Barbra Hosts Birthday Bash For Longtime Manager.
September 16, 2010, 3:00am

Courtesy of BroadwayWorld.com

On Saturday night, September 11, 2010 Barbra Streisand hosted a party at her Malibu home to celebrate the birthday of her long-time manager, Marty Erlichman and the pair’s 50 years of working together.

Originally scheduled to take place last year for Erlichman’s 80th Birthday, the party was delayed when the two got busy with Streisand’s top of the charts release of Love is the Answer and her performance at New York’s Village Vanguard and was instead celebrated the night before his 81st birthday.

The guest list was hand-picked by Erlichman and visitors also were able to see first-hand the design of Barbra’s “New American Barn” which will be seen later this year in her upcoming book ‘My Passion for Design’.

Photo credit: Kevin Mazur.

Streisand and Erlichman will be celebrating their 50th anniversary next year—Erlichman having discovered the unknown singer “with funny clothes and a voice for the ages” at the Bon Soir in the Village, where she was the opening act for the legendary Phyllis Diller.

Diller, who made a rare appearance at the Erlichman party, said, “Barbra and I worked for gangsters at that club, but I knew right away she would make it big.”

Streisand presented Erlichman with a hybrid Mercedes for his birthday, admitting “he’s really turning 81, but we were both too busy with the Village Vanguard last year, but at this point, who’s counting?”

She then sang the classic torch song “The Very Thought of You” to Erlichman, which he “always wanted me to record, but I just never did.”

As a surprise, composer Marvin Hamlisch then accompanied her on “The Way We Were,” with special lyrics by the song’s lyricists, Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Among the lines was a reference to the fact that Erlichman’s first “office” was a phone booth on 53rd and 7th Ave, when a local call cost ten cents:

“Marty,
With your dwindling role o’dimes,
Making deals and making phone calls,
You knew that there’d be better times!
You booked and then you,
Would check the venue
I only checked the menu
That’s the way we were!”

Among the show business royalty at the party were Barbra’s first agent, Irvin Arthur, who booked the original Bon Soir gig; Don Rickles, who insulted everyone at the event; Michael Eisner, under whose reign at Disney Erlichman produced the “Ernest” films and managed the “Where’s Waldo” franchises; former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, George Foreman, who was formerly managed by Erlichman; Clive Davis, who was an attorney at Columbia Records when Streisand signed there in 1962; New York promoter, Ron Delsener, who promoted Streisand’s classic Central Park concert in 1967; longtime Columbia Records President, Walter Yetnikoff, who told of how impossible it was negotiating with Erlichman; and Michael Cohl, promoter of Streisand’s last two tours (and producer of the upcoming SPIDER-MAN on Broadway).

Erlichman commented: “What an evening. There are 5 lawyers, 3 agents, 3 promoters, and no doctors.” Also attending were Erlichman’s wife Miko along with their son, JJ.

Erlichman, clearly overwhelmed with emotion addressed the one hundred guests and said, “You know I still love it… I wake up every morning and attack each day.”

Martin Erlichman is best known for discovering Barbra Streisand and managing her career for over 40 years.

Unique among his peers, Mr. Erlichman has produced award-winning and record-setting motion pictures, concerts, record albums, as well as network and cable television programs. As manager for Ms. Streisand, he has negotiated all of her numerous recording, theater, motion picture, television, merchandise/licensing and live concert contracts.

He has been the Executive Producer of all Ms. Streisand’s television specials and the producer on one of her films, FOR PETE’S SAKE. His other producer film credits include the highly successful COMA, starring Michael Douglas, and BREATHLESS, starring Richard Gere. He also served as the manager for the “ERNEST” franchise for Walt Disney Studios and represented the “WHERE’S WALDO?” franchise and negotiated deals for this character in books, television and movies.

In addition to having received Emmy, Cable and Grammy nominations, Mr. Erlichman has won both an Emmy and a Peabody award as Executive Producer for “Barbra Streisand: THE
CONCERT.”

Special thanks to Robert Diamond @ Broadwayworld.com

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