Buyer & Cellar by Jonathan Tolins

In this one-man show, a star is born. Alex, a struggling actor in LA, finds himself working in a shopping mall.  This isn’t your regular shopping center.  In his most challenging role yet, Alex plays the shop boy bargaining with Barbra in her basement. With riotously sharp wit, Alex awaits a visit from the ultimate customer, the “Funny Girl” herself.

In Buyer & Cellar, by Jonathan Tolins, Portland Stage Affiliate Artist Dustin Tucker plays an actor who takes the bizarre job of working in a shopping mall that Barbra Streisand has built in the basement of her Malibu home.

Although what happens in the play is fiction, the private shopping mall – with its doll store, clothing boutique and sweet shop – actually exists.

“Instead of just storing my things in the basement, I can make a street of shops and display them,” Streisand once told Harper’s Bazaar.

Playwright Jonathan Tolins was inspired by Streisand’s coffee table book, My Passion for Design, which includes a chapter devoted to her underground arcade.  “I studied that book and every picture very closely,” says Tolins, “I became obsessed with it and made a joke about what it would be like to be the guy that works down there. A lot of people see the play and buy the book and are shocked at how little I made up.”

Quick Info



Jonathan Tolins

Jonathan Tolins is a writer and producer, known for The Twilight of the Golds (1996), Martian Child (2007) and Grease Live! (2016). Tolins lives in Connecticut with husband and fellow playwright Robert Cary and two adopted children.

Cast & Artists