Theater Review: 'Buyer and Cellar' -- 3.5 stars
Buyer and Cellar
Who would ever have imagined that “My Passion for Design,” Barbra Streisand’s self-loving 2010 book about the architecture, construction and decorating of her various homes, would inspire one of the most well-constructed, savvy and thoroughly hilarious one-man shows in years.
“Buyer and Cellar,” written by Jonathan Tolins, performed by Michael Urie and in no way authorized by Streisand, imagines what it would be like to spend time in the basement of Barbra’s Malibu mansion, which was apparently built to resemble an old-fashioned street full of clean, nostalgic shops.
Alex, a gay actor recently fired from his job at Disneyland, is hired to play the role of a clerk in her basement. He is to run the frozen yogurt stand, manage the antique doll store and even engage in price negotiation with the diva herself.
After their formal encounters, Tolins imagines how Alex and Barbra could eventually form a closer relationship.
In addition to Alex and Barbra, Urie also plays Alex’s boyfriend, a Streisand fanatic who closely analyzes Alex’s changing relationship with the superstar. There is also a cameo from James Brolin.
Thanks to Tolins’ affectionate but satirical script, Urie’s versatile and dynamic performance and Stephen Brackett’s precise direction, “Buyer and Cellar” makes for absolutely terrific entertainment.
Needless to say, Streisand fans will certainly get a kick out of “Buyer and Cellar,” but being one is certainly not necessary to enjoy the show.
“Buyer and Cellar” plays an open run at the Barrow Street Theatre. 27 Barrow St., 212-868-4444, smarttix.com.