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Jonathan Tolins

Are You Talkin' to Me?

George Heymont | Posted 01.10.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Whether mimicking famous celebrities or cartoon characters, a talent for voices demonstrates the added value of an actor's sharp ear combined with an uncanny ability to improvise on a moment's notice.

Odd Job: A Short Interview With Buyer & Cellar's Christopher J. Hanke

Danny Groner | Posted 07.15.2014 | Arts
Danny Groner

It's hard to believe that Buyer & Cellar is actually a one-man show and a work of fiction. That's because Christopher J. Hanke, in the starring role, does so much more than show you the tale of someone hired to work in the mall in Barbra Streisand's basement.

Michael Urie: From Betty to Barbra

Dustin Fitzharris | Posted 02.09.2014 | Gay Voices
Dustin Fitzharris

When ABC's hit show Ugly Betty wasn't renewed after four critically acclaimed seasons, actor Michael Urie, known to millions of fans as Marc St. James, returned to his roots in the theater. Today the 33-year-old graduate of Juilliard is starring in Buyer & Cellar, one of the most celebrated off-Broadway shows this year.

Jonathan Tolins, the Weird and Wonderful Playwright Who Transformed Barbra's Passion

Myra Chanin | Posted 10.29.2013 | Arts
Myra Chanin

Playwright Jonathan Tolins' comedic gem has, in addition, supplied me with a new definition of genius -- an artist who can transform the most narcissistic book ever written into a comic masterpiece.

Aisle View: Barbra's Basement

Steven Suskin | Posted 08.24.2013 | New York
Steven Suskin

This past spring saw not one but four solo shows, three of them Broadway vehicles for major star ladies and one unassuming off-Broadway effort with a skinny guy you probably never heard off.

Party of One

Helen Eisenbach | Posted 07.06.2013 | Arts
Helen Eisenbach

The thought of seeing a one-person show always makes my heart sink a little. I feel as if I'll have to work for my pleasure instead of sitting back and surrendering to some grand, mindless entertainment. Still I go, and never expect what I often find.

The Present Is a Lot of Laughs -- Streisand, Midler & More

Cara Joy David | Posted 06.26.2013 | Arts
Cara Joy David

Let me start with John Logan's I'll Eat You Last and why this column might as well have been titled, "Why Bette Midler Should Receive a Tony Nomination."

First Nighter: Barbra Streisand, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Jack and Madeline Lee Gilford Get Theater Treatments

David Finkle | Posted 06.07.2013 | Arts
David Finkle

Buyer & Cellar, a one-man intermissionless 90-minuter showcasing an extremely adroit Michael Urie, could easily be dismissed as a merely silly time-killer for La Streisand fans. Yet, in a larger sense, it inadvertently implies a reality about the American obsession with fame.

Stage Door: Secrets of the Trade

Fern Siegel | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Fern Siegel

The pluses are lots of zingy one-liners and an insider's wink and a nod to Broadway glamour. If Neil Simon were gay and from a comfortable suburban Jewish family, he could have written Secrets of the Trade.