Buyer & Cellar coming to Chicago
The actor Michael Urie, currently earning raves in the Off Broadway solo comedy Buyer & Cellar, will bring the show to Chicago next spring. It's set to begin a run at the Broadway Playhouse on April 29, producers announced this morning.
In the play by Jonathan Tolins (Twilight of the Golds), Urie (best known nationally for his role in TV's Ugly Betty, though he also has a small mantelful of awards for stage work) stars as a struggling gay actor who takes a job working for Barbra Streisand, manning the fake "Main Street" mall she created in a basement on her Malibu estate to store her tchotchke collections. (While Urie's character is fictional, the mall isn't; Tolins was inspired by Streisand's 2010 coffee table book, My Passion for Design.)
Buyer & Cellar opened in April at New York's Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, moving in June to a commercial production at the Barrow Street Theatre, where Urie is set to continue performing through January 5. My colleague at Time Out New York, Adam Feldman, described Urie as "a performer of enormous charm and warmth who can also whip out fine dramatic acting when required," while Ben Brantley of The New York Times said the play is "just about as profound as a seemingly light entertainment can be."
(Coincidentally or not, I just listened the other day to Urie and Tolins talking about Buyer & Cellar on last Friday's episode of Julie Klausner's podcast, How Was Your Week?; the terrific interview starts just past the 30:00 minute mark.)
The producer Daryl Roth (Kinky Boots) is among those backing the Chicago stint, which is described as a "limited engagement," though an end date hasn't been given. But Urie's already been announced to perform another run of the show at Los Angeles's Mark Taper Forum July 9–August 17, so we have some idea of the limits of "limited." Tickets will go on sale at a later date; check buyerandcellar.com and broadwayinchicago.com for further information.