Entertainment behind the scenes
Barbra Streisand to sing for Obama
Singer-actress Barbra Streisand, who originally endorsed Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential primary race, has jumped on Barack Obama’s bandwagon with both feet to sing for the newly anointed Democratic nominee at a Beverly Hills fund-raiser next week. Organizers say the hurriedly planned Sept. 16 event will probably mark Obama’s final stop on the Hollywood political money trail before the November election.
According to political consultant Andy Spahn, a co-host of the fund-raiser, the evening will begin with a dinner for the Illinois senator and about 250 guests at the landmark Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. Dinner will be followed by a reception in Obama’s honor at the main ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, featuring a performance by Streisand and others. The ballroom holds a crowd of up to 800 people.
Seats for the dinner and reception together go for a whopping $28,500 per person, but supporters who just want to hear Babs sing for Obama can get in for as little as $2,500 per ticket, Spahn said. At those prices, the two-part event could bring in nearly $9 million, making it the biggest single Democratic fund-raiser for the current election cycle. The money would be divided between Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Other members of the hosting committee include DreamWorks studio co-founders Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. Spahn said the rest of the evening’s entertainment lineup has yet to be confirmed.
Streisand, 66, one of Hollywood’s leading Democratic activists and donors, was a longtime supporter of former President Bill Clinton and backed the presidential primary campaign of his wife until Obama finally clinched the nomination in June. At that point Streisand, an Oscar winner for her 1968 film debut in the musical “Funny Girl,” immediately switched her allegiance to Obama.
Rarely performing in public, Streisand sang at fund-raisers for the last two Democratic presidential nominees — Sen. John Kerry in 2004 and then-Vice President Al Gore in 2000. They both lost to Republican George W. Bush.