BuyerAndCellar_1Here it is June and Pride activities abound, and if you are looking for some theater to add into your mix of party, protest, and celebration, get your asses over to Pittsburgh Public Theater for a fantastic production of Buyer and Cellar starring Tom Lenk. Never in all the shows I’ve seen at PPT, have I laughed as hard as I did for this tremendous play. And if you aren’t that gay (and possibly even straight) don’t worry, you too will love this show, because everything about it is hilarious for the entire audience.

BuyerAndCellar_3The unique show is a play about Alex, an out of work actor, who takes a job for Barbra Streisand, and hilarity ensues. Other characters in the story come to life including Barry, Alex’s boyfriend, and Sharon, his boss, and of course Barbra, but all of these characters are played by one lone actor on the stage, Tom Lenk.

I had read most of the script prior to interviewing Tom, and to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to actually work. But Tom impressed me with his wit and personality (and can I say he is handsome) so I figured it would all work out fine. And, boy did it! From start to finish, Lenk has the audience exactly where he wants them, laughing, and laughing some more.

I loved it when Alex admits to not being too much of a Barbra fan. How real is that! I bet I know a gazillion guys who know how to pretend to be big Barbra fans… or Judy fans… or Bette fans, but in the end, most of that is learned facade. But to get swept up in a fantasy with an icon, most everyone can relate to that. And I think that’s what I found most compelling about the show. Alex is a very real gay guy (for a fictional character) in a show that isn’t really about being gay.

It feels so good to type that. Gay guy. Here in 2015, everything is so political, and urgent, and LGBTQIALMNOP. How awesome it is to enjoy, revere, and poke fun at little parts of gay culture.

I expected a top rate performance and Tom Lenk delivered, but what I hadn’t expected was how physically funny he would be. I almost peed myself watching him rock forward and back laying across a bench. The show is a riot of laughs and Lenk, a masterful performer.


The show prompted me to recall, my first real introduction to Barbra. I was 23, and living in Steubenville at the time. My friend Jeffrey went out and bought a CD player, a very new-fangled tech thing at the time, so that he could listen to Barbra’s Broadway album. We’d spend hours sitting there, listening, over and over to the various tracks in awe of the sound quality, and in awe of Barbra.

Don’t let this show pass and miss it! You will love it, I promise.

Tickets are here 

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