The time is 1959 in New York City; the scene is a quaint 9th Street apartment with candles, play scripts, and a guitar the place struggling actor Barry Dennen calls home. He shares this space with a young, ambitious, starry-eyed actress named Barbara Streisand. Their friendship was instantaneous, and then evolved into a love that could have only existed during those exuberant, youthful days in the New York theater scene days that burned themselves into Dennen’s memory.
My Life with Barbra: A Love Story is a moving, fascinating, intimate portrait of Streisand, the three years she shared with Dennen, and the on-again, off-again relationship he has had with her for 30 years. When they met, Dennen explains, it was Streisand’s dream to make it as a stage actress. But he helped her discover her real talent, singing. She came to him looking for friendship, and he introduced her to the fabulous history of nightclub singing and cabaret. Through the richly textured performance education Streisand received from Dennen, the thrift shop threads their friend Terry Leong turned into stunning star outfits for her, and the tender touch of makeup artist Bob Schulenberg, Barbara became “Barbra” and was empowered to eventually realize that dream of fame through finding a “style” that set her apart from the rest.
Drawn from Dennen’s personal experiences with Streisand, his diaries and letters from that time, My Life with Barbra takes a close look at the early years of one of today’s most powerful American entertainers. From her eye-popping first smash-hit as a brand-new Broadway Star in “I Can Get It For You Wholesale,” to her starring role in “Funny Girl” Dennen offers you front row seats to the making of a megastar. A treasure-trove drawn from his scrapbooks, never-before published photographs, and letters makes this book of memories a unique and enduring collector’s item.