Michael Urie to Take 'Buyer & Cellar' on the Road

Buyer & Cellar
Joan Marcus

Bette Midler showed that a single-character play could be full-bodied entertainment in John Logan’s ode to superagent Sue Mengers, I’ll Eat You Last. But for sheer originality in a solo work it was hard to beat Jonathan Tolins’ inspired riff on our chronic fascination with celebrity, showcasing a virtuoso comic performance by Michael Urie (pictured) as an out-of-work actor hired to toil in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu basement.

The former "Ugly Betty" star reprises his role in the long-running Off-Broadway comedy, with a six-week Los Angeles engagement scheduled as part of the national tour.

NEW YORK -- The smash Off-Broadway comedy about an unemployed Los Angeles actor who gets a job minding the collectibles in Barbra Streisand's Malibu basement, Buyer & Cellar, will kick off its national tour in Chicago on May 10.

Michael Urie stars in the one-man play by Jonathan Tolins, a clever reflection on our fascination with celebrity, conspicuous consumption and the boundaries of super-stardom. The show is directed by Stephen Brackett.

Buyer & Cellar premiered in April last year at the tiny Rattlestick Theatre in Greenwich Village. That sold-out run led immediately to a commercial transfer to the nearby Barrow Street Theatre, where it continues performances. 

The show received rave reviews, landing on the 2013 top ten theater lists of a string of publications, including The New York Times, Associated Press, New York Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter. It recently was named best solo show at the Lortel Awards, the top honors for Off-Broadway theater.

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Produced by Darren Bagert, Dan Shaheen, Ted Snowdon and Daryl Roth, the tour debuts at Chicago's Broadway Playhouse in a limited engagement through June 14.

Urie will then travel with the play to Washington D.C.'s Harman Center for the Arts (June 20-29) before a six-week Los Angeles stint at the Mark Taper Forum (July 9-Aug. 17) and a San Francisco engagement at the SHN Curran Theatre (Aug. 19-31). Additional dates will follow, including Toronto's Panasonic Theatre (Nov. 12-30), with casting on that leg to be confirmed.

A regular on the ABC comedy Ugly Betty, Urie is attached to star in Majordomo, a new series in development at USA Network.