I'M A bagel on a plate full of onion rolls!"
So said Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl as Fanny Brice, explaining her unique qualities.
I've always thought of Miss Streisand as something more exotic than a bagel (a napoleon on a plate of cheese danish?) but for sure she has stood out, transforming what the world accepts as a leading lady. First there was her success as a unique singer. Then she became a Broadway star almost overnight. Her ascent to the top in films might have been surprising even to her. (OK, maybe not to her. Like Diana Ross and Madonna, she has always had a sense of manifest destiny - a quality not always easy for others who are trying to cope.)
There's the rumor that Streisand might tour again, as Cindy Adams reported the other day. What's more, she seems to have given up saying "never again." And why shouldn't she go on working? Barbra set the house record for all seven of the venues she played in Europe recently. Her reviews were splendid. And those who saw her on stage said she never looked more relaxed.
This and that
The Diane English version of The Women will be like Claire Booth Luce's original in that it boasts an all-female cast. But the 1939 era depicted is being brought up to contemporary standards. At the moment Bette Midler, Cloris Leachman, Carrie Fisher, Lynn Whitfield, Joanna Gleason, Ana Gasteyer and Debi Mazar have joined Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith and Candice Bergen in this rich cast.
Speaking of women, Denise Rich paid $10,000 at a charity auction to nab me to emcee her coming extravaganza - The Angel Ball happening Oct. 29. Get in on this at the Marriott Marquis; it benefits cancer research. Sirio Maccioni's Le Cirque is doing a special menu and stars like Chaka Khan, John Legend, Joss Stone, Mark Consuelos, Star Jones, Petra Nemcova, Kelly Ripa, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and the Duchess of York will be there. Call for tickets at 212-254-6677.
And speaking of Le Cirque, that was one of the theater world's richest most powerful men, Andrew Lloyd Webber with his bride, Madeleine, and Peter Brown, their U.S. rep, hunkering down in the bar of Le Cirque where everybody claims the food is superior to the food in the main room. (Children, there is only one kitchen and it is all the same and superb!)
And apologies to Robert Redford's lady friend who I mistakenly called Bonnie; she is Bylle!
Star system? Phooey
Such a divine photograph of one of this column's favorite diva stars, Sharon Stone, strolling along in Paris the other day.
And here's a quote from Sharon in Madame Figaro, a French magazine. In it she says she no longer wants to be part of the star system: "I no longer want to be billed as a 'film star.' I am not Julia Roberts, a superstar who people want to see smiling and well dressed in film after film. It bores me. And I act much better opposite James Wood or Robert De Niro than Richard Gere."
Wait, that's not all! "I hate being compared to Joan Crawford. I don't like her as an actress or admire what she achieved."