'Buyer & Cellar' explores celebrity and fantasy

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) proudly presents “Buyer & Cellar” by Jonathan Tolins, a quirky comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things, and the oddest of jobs. The winner of a 2013 Drama Desk Award and a 2014 Lucille Lortel Award, Buyer & Cellar was one of the most produced plays in the 2015-16 theatrical season. Called a “Seriously funny slice of absurdist whimsy” by The New York Times, Buyer & Cellar is a comedic one-man show that depicts how different life is for celebrities and the people who work for them.

“Buyer & Cellar is a hilarious yet poignant play that explores and contrasts humans’ connection to material items and other humans,” shared Remy Germinario, who plays Alex More (as well as many other characters) in FST’s production of “Buyer & Cellar.” Germinario has played Alex More in Riverside Theatre and Cardinal Stage Company’s productions of Buyer & Cellar, and received the FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award for his performance in Bradley Cole.

“It’s a truly unique delight!” he continued. “The play takes the audience on a roller coaster ride of emotions, with twists and turns. It has the power to make you guffaw at the humorous antics, only to be surprised, minutes later, by a tender and relatable moment that makes you think. Buyer & Cellar balances fast-paced comedic foolishness with more serious topics, like the loneliness that can come with fame, the struggle of an actor who is down on his luck, and how people can change under the influence of glitz and glamour.”

Recently fired from being the Mayor of Toontown in Disneyland, Alex More accepts an even more unusual gig: working in the Malibu basement mini-mall of a celebrated megastar. Soon Alex must tend to the divine diva’s collections of dolls, antiques, and vintage dresses. One day, the Lady Herself comes downstairs to play. It feels like they share a real bond in the basement, but Alex begins to wonder, will their relationship ever make it upstairs? Buyer & Cellar explores stardom, materialism, and the power dynamics that exist in professional relationships. “It’s interesting to me what the play says about the class system,” Tolins shared with the Los Angeles Times. “They’re both in show business, but she’s at the top of the heap and he’s at the bottom of the barrel. The main house, the cellar.”

The New Yorker calls Jonathan Tolins’ comedy “A fantasy so delightful you wish it were true” and “Charming.” Entertainment Weekly writes that Buyer & Cellar is “dense with laughs, pathos, and even a little suspense,” while The New York Times calls the play “Irresistible.”

“Buyer & Cellar” runs from March 20 through April 14 in FST’s Bowne’s Lab Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Tickets can be purchased at 941-366-9000 or floridastudio theatre.org.

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