert at Montreal's Bell Centre starts at $228 and winds up at $4,700. Rather expensive, to put it mildly, for many of Streisand's biggest fans — seniors on fixed incomes.
Of course, Streisand's fan base also includes a higher-than-average representation of gay men, some of whom go to great lengths and expense to worship at the altar of Babs. We profile one such individual to illustrate the extent of Streisand adoration, and the commensurate cost of being addicted to Barbra:
Name: Kevin McCoy.
First Streisand memory: Christmas, around age 12, sleeping on the pull-out couch at my grandma's in Toronto and coming across a late-night movie that mesmerized me. It was not until five years later that I found out the name of the film and the identity of the amazing, unforgettable actress: Funny Girl, starring Barbra Streisand. Hello gorgeous!
On a scale of one to 10, how would you rank yourself as a Streisand fan? 8. (I have met some serious fanatics so I am not that bad.)
Favourite Streisand song: "Get Happy," "Happy Days Are Here Again" medley, a duet with Judy Garland.
Favourite Streisand album: The Concert, 1994.
Favourite Streisand movie: Funny Girl.
Favourite Streisand "look:" Babs in her On a Clear Day You Can See Forever wigs.
Describe Streisand's voice: Smooth as buttah!
How many times have you seen Babs perform? After her upcoming concert tour, four times: Twice in 2006 and twice this time, and one time in 1994, when I was left sobbing on the steps of Madison Square Garden, unable to afford my way in and vowing in the voice of Scarlett O'Hara to "Never to go hungry again!"
What's the most you would pay to attend a Streisand concert? I have never blown the bundle, but if I could I would go back and put together all the money I have spent and buy one front-row seat. Especially in New York City, because that place is filled with everyone. Last time, just to mention a few, seated in the front section were Oprah, the Clintons, Bette Midler and Barbara Walters. Talk about a celebrity buffet!
What has Streisand brought to your life? Glamour, music and lots of memories.
Will you attend one of her upcoming concerts? Yes, one in Brooklyn and the one in Montreal.
What would you tell somebody who is hesitating about shelling out the money to go to one of Streisand's concerts this fall? If you are a fan of the old-school singers, there are not many left of her calibre, and you should see them while you can. They do not make then like this anymore. She is a true star!
What message would you like to send Streisand? After all these years, from Grandma's pull-out couch to crying on the steps of Madison Square Garden, and finally being able to experience it four times is a dream come true for this diva-worshipping gay man. On the eve of hitting middle age I can say I have truly lived the life of a queen! Bless you, Barbra. See you soon. How about sending me a backstage pass for my 40th birthday?
McCoy, left, and his husband went to New York City in October 2006 to attend a Streisand concert. His T-shirt was designed for the occasion. (Photo: Jeremy Patlen).
Streisand's Canadian concert dates:
Oct. 17 at Montreal's Bell Centre.
Oct. 20 at Ottawa's Scotiabank Place.
Oct. 23 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
Oct. 29 at Vancouver's Rogers Arena.
Are you, like Kevin McCoy, a Streisand freak? Can you afford a ticket to her upcoming concerts? We want to hear from you in the comments below.
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on Aug 10, 2012