Meanwhile, downtown in the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, yet another character is waiting for Barbra. In Buyer and Cellar, a fanciful show starring Michael Urie (from TV’s Ugly Betty) a young out-of-work actor Alex gets an unusual job. He’s the curator of a village that Barbra Streisand has built in the basement of her home to contain many of her purchases. At the beginning, he explains that the show is built on reality and fantasy because Barbra wrote a book entitled My Passion For Design in which she describes her dream house. In the basement of her barn, she put in a village of shops, where she keeps many of her antiques. Playwright Jonathan Tolins used the idea to create the show and the fictional Alex.
The character's work of dusting and arranging the many items Streisand has purchased, is mindless and boring-until one day she appears and wants to buy a doll (one which she already owns.) Alex and his boss develop a relationship and he even suggests that she would be a terrific Momma Rose in “Gypsy” and later he works with her on the play.
Urie is such a likable pleasant guy that his smile makes the audience smile. With only a little adjustment to his voice and posture, he portrays Alex’s boyfriend as well as Streisand. Urie keeps us entertained, even ‘dancing’ with Miss S. The play has sly references to Streisand movies and history and one appreciates the show better with that knowledge. Buyer and Cellar has been so well received that is moving to the larger Barrow Street Theater.
Both actors, Midler and Urie, are up for the Drama Desk’s award for Outstanding Solo Performance category. I know who I am voting for, but I wonder how Streisand would vote.