One person shows usually have a short run. But Michael Urie in "Buyer & Cellar" doesn't seem to have an end in sight. It's no wonder: the show is FANTASTIC!
Having won numerous accolades (even over Bette Midler's one woman show!), Urie proves how stellar he is in Jonathan Tolins' ingenious comedy that doesn't take a cast of thousands to make a show successful. Sometimes it's just one actor and a well written story.
The part about a mall is absolutely true as detailed in Streisand's book "My Passion for Design." But it took the great mind of Tolins to make the truth about the basement into a witty, fictional tale of having Barbra herself going shopping in her own mall and Urie playing the hired clerk to help sell and negotiate prices with the mall's "customer."
Urie, who plays all characters on stage including Streisand herself, cannot be more charming and natural for the part - even in moment's when Alex is having conversations with Streisand and Urie repositions his body and moves to the other side of the stage to help us believe there are actually two characters on stage having a conversation. There's a scene in particular in which Alex is getting his head massaged that you forget it's actually Urie rubbing his own head.
This show opened in the summer to rave reviews and has been packing the house every since. Reports show that Urie had planned to leave in early January but since, upon a recent performance, he announced his understudy was going on while he was on vacation for a few days in January, proves that Urie knows a good thing when he see's it: a life in the theatre, embracing thoughts of Barbra Streisand, surrounded by her fans truly makes him one of the luckiest people in the world.
While Urie will be on vacation for select January dates, he introduced us to his understudy Clancy O'Connor who was equally as charming in their banter after the show and promises to offer his own fun spin on this splendid tale. No disservice to Urie, but the story is so enchanting that I think it will do well while he's on vacation.
"Buyer & Cellar" is playing an open-ended run at the Barrow Theatre, 27 Barrow Street, New York. Get more information at www.buyerandcellar.com.