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August 22, 2016

Concert Review: Barbra Streisand @ Wells Fargo Center

Despite a packed arena on Saturday, Aug. 20, the Barbra Streisand “The Music… The Mem’ries… The Magic” concert at the Wells Fargo Center felt like an intimate affair. 

She eats Tony Luke's cheesesteaks, she's voting for Hillary Clinton, she has lozenges on hand for shrieking audience members, she gets mad at Siri, too — these were only a few of the personal tidbits Streisand shared with the audience. The concert, in general, felt like a tribute to her long-standing fans who've seen her through an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

Opening with "The Way We Were" and continuing with other No. 1 hits and classics — "Pure Imagination," "Don't Rain On My Parade," "Children Will Listen," "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" and "People" — Streisand delivered beloved songs all night long.

Fans stood after each one, delivering well-earned applause for "The Voice" that can still hit all the right notes. If there was a crackle, it hardly mattered; she commanded the stage. Watching her perform a sequence from "Funny Lady," singing "How Lucky Can You Get" was a highlight of the night; she really can do it all. 

Album covers, behind-the-scenes footage, photographs and film clips were shown on the screen behind her during the majority of the night. Between each song, Streisand conversationally spoke on her career highlights. 

The prepared jokes ("People are 99.9 percent the same. The other .1 percent is Donald Trump.”) felt natural, probably because she was completely candid a number of times throughout the night. Someone in the front  row yelled out, "How's Sammy?" and Streisand answered from her mic on stage that her Coton de Tulear dog was waiting for her.

The one downside to the concert was intermission, when Streisand took a break and mentalist Lior Suchard took over. He guessed the names of audience members' first loves correctly, but struggled when — in true Philly form — football was brought up. "Name someone that has never sung a duet with Barbra." "Knute Rockne." Even a mentalist couldn't see that one coming. Suchard's brand of showmanship didn't stand a chance with Streisand's magic all around.