Barbra At The Mall (Stage Thoughs: Buyer and Cellar, Wesport Country Playhouse)

1700982I saw a preview of ‘The Government Inspector’ and realize the one of my favorite actors nowadays in Michael Urie.  he can do no wrong – from Ugly Betty, Younger, and of course, Buyer and Cellar. This made me realize I never wrote about the Wesport Playhouse production that was shown on PBS earlier this year. I saw the Off-Broadway production when it first came out, and wanted to see if there were any different from this regional theater run.

It’s pretty much the same great play as I remembered (the only thing I noticed is that Alex More has a different shirt, still the same red pants though) And Urie, as Alex, seems even better in the role – he gives a more lived-in performance making his performance more textured – truly one of best stage performances in recent years. He never resorts to making the performance stereotypical, knowing when to hold back so Alex More doesn’t become cartoon. He is hilarious on the funny parts, and adding pathos to the more serious ones.  Of course, it helps a lot Jonathan Tollin’s writing is so smart. A lot of major Barbraphiles may take offense on some what may  feel like ‘takedowns’ on her,  but deep inside, you know that he is a major fan of her, you feel the love there.

This is a great souvenir for the play, and I am very glad it exists.

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