[GHENT, NY] – The Ghent Playhouse kicks off its 2022-2023 season with a one-man play with a peculiar premise: a struggling actor is hired for a mysterious job at an undisclosed location. Sam Reilly stars as Alex More. His job: staffing a fake private mall. The location: Barbra Streisand’s basement. Using subtle humor and bizarre situations, “Buyer & Cellar” is a comedic peek behind the curtain of fame. It runs Friday-Sunday, October 7-23 at the Ghent Playhouse, 6 Town Hall Place in Ghent.
“‘Buyer & Cellar’ is one of those shows that friends and directors were always telling me about, to a comical level,” said frequent cast member and Ghent Playhouse President, Sam Reilly, who stars in this endearing show. “People would say ‘You know what show would be perfect for you?’ and I’d cut them off and say ‘Buyer & Cellar?!’ I have always felt connected to this character and this show, so it feels almost natural to learn.”
The production will run three consecutive weeks, October 7-9, October 14-16, October 21-23. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sunday matinees at 2:00pm. Tickets are available online only: $23 for members, $28 for nonmembers, and $12 for students. Tickets and memberships can be purchased at GhentPlayhouse.org with no additional processing fees.
Not structured like a stand-up act or a one-man show, “Buyer & Cellar” is full of well-written, well-developed characters. “The story sweeps along picking up all these little breadcrumbs of information,” said Reilly. “It’s satisfying, the way good theater should be, when great writing and story telling come together to entertain and move you.”
Written by Jonathan Tolins, “Buyer & Cellar” won the 2014–2015 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show. According to a 2020 “New Yorker” article, the story sprang from an unlikely source: Streisand’s 2010 coffee-table book, “My Passion for Design,” in which she displayed a Potemkin shopping street that she built in her basement to display her costumes and possessions. “What if,” Tolins wondered, “Streisand hired an employee to work down there?”
This fictional story about a real person is witty and insightful. The solitude of celebrity, the love-hate attraction between gay men and divas, and the melancholy beneath all contribute to the storyline. While it feels like real bonding in the basement, will their relationship ever make it upstairs? “Buyer & Cellar” is a comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things, and the oddest of odd jobs.
Ghent Playhouse Artistic Director Cathy Lee-Visscher directs. “Cathy and I are a package deal at this point,” said Reilly. “We are both on the board of the theater; Cathy is the artistic director and I am the board president. She is a tough director. Anyone who has ever seen a Cathy Lee-Visscher show will tell you, her shows are amazing. I appreciate her ability to be hard on me, because at the end of the day, we both want this show to be the best it can be. And that takes hard work.”
While proof of vaccination will no longer be required for entry this season, in an effort to ensure the safety and enjoyment of audience members, the Ghent Playhouse will continue to require that masks be worn throughout all performances.
“An irresistible one-man play… This seriously funny slice of absurdist whimsy creates the illusion of a stage filled with multiple people, all of them with their own droll point of view.” – NY Times
“A fantasy so delightful you wish it were true.” – The New Yorker
“Hilarious! Beyond brilliant. This show will go down like butta’!” – Entertainment Weekly
“Fantastically funny.” – NY Post