Even at 17 and 18 years old, her soaring vocals were already being compared to Barbra Streisand. Her equity theatre write-up read, “A Star, pardon the expression, is born.”
Working in Las Vegas and touring all over the world for 13 years, Barbra Streisand tribute singer Sharon Owens will take the Reagle Theatre of Greater Boston’s stage alongside Frank Sinatra tribute singer Sebastian Anzaldo on Sunday, February 23 for ‘Barbara and Frank: The Concert that Never Was’ at 2 p.m. This one day only performance will take place at Reagle Music Theatre, 617 Lexington Street in Waltham, Massachusetts. Visit www.reaglemusictheatre.org for all the details!
I had the honor of speaking with Sharon Owens about the history of ‘Barbra and Frank: The Concert that Never Was.’ For the full, audio interview, click here.
Now, how do you prepare to become Barbra Streisand? Is there a process involved?
Wow, that’s a good question. There used to be when I first started. Being an actress or a singer, you would have to prepare for it mentally and make sure your costume is just right. Just because I’ve been doing it for 13 years now, it’s very second nature. Offstage, believe me, I’m not Streisand. I definitely don’t have her checkbook.
What surprised you about her character? Was there any quality that you didn’t expect to be portraying?
What I had to work on the most was the New York accent. Once in awhile, my act comes through my voice and then I can turn it on right away. I had to make tapes of her monologues and her movie scripts. I put them on a cassette, listened to them over and over again, and repeat them until I had that certain dialect.
Now, let’s talk about the show. This is a tribute show to Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand. There will be film clips and photo stills of Barbara and Frank during the show. Will there be stories about Barbara and Frank as well?
It’s one of our absolute best twists! We take you back as if they were doing a concert together! It’s not like a legends show! There are jokes, stories, and it’s very theatrical.
I imagine there are many songs you have to remember.
Oh my gosh! I sing the hits. When she does concerts now, sometimes she doesn’t do the hits, so I always make sure I do the songs that everybody wants to hear.
Of course! American Standards are big anyway, but I imagine people make requests during your performances.
We do sneak out there and ask if there is anything the audience wants to hear. Although we have live musicians and a band, we have an excellent MV piano player who can play just about every song that Streisand and Sinatra did.
What’s amazing to me about this concert is it’s the concert that never was. You have two big personalities. Stringing them together must have been very tricky.
We did a lot of studying! Not really on Barbara’s TV special, but Frank’s! The reason we did that was a lot of the jokes and the things we created were from some of his duets he did with women. Some of the funny jokes he did with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, we put a female twist to them and drew a lot of material from that era. What’s funny is Frank did not do his duets with any these artists. Frank refused to be in the studio with anyone, including Barbara, which is a funny charade in the show.
I think that aspect is kind of sad. You could have that personal interaction with someone and you insist on not having it. It takes away from the piece I think.
A lot of people bought his ‘Duets’ CD, listened to it, and was just in awe. They didn’t realize that Frank would sing his part and the other person would sing their part, but they would never sing it together.
You have a solo CD, ‘Tribute to a Funny Girl.’ Why did you decide to make that CD?
I will do ‘Barbara and Frank,’ which ran in Vegas for eight years. Then, I do my solo show, which is also in the symphony. I take you on a journey through her looks and her different songs and her eras.
What would you say sets the show apart from other productions people might go to see and what’s the best reason people should go and see this production?
What sets us about it is an unexpected journey. It is all original. It has been going for 8 or 9 years in the creative process. It’s just what you would imagine – two huge egos on stage. Who is going to close the show?
Find out with ‘Barbra and Frank: The Concert that Never Was’ on Sunday, February 23! Visit www.reaglemusictheatre.org for tickets and for more information!