NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Barbra Streisand returned to her hometown Thursday night for the first of two sold-out performances at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Streisand opened the show with a monologue in which she said “Hello Brooklyn. Who said you can’t go home again?”
EXTRA: Guide To The Barclays Center
“I left Brooklyn to pursue my dreams, but Brooklyn never left me. I’m so glad I was born and raised here,” she said.
Streisand drew nearly 17,000 fans — many of them returning to Brooklyn themselves.
1010 WINS’ Eileen Lehpamer Reports
“I’m Brooklyn born, Williamsburg, just like Barbra and if she’s coming back to Brooklyn, so could I,” Abby Cardona told CBS 2′s Amy Dardashtian.
Cardona said she traveled from Florida, battled Brooklyn traffic and paid $350 for her ticket.
“She’s a legend and at 70 years old, you never know how long she’s gonna be around,” Cardona said.
The 10-time Grammy Award-winning artist was raised in Flatbush and graduated from Erasmus Hall High School. Thursday was her first time performing in her native borough. She will also perform Saturday.
Contrary to popular belief, there are still tickets available but you’ll have to shell out $650 to get one.
The fans that got tickets to Thursday’s show counted themselves as very lucky people.
“She’s just the best, that’s it. There’s no new talent that can compare,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Eileen Lehpamer.
Lehpamer also caught up with a pair of British men who came all the way from Paris in their blue suits because they said “Barbra loves blue.”
“We thought if Barbra meets us, we want to look smart,” one of the men said.
The Brooklyn Youth Chorus joined the music legend on stage Thursday and will again Saturday.
BYC Executive Director Valerie Lewis said Borough President Marty Markowitz brought Streisand and the chorus together.
“They were looking for a chorus and Marty is a big fan of BYC and a huge fan of Barbra, obviously, and he made a match,” Lewis told 1010 WINS. “We are so excited and we are deeply honored to be performing with Barbra Streisand at her debut in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center.”
Lewis said members of the chorus adore Streisand and were ecstatic when they learned they’d be singing with her.
“They couldn’t think of a higher honor than singing with Barbra in her hometown in front of her hometown crowd,” Lewis said.
The last time Streisand performed publicly on a Brooklyn stage, she was a 7-year-old Yeshiva student.
Kevin Burns produced the documentary “I Remember Barbra” in 1981, speaking mostly to Brooklynites who did not know the singer.
WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reports
Burns said when he met Streisand years later, she criticized him for the way he produced the documentary.
“I said that was the point, that these people feel that they know you who don’t necessarily know you but they feel like they do,” Burns told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.
Clips of the documentary were to be featured in her live shows at the Barclays Center.
“I guess after 32 years I can safely say she’s seen it and she doesn’t hate it and I’m not going to go to prison,” Burns joked.
Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …