(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
Jonathan Tolins' one-person comedy in previews at the Rattlestick Theater is a guilty pleasure. It's sheer fluff, but what delightful fluff. The premise is so wacky that I just gave into it to see where it would lead: a certain superstar, whose first name is Barbra, has built an underground mall beneath the barn on her Malibu estate to house the many possessions she has acquired over the years. She likes to visit her stash, but doesn't like to be alone, so she hires an unemployed actor, Alex More, to impersonate a salesperson and be on call for her visits. Luckily for us, Alex is played by the talented Michael Urie, who also portrays Alex's cynical screenwriter boyfriend Barry, Barbra, her personal assistant Sharon and hubby James Brolin. A series of scenes in which Barbra haggles to buy a doll (which she of course already owns) is hilarious. Will Alex ever be invited upstairs to see her home? Will Barbra ever play Mama Rose on film? If you are a fan of divas in general or Barbra in particular, or a Urie fan or a lover of musicals or an unemployed actor or all of the above, you will have a good time. Andrew Boyce's simple set is greatly enhanced by Eric Southern's excellent lighting and Alex Koch's projections. Director Stephen Brackett might want to consider trimming a few minutes. Running time: 90 minutes without intermission.