People who need people to tend to the mini-mall they have in the cellar of their Malibu estate are the luckiest people in the world. Or so the premise of Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer & Cellar would have us believe. Now Barbra Streisand really does have facsimiles of shops, stocked with her own belongings, underneath her mansion. That much is true. What is fictionalized in Tolins’ one-man-play, currently earning laughs at the expense of Hollywood and excess at the Old Globe’s theater in the round, is the notion of a struggling actor (David Turner) tending Barbra’s shops, and getting to know the misunderstood star in a way he never expected (though a savvy audience will). Even if you couldn’t care less about Streisand and divadom, this is an inarguably funny show. Turner plays multiple characters (including Barbra) without high camp but with lots of stamina and heart.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat