We were welcomed by a pristine off-white set, elegantly decorated by a bench and a chair next to a small table with two old fashioned drinking glasses and a matching decanter. Oh – and of course on a pedestal, mounted to the wall, placed higher than everything in the room (with a soft spotlight aimed at it) was “My Passion for Design” – Barbra Streisand’s extravagant magnum opus of home tours.
This is not a strange coincidence either. It is the inspiration for , the one man show written by Jonathan Tolins playing now at Richmond Triangle Players, directed by Dawn A. Westbrook, and performed by Dan Cimo.
The show centers around Alex Moore, a struggling actor in California who is searching for his big break when he stumbles on an odd job working in the basement/mall of Barbra Streisand’s house.
Even though Alex starts out a little star-struck, he quickly develops a unique relationship with Barbra; unveiling secrets from each other’s personal lives. Alex’s boyfriend is delighted by the stories he brings home about Barbra, but his boyfriend becomes a little more skeptical as his celebrity friendship deepens.
Cimo’s electric presence on stage truly carried me through the journey of the play. Even with him fully disclosing at the start of the play that he was, in fact, an actor and that this story he was performing was fictional, I was still enthralled by his delivery and connected to each character’s development.
Cimo made me laugh and really enjoy myself, but he also made me listen to every syllable of the story.
Westbrook’s direction was magnificent. Her strong vision tied the play together and I could see how her and Cimo’s collaboration and practice helped open up Alex as a character.
Even though the play was not about the portrayals of the character, but rather the life of the story, the distinctions between each character performed solely by Cimo, were crystal clear. This stuck out to me especially during the scenes when Alex fights with his boyfriend. The constant back and forth really made it fun to watch as he switch between characters.
Overall the play was a great success. Whereas one-man-shows can be perceived as a drag, this show was filled with energy and life! If you’re thirsty for some real theatre and need a good laugh, go check out Buyer and Cellar at Richmond Triangle Players running through Oct. 31st.