Saturday, June 4, 2016

Michael Urie Reprises Buyer & Cellar at Westport

Michael Urie in the Off-Broadway production. Photo: Michael Urie. Photo: Sandra Coudert
The original Off-Broadway production of the critically acclaimed comedy Buyer and Cellar will take the stage of Westport Country Playhouse, June 14 – July 3.  Michael Urie, who won the Drama Desk, Clarence Derwent, Lucille Lortel, and LA Drama Critics awards for originating the role of Alex More in the show, will reprise his tour de force performance (see a review here). 

The Westport staging will be helmed by Stephen Brackett, who also directed the Off-Broadway show, as well as the original artistic team.  The comedy is written by Jonathan Tolins, a resident of Fairfield.

New York’s public television station THIRTEEN will tape a performance of the show during its run at the Playhouse for later broadcast on “Theater Close-Up,” the series that showcases Off-Broadway and regional not-for-profit, professional productions for Tri-state viewers.

Urie is well known for the role of Marc St. James on the award-winning “Ugly Betty” television series. A two-time Drama Desk Award winner, he will host the 2016 Drama Desk Awards ceremony on Sunday, June 5.

Off-Broadway Urie played iconic fashion designer Rudi Gernreich in “The Temperamentals,” for which he received the Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, and Theatre World awards.  On Broadway, he took on the role of Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  Urie was also in the Classic Stage Company’s production of The Cherry Orchard, Signature Theatre’s revival of Angels in America and played opposite Patti LuPone in Lincoln Center Theater’s world premiere of Shows for Days.

In addition to “Ugly Betty,” Urie’s television credits include the role of Gavin Sinclair in “Modern Family,” as well as “Partners,” “The Good Wife,” “Hot in Cleveland,” “Younger,” and “Workaholics.”  He currently hosts the Logo series, “Cocktails & Classics,” and directs the web series, “What’s Your Emergency.”

Buyer and Cellar is about a star named Barbra who has a mall in the basement of her Mailbu mansion.  Alex More, played by Urie, is a struggling LA actor who finds himself with the odd job of the mall’s shopkeeper.  He takes the audience on a rollercoaster ride of fame and friendship at the outer reaches of American celebrity.  (See a review here of the show at TheaterWorks starring Tom Lenk.)

The original design and production team will reunite for the Westport production.  They include Andrew Boyce, scenic design; Jessica Pabst, costume design; Eric Southern, lighting design; Stowe Nelson, sound design; Alex Basco Koch, projection design; Sam Pinkleton, musical staging; and Hannah Woodward, production stage manager.

Performances are 7 pm, Wednesday at 2 and 8 pm, Thursday and Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 3 and 8 pm and Sunday at 3 pm at Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport.  Tickets start at $30: www.westportplayhouse.org; 203-227-4177.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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