Highly Recommended ***** There are days that seem to drag on and on…days where you need some sort of release, away from the reality of the weather, slow business and all the stresses that life can play on us. On those days, a little laughter would be a great release and Chicago’s Broadway In Chicago’s newest feature show, now playing at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower, the absolutely divine “Buyer & Cellar” is just what the doctor ordered. 100 minutes of quick moving comic story telling by the highly energetic Michael Urie. The playhouse is an intimate venue where no matter where one sits, one feels that the actor on the stage is talking to you, personally! That is why this is the perfect venue for Jonathan Tolin’s brilliant tour de force comic episode in the life of struggling actor Alex Moore, played of course by Urie.
Alex is a struggling actor, out of work who has migrated to L.A. in hopes of finding work. This is a one person show where Urie, in addition to portraying More, takes on all the other characters. The job he lands in Malibu is that of shop-keeper in a special mall located in the basement of the Malibu home of Barbra Streisand. We then follow his day to day, with his narrations as he prepares for her shopping experience in a mall that is filled with her treasures and we experience a “bonding” between him and the star that we adore. During this 100 minutes we are taught about her book and photography, her life, her habits and her craziness.
There are references to her youth, her family, her movies, the making of a film version of “Gypsy” with Barbra playing Grandma Rose and many other hysterical visions and ideas. Is this s dream? Is Alex real? Could this be a reality? Does it matter? It is filled with comic touches that will have you aching. You cannot help but find that whatever may have been bothering you during this day, is gone! Yes, the writing is sharp and witty, but as someone who sees a great deal of stage presentations, I must tell you that Urie makes it his own and brings a special energy to his character. We care about him. When he breaks up with his boyfriend, we weep for him and when he falls into despair over a “Barbra problem” we worry if he will be able to bounce back. Urie captures the essence of what Tolins meant for us to see ( and feel).
Those of us who learned to hate him during his “Ugly Betty” days, or did you love him? will find his stage skills even greater than what we saw on the small screen. As my grandson says, tv and movies can be a “cut and paste” where they can make it what they want you to see. Live theater is happening NOW and what we see from Urie is sheer magic from start to finish, He is captivating and his story telling is as close to perfection as you will ever see.
Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
Fridays at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2 and 6 p.m.
No evening performance on June 1st
May 28th will offer a 2 p.m. matinée performance in addition to the evening one
Tickets range from $30-$75 ( which is a bargain for a show that will do more for you than a day on the farm and can be purchased at any of the Broadway In Chicago box offices, by phone at 800-775-2000, all Ticketmaster outlets or online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com
discount parking is available in the Water Tower Place garage , Bring your ticket to the box office for validation.
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click “Buyer & Cellar”. This is one where you might want to plan to see it twice because it is worth the trip to do so and you are sure to miss some of the jokes along the first trip.