L.A. Run of Buyer & Cellar May Get A Visit from Barbra

News   L.A. Run of Buyer & Cellar May Get A Visit from Barbra
Buyer & Cellar, Jonathan Tolins' hit, one-man comedy that stars Michael Urie as a struggling Los Angeles actor who finds himself working in Barbra Streisand's basement, is currently playing Los Angeles as part of its national tour. The L.A. Times reports that the original Funny Girl star intends to catch the production.

Michael Urie
Michael Urie Photo by Sandra Coudert

Tolins and Urie both stated that they've had no communication with Streisand, but a representative for the multi-award-winning performer said that Streisand plans on seeing Buyer & Cellar during the Los Angeles run.

Throughout Tolins' solo play, Urie's character has several encounters with Streisand, which requires the actor to emulate her physically and vocally. Tolins said that the theatre staff is under strict orders not to inform Urie if Streisand should be in attendance. "No, I can't know. It would be weird, very strange. But I'd be more concerned if the audience knew she was there. Because that would ruin the experience," Urie told the L.A. Times.

In an email send to the L.A. Times, Streisand joked about being "featured" in Buyer & Cellar, as well as last season's I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Menger, which starred Bette Midler as the late, famed Hollywood agent who counted Streisand among her clients at one time. "It was nice to be playing on Broadway in two shows without having to leave my house," she wrote.

Buyer & Cellar officially opened Off-Broadway in June 2013 at the Barrow Street Theatre. Urie ("Ugly Betty," Angels in America, The Temperamentals) created the role of Alex in the hit solo show that played an extended Off-Broadway engagement.

Urie is currently headlining the national tour of the production. The L.A. engagement, which opened July 13, will continue through Aug. 17 as part of the Center Theatre Group season.  The tour is also set to play San Francisco and Dallas. Buyer & Cellar will have its London premiere in spring 2015.

Stephen Brackett directs the production, which is billed this way: "Alex More has a story to tell. A struggling actor in L.A., he takes a job working in the Malibu basement of a beloved mega-superstar. One day, the Lady Herself comes downstairs to play. It feels like real bonding in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs? Buyer & Cellar is an outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things, and the oddest of odd jobs."

Tolins is perhaps best known as the playwright of The Twilight of the Golds (Broadway), If Memory Serves (Promenade Theater), The Last Sunday in June (Rattlestick and Century Center) and Secrets of the Trade (Primary Stages). He co-wrote the films "The Twilight of the Golds" and "Martian Child." He was a consulting producer on the recent CBS comedy "Partners" and was a co-producer on the first season of "Queer As Folk" on Showtime.

The set design for Buyer & Cellar is by Andrew Boyce; costume design is by Jessica Pabst; lighting design is by Eric Southern; and sound design is by Stowe Nelson.

For tickets phone (213) 628-2772, or visit CenterTheatreGroup.org.

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