NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Many theatrical comedies, dramas, and musicals use elaborate staging to set their themes, enhance their moods or help move their plot along.

Jonathan Tolins’ rollicking “Buyer and Cellar” isn’t one of them and the show proves theater at its minimum is often theater at its best.

Relying on almost nothing except the noted directorial prowess of David Saint, New Jersey native John Tartaglia brings us into the world of Alex More.

He’s the recently-hired fictitious manager of the actual shopping mall in Barbara Streisand’s Malibu basement.

After losing his job to an unpleasant incident at Disneyland the sometimes petulant Alex is playful and spirited and not lacking the right level of pathos.

He arrives in his dying Volkswagen at the elaborate home of a Hollywood heavyweight, he’s just not sure which one. After finding out, Tartaglia takes the audience via Alex on a funny and witty character voyage. He doesn’t only do this by portraying Alex.

Included in this visit to her basement is Streisand herself, her husband James Brolin, and Alex’s lover Barry.

All singly portrayed by one very skilled actor, Buyer and Cellar is a funny, well-directed and well-performed fantasy romp through the life and perceived quirkiness of an iconic celebrity.

Though it ended a bit abruptly, there is that old theater adage “Always leave them wanting more.”  They did.

Buyer and Cellar runs until March 29.  Ticket information is available at or by calling (732) 246-7717.

Reporter at New Brunswick Today