Buyer and Cellar

The O’Reilly Theater

Through June 28
8 p.m., 7 p.m. & 2 p.m.

You may know him as the geeky villain Andrew Wells who becomes a love interest in the last season of the hit television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but now Pittsburgh audiences will get to know actor Tom Lenk on stage.

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Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Public Theater.

Directed by Don Stephenson, the comedic culmination of Pittsburgh Public Theater’s 40th anniversary Season of Legends concludes with Jonathan Tolins’ hit play Buyer & Cellar. Making its Pittsburgh premiere, the one-man comedy was named “Best Unique Theatrical Experience” by the Off-Broadway Alliance when it premiered at New York’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in 2013.

It was actually a real-life story about mega-star Barbra Streisand that inspired the award-wining playwright to pen the outrageous comedy. In her 2010 book, My Passion for Design, the inimitable Babs takes readers on an in-depth tour of her lavish homes and collections, including the bizarre basement of her oceanfront estate in Malibu, where she created a shopping mall. Constructed in the manse’s surreal “street of shops” is a gift store, vintage clothing boutique, antique emporium and Bee’s Doll Shop.

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Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Public Theater.

Taking this already over-the-top scenario one step further, Tolins created a clerk to work in the faux mall and wait on its only customer—Streisand herself. Starring in the play as Alex Morethe, an out-of-work-actor-turned-clerk, is 39-year-old Tom Lenk. In addition playing Alex, Lenk will also conjure Barbra, her assistant, Alex’s boyfriend Barry, and even Barbra’s husband James Brolin.

In addition to his role in TV favorite Buffy, Lenk has appeared in numerous projects directed by Joss Whedon, starred on Broadway in the musical Rock of Ages and has performed frequently at Los Angeles’ top comedy venues such as Upright Citizens Brigade and Comedy Central Stage.

Audiences will follow all of the drama, as “the budding relationship between the starstruck employee and the superstar leads to penetrating insights about celebrity culture—and plenty of laughs.”

The design team includes Michael Schweikardt (scenic), Ted Pappas (costumes), Stephen Terry (lighting), Zach Moore (sound), and Shawn Duan (projections).

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Jennifer BaronEvents & Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.