Simply Streisand Star Molly Pope Takes on Seven Questions about Barbra
February 2nd, 2016
by Molly Pope
NJPAC is the place to be for fans of Oscar and Grammy winner Barbra Streisand. The February 6 show Simply Streisand charts her rise from humble cabaret beginnings to mega-stardom. BroadwayBox caught up with one of the show's stars, critically acclaimed cabarettist and actress Molly Pope, for seven Streisand-centric questions in advance of the big concert.
1. My go-to "I’m alone and singing Barbra" song:
“I Wish You Love” off Je m’appelle Barbra. My favorite Barbra album.
2. Most epic Barbra screen performance:
Yentl. It’s kind of a mindfuck to wrap your head around what she accomplished. I consider the “performance" to include what she did both on and off screen...how many roles she was playing (literal and figurative) as a woman, in the early 80’s, tackling this particular subject matter. The amount of faith in yourself and a project it takes to make that happen is unbelievable.
3. My first memory of seeing or hearing Babs:
“Sam You Made The Pants Too Long” played on Grandma’s cassette tape of Barbra Streisand’s Greatest Hits in her teal Toyota Camry.
4. When someone mentions the words Funny Girl to me, my instinctual response is:
No thank you. Funny Girl is most often mentioned to me in the context of me playing Fanny and I have to say, “No thank you”. On a purely technical level, it’s too high for my voice. Beyond that, I would rather place my inimitable stamp on a role of that size which I originate. But listen to/watch Funny Girl? Hell yes. She is perfect. To this day my mom sends me yellow roses for every opening because Nicky Arnstein gave Fanny yellow roses in the movie.
5. My opener to meeting Barbra would be:
Who does your nails? (I’d rather have a conversation than stutter compliments she’s already heard before.)
6. Molly Pope video I’d like Babs to check out on YouTube:
“As Long As You Love Me” from the final Our Hit Parade at Joe’s Pub in 2012. Her incredible TV specials are a huge influence on me. The spirit of fully realizing an interpretation of a song in that TV-speical-production way is handed down straight from her “Minute Waltz” as Marie Antoinette in an etching to me recontextualizing Justin Beiber as a turn-of-the-century Bowery singer and her gay friends. Streisand's TV specials always seem to challenge you “Why not? Why not go balls-to-the-wall with this?”
7. Moment I fell in love with performing:
The first time someone told me I got the part. Which happened to be Dolly in Hello, Dolly! freshman year of high school. Basically the same age as Babs when she played the role. Everything leads back to Jerry Herman!
Don't miss Molly Pope in Simply Streisand at NJPAC on February 6.