Why Streisand Is Right (Kind Of)

I’m happy for Larry Kramer that his play “The Normal Heart” has made it, brilliantly, to Broadway. But I have a hell of a lot less sympathy for his continued complaining about Barbra Streisand and her inability to get the property made into a feature film. This story, like “Angels in America,” belongs on television, preferably on a network like HBO that won’t water it down. On TV, millions of people could see “The Normal Heart.” In a movie theatre, many fewer would be likely to view it. Streisand said at one point there was an offer from HBO to make the picture; if true, Kramer should have jumped. (He denies an HBO overture.) Streisand’s rights to “The Normal Heart” lapsed years ago, so Kramer should move on — to Ryan Murphy, or whomever. So that’s my defense of Streisand. (She defends herself perfectly well on her website.) If Michael Musto is right that she’s still serious about going ahead with a movie of “Gypsy,” a role for which she’s much too old, then I’m sure I’ll return to attack her another day.

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