Lights come up on a bench, placed in an empty hallway. Well-designed projection behind it shows in turn the exterior of a Malibu mansion and, later, the insides of sections of the …
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“Buyer and Cellar” by Jonathan Tollins plays through Nov. 11 at the John Hand Theater, 7653 East First Place, Denver (Lowry). Performances: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. (We suggest use of a map — it’s a bit tricky to find!)
Lights come up on a bench, placed in an empty hallway. Well-designed projection behind it shows in turn the exterior of a Malibu mansion and, later, the insides of sections of the basement—which houses Barbra Streisand’s extravagant miniature shopping center.
Littleton-based director Linda Suttle has crafted a charming and engaging comedy from Jonathan Tollin’s cleverly-written one-person play, “Buyer and Cellar,” co-produced by Lowry’s Spotlight Theater and Theatre Or appearing through Nov. 11 at the John Hand Theater. The production is also part of the annual JAAM Festival.
Streisand published a well-publicized book in 2010 called “My Passion for Design,” which is the basis for this play. An article by Streisand appeared in the national British daily, The Telegraph, telling of a deprived childhood, without even a doll. Hence, the addictive behavior — now that she has millions at her disposal — buying everything she can think of. There’s a doll shop in that basement, with all the trimmings, including a doll named Fifi. And antiques, clothing, furniture, a frozen yogurt machine and much more, we learn.
Alex Moore (a very talented John Hauser), a good-looking unemployed young actor appears to tell us this is his new job, tending to Streisand’s collection of little shops that house her accumulations of stuff. He is to dust, polish and clean so all is at readiness should a customer — only Streisand — appear. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, he works his way through the collection, dusting, polishing, rearranging items, with conversation about some examples. He eagerly awaits the star’s eventual visit, which includes a funny haggling scene.
Hauser also impersonates a grumpy “gatekeeper” sort of person who hires him, pays him and offers lots of instructions, as well as his gay boyfriend and, eventually, the star herself. Really an impressive young talent. We’ll hope to see him in another role soon. (Vinny Thomas is his understudy.)
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