Most of us won’t ever have the chance to visit Barbra’s Malibu compound, but Alex More does, in the hilarious Off-Broadway comedy Buyer & Cellar, by Jonathan Tolins. The one-man show follows Alex, a struggling actor played by Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie, after losing his job at Disneyland’s Toontown. He’s newly employed as a member of Barbra’s household staff, with the unconventional responsibility for managing the entertainer’s basement, a personal shopping mall with stores of items she already owns, and a frozen yogurt shop.
Alex seamlessly indulges Barbra (whom Urie impersonates, impeccably) on her first of many “shopping trips” downstairs, and the two develop a playful friendship. Consumed by Barbra’s mega-fame, Alex drives away Barry, his real-life boyfriend.
Urie does an outstanding job creating this fantastic scenario, all by himself. While his portrayal of Barbra isn’t exactly flattering, its authenticity probably would make her proud. What appears to be a seemingly simple one-man show is, in fact, full of surprises. Don’t miss Buyer & Cellar at the Barrow Street Theatre next time you’re in New York City.