Barbra Streisand Sings for Democrats

updated 09/30/2002 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/30/2002 12:00PM

In the audience: Christian Slater and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as well as top House Democrats, including the Minority Leader from Missouri, Dick Gephardt.

On stage: Barry Manilow, comedian Steve Harvey, the singing group Three Mo' Tenors and a main attraction named Barbra Streisand.

The headliner, 60, who sang her final farewell concert in 2000, emerged from semi-retirement Sunday night to star at a gala at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre that raised some $6 million for her own political party, reports the Associated Press.

The figure represents a fund-raising record for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said spokeswoman Jenny Backus. Tickets to the event sold for $500 each, though some of the 3,500 people in the crowd wrote out larger checks, The New York Times reports.

Streisand, wearing a sweeping, metallic green gown, delivered nine songs, including an altered version of "The Way We Were," with lyrics that conveyed a message for Democrats to take back the House of Representatives.

"Scattered pictures of the House we left behind," she sang. "Lovely Democratic memories, of the way we were."

Last week Streisand, a longtime Democrat and close friend of former President Bill Clinton, caused a stir when she sent Gephardt a forceful letter urging him to stand up to President Bush. "It is time for the Democrats to get off the defensive and go on the offensive," she said.

Gephardt joked about the letter in a speech after Streisand's set, telling the crowd: "Some of the Republicans thought that was cute. Well, what I want to say to my friends in the Republican Party is eat your heart out. I get faxes from Barbra Streisand, they get faxes from Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson."

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