Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reverend's Previews: Sing Along with Babs!

The Ford Amphitheatre in the Hollywood Hills will likely be overrun by Barbra Streisand devotees, show tune queens and men dressed as Ziegfeld Follies girls the night of July 16, when Outfest 2009 will present Sing-Along Funny Girl.

The annual Sing-Along event has become one of Outfest’s most cherished traditions. Past films have included West Side Story, South Park and Dreamgirls. Participants are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters from the movie — no matter which gender — and sing along to lyrics that are projected during the film’s musical numbers.

This year, for the first time, past Outfest attendees were allowed to vote on which classic big-screen musical they would like shown. Nominees included Annie, the campy Grease 2 and Fiddler on the Roof. The runaway winner, however, was the 1968 Oscar-winner Funny Girl.


The lavish biography of singer-comedienne Fanny Brice marked Streisand’s film debut, and she subsequently won the Academy Award that year for Best Actress (in a famous tie with Katharine Hepburn, who won for The Lion in Winter). Streisand originated the role in the long-running Broadway production of Funny Girl, and her performances on stage and screen made her a global sensation.

With a famous score that includes “People,” “I’m the Greatest Star,” “My Man” and, of course, “Don’t Rain on My Parade”; magnificent choreography and photography; and a supporting cast featuring Omar Sharif (“Hello, gorgeous!”), Walter Pidgeon (as Flo Ziegfeld) and the Oscar-nominated Kay Medford, GLBT viewers won’t want to miss this chance to see and sing-along with Funny Girl on the big screen!

Preview by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.

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