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BUYER AND CELLAR presented by Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati through Nov. 1. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.
In 2010, Barbara Streisand released “My Passion for Design,” a book that showcases her “taste and style that have inspired her beautiful homes and collections.” Instead of just storing things in her basement, Streisand built an underground street of shops to display items she has collected over her long career. Using this fact as a jumping-off point, playwright Jonathan Tolins’ one-man show explores what life could be like for the wayward soul hired to man the basement mall.
Nick Cearley is Alex More, the out-of-work actor “lucky” enough to land that job. He also portrays several other characters, including the “Funny Girl” herself. Cearley is a wonderful storyteller and he easily establishes a strong rapport with the audience. Completely comfortable on stage, the charismatic actor handles the demands of the multiple characters easily.
The script is clever, well-written and very funny. Even though it takes tongue-in-cheek liberties with “Babes” personality and personal life, there is still a sense of believe-ability to story. The show also takes swipes at celebrity, Hollywood excess and the eccentricities of the uber-rich.
The three-walled set, designed by Brian c. Mehring, is clean and simple, with only a few pieces of furniture. At times, a portion of the upstage wall is used for video projection to help establish the various settings.
Overall, a laugh-out-loud, entertaining show that is sure to please Streisand fans and non-fans alike.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5.
On display in the lobby is a nightgown once owned by Barbara Streisand. Complete with certificate of authenticity, it is being raffled off as a fundraiser for ETC.
Nick Cearley also performs as half of the cover band, The Skivvies. He and his partner-in-undies, Lauren Molina, have scheduled three shows on Oct. 22-24. For more information on these performances, including special guests, click here.
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