Buyer and Cellar – Menier Chocolate Factory
For some strange reason, I went along to see Buyer and Cellar at the Menier Chocolate Factory, (a fictional tale about what could possibly happen at Barbra Streisand’s shopping mall that she has built underneath her home in Malibu), but what I did not expect was for it to have attracted a gaggle of Streisand fans. Surrounded by middle aged men (mostly) I did feel a little out of place during the rapturous laughter throughout the show of ‘in-jokes’ that only hardcore fans would understand. However, by the time the 90 minute show ended, I felt as if I had been inducted into the Barbra fan club and knew all there was to know.
In Barbras (real) book ‘My Passion For Design’, she makes reference to a shopping mall that she has built underneath her house, simply to store all of her possessions. Jonathan Tolin wondered exactly what Barbra might do down there on her own and so wrote the fictional monologue of Alex More, an out of work actor who is hired to work in the mall, dusting Barbras nick nacks and on occasion, when she frequents the shops, to act as the shop assistant and pamper to her needs. As the two start to bond, Alex thinks he has made a friend of Barbra but has he really, or is he just her latest acquisition?
Michael Urie (Alex More) is best known in the UK for his role in the TV series Ugly Betty. He manages to engage the audience in this 90 minute, one act, one actor, play and draw the crowd in to the fantasy world he is telling of. With hilarious anecdotes of his encounters with Barbra, the time flies by. A hilarious romp through a fictional world of one of the most successful singers the world has produced, going to show how fame can sometimes drive you to go slightly crazy.
You won’t regret going to see this show, whether you are a Barbra fan or not.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Buyer and Cellar is playing at the Menier Chocolate Factory until 2 May 2015. Click here for more information and to book tickets.