Actress/singer Sharon Owens transforms herself into Barbara Streisand performing in “The Best Of Barbra, The Tribute” on Saturday, April 15 at Aventura Arts & Cultural Center in Aventura.
Accompanied by a seven piece band, Owens will sing more than 20 Streisand hits, share anecdotes on the many achievements of Streisand as an actress, film director, concert attraction and singer on stage and take questions and requests from the audience.
The real Barbra Streisand, who started her 65 plus year career in show business in 1962, has been so well-known that scores of impressionists, such as Marilyn Michael and Jim Bailey, (along with hundreds of others) had long careers with an impression of Barbra Streisand being in the core of their performances.
Owens, who is from Tampa, never envisioned her career to be a Barbra Streisand Tribute performer when she first studied to be an actress at the University of South Florida in the 1980s.
Sharon Owens as Streisand
“I never even thought I would want to spend most of my life being a tribute artist as Barbra Streisand or anybody other than myself,” said Owens from her home in Southwest Florida.
“But I was told whenever I auditioned how much I looked and sounded like Barbra (Streisand) continually. So, I took the bait and tried out being Barbra. In 1992, I performed as Barbra in “Legends In Concert” as one of many tribute artists and I haven’t stopped being Barbra since.”
Owens has been a Barbra Streisand tribute artist for more than 30 years, but is still young enough to be Barbra Streisand’s daughter.
Streisand herself will turn 81 on April 24 and, despite Owens performing hundreds of shows as Streisand in Las Vegas and elsewhere, she never met or heard from Streisand.
“I hope the day will come that I will meet Barbra because I admire all that she has done to pave the way for talented people, especially women.”
After the first decade of being Streisand, Owens had some thoughts about doing something else on stage.
“After spending more than ten years in Las Vegas with ‘Legends In Concert’, I started to wonder if being Barbra was my calling or not. I met actors who I admired for playing so many roles in their careers and, at the time, I played only Barbra.”
“But I came to realize how lucky I am to be Barbra on stage night after night. The actors I met had to continually audition for a new role in a new play and were never guaranteed to be hired.”
“I am fortunate since I started doing my Barbra tribute show that I never had to audition, not even once over all the years. I have so much creative control and freedom and I will be proud to be Barbra on stage for the rest of my life.”
After a decade of performing as Streisand along with other tribute artists in “Legends In Concert”, Owens teamed with Frank Sinatra tribute artist Sebastian Anzaldo to perform “Barbra & Frank: The Concert That Never Was” for a decade in Las Vegas and other cities on international tours.
“Becoming Barbra Streisand is a lot more than just my work. It is teamwork. Working with Sebastian (the Sinatra tribute artist Anzaldo), the stage manager, the band and the many makeup artists create the perfect look needed to create beautiful memories for our audiences.”
In addition to working with Anzaldo, Owens has also teamed with tribute artist Steve Leeds in 2022 as Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga in the show “Love For Sale: A Tribute To Tony Bennett & Lady Gala” that was performed on a national tour, including Aventura Center last July.
“I love working with Steve Leeds, as he thrilled the audience in becoming Tony Bennett. I always wanted the opportunity to play Lady Gaga and the chemistry that Steve and I had on stage worked for us and the audiences.”
Owens has toured internationally over the past 30 years and appeared on television talent shows, such as “The Next Big Thing” on ABC and “Performing As” on FOX, winning the competition on both shows.
Her show at Aventura Center will also involve audience participation. Owens will ask the audience for requests to sing any Barbra Streisand song requested.
Sharon Owens as Streisand