Monday, April 21, 2014

BC Sunday

I caught Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays on HBO.  The title refers to all the Sundays he spent with his father, who died of a heart attack when Crystal was a teenager.  Crystal did the one-man show on Broadway ten years ago, winning a Tony.  Now, at 65, he's revived it as a document for his kids and grandkids.

The stage set is the exterior of the house he grew up in on Long Beach, Long Island, and there are old photos and films projected onto it during the show. Still, 700 Sundays is all Billy.  It's not easy to hold the stage for two hours, but he manages, with no real dead spots.  Of course, he had plenty of time to prepare--in a way, it's the culmination of decades of standup, where many of these routines originated.

He talks about his childhood in the 50's, growing up in Yiddish culture.  But there was another world he saw--his father worked in a record store and put together shows, so great jazz artists would hang around the house. In fact, when his dad died, Duke Ellington and Count Basie came to the funeral.  Then there are other subjects, such as his early attempts at comedy, his love of baseball and the struggles of puberty.

There are a lot of laughs--some pretty cheap, but still funny.  Then, in the second half, when he deals with his father's death and the aftermath, it gets fairly serious.  But the sentiment is earned.  The last parts of the show take him through his mother's death decades later up to the present, and you really feel when it's done, he's left something of hinself behind.


Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Dare you watch it twice?

3:20 AM, April 21, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

1400 Sundays? No thanks.

3:50 AM, April 21, 2014  

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