NEW YORK (Reuters) - Barbra Streisand’s liberal political voice rose to a crescendo in last year’s U.S. presidential race but the singing legend says the election of President Barack Obama has allowed her to relax.
During her 2006 singing tour, she was joined onstage by an actor portraying former President George W. Bush as an inept fool, and in the campaign that followed she was so focused on seeing a Democrat elected, she said she went a little crazy.
“I was so incensed, so passionate about having a Democrat in the White House, I was insane. I was just crazed,” Streisand told Reuters ahead of a new TV special and DVD release.
“I trust this administration. I trust Barack Obama and his intelligence and have faith that he’ll do the right thing,” said the winner of eight Grammys, two Academy Awards and numerous Emmys. “So I’ve been able to relax the last few months.”
After all the acrimony of the 2008 campaign, Streisand finally met Bush for the first time last December when she was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor.
Streisand said she wanted the event to be apolitical and, to her pleasant surprise, so did Bush, who kissed her.
“It’s even in Talmudic law that one must not embarrass someone else in public and so it was not an appropriate time to share my views since he knew my views quite well,” she said.
“He was smart and very clever to extend his arms and say, ‘Give me a kiss,’ because it caught me off guard and was disarming. It was fine,” she said.
But with the new president in the White House, the Brooklyn-born singer, actress, producer and director is getting back to the business of entertaining. She appears in “Streisand: Live in Concert” on the CBS television network on Saturday.
Three days later, “Streisand: The Concerts,” a three-disc DVD featuring performances from her 1960s television specials, concerts recorded in 1994 and 2006, and “Putting It Together: The Making of the Broadway Album,” will hit stores.
Streisand, winner of eight Grammys, two Academy Awards (Best Actress, “Funny Girl,” Best Song, “Evergreen”) and numerous Emmys, said on the 2006 tour she delved into songs that she had never recorded and/or made public.
“I do get bored singing my same old songs,” Streisand said. “For this last show, I used many, many songs that I’ve never really performed in concert, starting with the opening, ‘Starting Here, Starting Now,’ and ‘Down With Love,’ which I last sang on ‘The Judy Garland Show’ in 1963.”
Streisand said she has no major projects in the works at the moment and is focusing on a book about her “passion for design,” having designed houses and apartments for years.
She gushes at the mention of the success of her stepson, actor Josh Brolin, who has seen his star rise with critically hailed movies “No Country for Old Men” and “Milk,” as well as portraying Bush in “W.”
“I know people write that I told him not to take the role in ‘W’ but that’s a lie. If he asks me my opinion about certain things, I tell him. But he’s very smart and we just like to kvell over him,” she said, using a Yiddish term that translates roughly into “gushing with pride and delight.”
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Bill Trott