Angela Seeger Presents: Streisand
By David DeRocco
She’s one of the world’s most recognized and glamorous legends, the only recording artist in history to have a number one album in each of the last six decades. She’s sold 150 million albums and singles, scored 34 Top 10 albums, 53 gold albums, 31 platinum albums and 14 multi-platinum albums. Add to that two Academy Awards, ten Grammys, five Emmys, a handful of Peabody Awards, a Tony, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, nine Golden Globes, an American Film Institute Award and who’ knows – maybe even a Stanley Cup. She’s an unmistakable voice, a talented actress and respected director, and one of the greatest artist of the late 20th Century.
So why is it then, when you ask someone under the age of 20 if they know who Barbra Streisand is, you’re mostly likely to receive a resounding “no!” That exact experience was one of the many reasons why Niagara-born singer Angela Seeger is set to launch her own one-woman tribute to Babs, ANGELA SEEGER PRESENTS: STREISAND.
“I do a lot of voices,” said Seeger, who turned an early passion for musical theatre into a life-long career as a singer. “I perform as Adele with the British Legends, I’m the blonde in Abbamania, I sang Joplin for years. I’m 40 years old now and I thought to myself, I want to pick somebody that as I got older in my vocal career was appropriate for my age. I never go small, I always go big. And Barbra was the first thing that popped into my head.”
An encounter with a 20-something who had no idea who Streisand was reinforced Seeger’s decision to take on the challenge of producing the intimate one-woman salute to the legend. As someone who spent seven years headlining the Tropicana in Atlantic City, Seeger was all-too aware of the heels she was about to try and fill.
“I’m realizing and it’s sad to say that no one under the age of 25 is really aware of her,” said Seeger, who is debuting her salute to Streisand October 12th at the Seneca Queen Theatre. “That is kind of sad. You see the talent that’s coming out these days, and you can’t hear a real voice without it being altered in the studio. Barbra’s the real deal.”
Given the overwhelming logistics of staging a true Streisand experience with full orchestra, Seeger decided on the intimate one-woman show as a way to more closely connect with the audience. She’s already working on the wardrobe, the nose, the set list and the accompanying music tracks. However, her real focus is on recreating that unmistakable Brooklyn nasal quality of Streisand’s voice, along with her shrewd dynamics, her rolling vibrato and her bravura climbs. Seeger says spending time listening to these songs has actually had a positive impact on her own vocal style.
“I’m trying to nail it as close as I can,” said Seeger, who dreamed of being a singer more like Heart’s Anne Wilson than the 76-year-old Streisand. “The one thing she does very well is, she hits notes like a laser. She doesn’t sing up to the note, she just hits it. And listening to her has actually improved a lot of my singing. I’ve learned by listening to her that you get more of a response to a song if you’re clean and clear like a laser when you sing.”
Seeger has already received requests to bring this self-funded show to Atlantic City and Mexico. See it first when it comes to the Seneca Queen Street Theatre this October.