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Off Broadway

Buyer and Cellar

Thomas Ellenson

Happy Fourth of July weekend! Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. Last night I saw Buyer and Cellar at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, CT. The one-man play by Jonathan Tolins stars Michael Urie, who originated the role(s) Off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre in 2013. Having seen it at Barrow Street before, I was thrilled that the hilarious (but fictional!) look at what it would be like to work in Barbra Streisand's "basement mall" was back with its original star. 

The Acting: 

Michael Urie is fantastic as the main character, Alex More, and all of the people he interacts with, including his boyfriend ("Barry"), his boss ("Sharon"), and of course Barbra herself. The show's prologue explains that Urie will not do an impersonation of Streisand, but just "be" her- and it absolutely works. His comedic timing is pitch-perfect (as is his ability to rapidly switch from one character voice to another) and he brilliantly lands all of the jokes. 

Book: 

Not only is Jonathan Tolins' imaginative 100-minute play incredibly funny, but it also explores interesting themes of celebrity and the price of fame. 

My opinion: 

I'm so glad I was able to see this again a few years after the Barrow Street run. The Westport production ends today, but one performance was filmed for Thirteen and will air soon on the television program "Theatre close-up." I give it 10/10 escapes!