True confessions: we used to have a huge crush on Billy Crystal. Back in the 1970’s there was an irreverent sitcom called Soap, a slapstick spoof of soap operas from the creative minds that eventually brought us the brilliant Golden Girls. And Soap pushed the limits in many episodes, from plotlines about demonic possession to alien abductions.
But it was Billy’s portrayal as the first openly gay character on a network television series that really made headlines.
He (and the character he created, Jodie Dallas) was a new role model, a silly one to be sure, but through humor the writers were able to address issues of gay life long before it was commonplace.
Not since Uncle Arthur in Bewitched reruns did we have someone so delightfully flamboyant to look up to. Ever since, we’ve felt a certain connection to Billy and have followed his career from the small screen to the multiplex to the Broadway stage.
Now, in 700 Sundays, he’s letting audiences into his life, highlighting events from his career and the people who influenced him most. Known for his portrayal of a zillion zany characters over the years, Mr. Crystal once again goes the multiple-personality route in this two-act play, in which he brings each character to life himself.
The Tony Award-winning, autobiographical play was a record-breaking success on Broadway and now it’s coming to the spectacular Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House this November for a limited engagement.
Attending this show will be like participating in a small part of gay history. OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but it’s a play you most definitely will not want to miss and the chance to see a comedy legend in action. Dare we say, it’ll be perfectly mah-velous.
Tickets $73.50 – $207.50
November 17 – 22, 2009