VIDEO: On This Day, March 14- 700 SUNDAYS and 69 Years: Happy Birthday, Billy Crystal!
Today we wish a happy birthday to one of the kings of comedy and a star of stage and screen, Billy Crystal, who turns 69 today.
Crystal made his Broadway debut in 2004 with his autobiographical hit show, 700 Sundays. which earned him a 2005 Tony Award for Special Theatrical Event. After a smash record-breaking debut, Crystal brought the show back to Broadway's Imperial Theatre in 2013 for a sold-out limited nine-week run, which was filmed and presented by HBO.
700 SUNDAYS is an original two-act play in which Billy plays numerous characters that have influenced who he is today. It deals with his youth, growing up in the jazz world of Manhattan, his teenage years, and finally adulthood. It is about family and fate, loving and loss.
Billy Crystal was pronounced "The King of Broadway" by The New York Post for the Broadway debut of 700 Sundays which, in its opening week on Broadway, broke the house record for highest weekly gross at the Broadhurst Theatre and then continued to top its own record every week. With a cumulative gross of over $21 million, 700 Sundays set a record for the highest weekly grossing non-musical in Broadway history at that time ($1,061,689 for the week ending 5/22/05) and was one of the top ten grossing shows every single week of its run, despite playing only six performances per week. The show won the 2005 Tony Award for Special Theatrical Experience and both the 2005 Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Solo Performance.
Following the Broadway production, Billy played sold-out limited engagements of 700 Sundays in Toronto, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Billy then took 700 Sundays to Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, where both engagements sold out upon announcement and won the 2007 Helpmann Award for Best Special Event. In 2009, Billy brought the show back to the United States with engagements in six major cities: Washington, DC; Philadelphia; Dallas; Palm Beach; Miami; and Atlanta.
Happy Birthday, Billy! To celebrate, enjoy a short clip from the filmed HBO presentation of his record-breaking Broadway smash, 700 Sundays.