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Buyer and Cellar: How Barbra 'Finally Found Someone'

Ralph Malachowski

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posted by Ralph Malachowski on Nov 22, 2016 10:30am | comments

   


Barbra Streisand and Bryan Adams sang “I Finally Found Someone” in 1996. The hit play by gay playwright Jonathan Tolins explores another man in Barbra’s life, and that fictional story is fabulously told in Buyer and Cellar, now at the Bucks County Playhouse.

Nick Cearley plays Alex More, an unemployed actor desperate to make a buck. One of his sex partners calls to tell him about a queer job he may or may not like in Malibu, California, a long commute from his home. Alex soon discovers that his employer is Barbra Streisand. It seems that this fictional play has her owning a shopping mall in the basement of one of her buildings in her home complex. In each of the shops, Streisand has costumes from her movies, or dolls, or candy. It is Alex’s duty to be there as a salesclerk whenever the lady of the house rings the bell announcing that she is about to enter the basement mall. The storyline involves Streisand’s love of design, and the book she wrote on the subject, which Alex explores and explains to us in detail.

In a tour-de-force performance, Nick Cearley is by turns any number of characters: Alex; Alex’s boyfriend; Streisand’s property manager; Ms. Streisand herself; and James Brolin. For an hour and 45 minutes, he is the only person on stage. He dispels any doubts you may have about how interesting can a one-man show be. Cearley nails it.

Originally a monster hit in New York City a few seasons ago, Michael Urie was by all accounts fabulous in the role. The still photos of Urie in that production have him posturing on a chaise longue. Cearley has a Bergere chair and controls the histrionic temperature to a constant burn. His is, by all accounts, a great performance.

Barbara Streisand isn’t the only gay icon in Buyer and Cellar. Nick Cearley has twice appeared as Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Bucks County Playhouse, and his fifth go at Buyer and Cellar. Cearley was recently named as one of the people on the Out 100 list by Out Magazine as an outstanding LGBT actor. Playwright Jonathan Tolins has written for films, television, and magazines. Tolins has written for the Queer as Folk series, Bette Midler, written articles for Opera News and TheaterWeek, and appears as a panelist on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Quiz. He lives in Connecticut with his husband and two children. As if that weren’t enough, Buyer and Cellar’s director, Sarna Lapine, is theater legend James Lapine’s niece.

If you need to ask “Papa Can You Hear Me?” don’t feel “Guilty.”  Tell him “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” Tell him that you both need to get to the Bucks County Playhouse for a truly “Evergreen” experience in live theater, experience Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer and Cellar.

For more information (and to purchase tickets) visit the Bucks County Playhouse website at http://bcptheater.org/shows-events/buyer-and-celler/

 

NOTE: Opinions are those of the author, and not necessarily those of PhillyGayCalendar.com or of any organization or business that the author is assosciated with.





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