» » Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays (2014)

Short summary

In 700 Sundays, legendary comedian and actor Billy Crystal tells the stories of his youth, growing up in the jazz world of Manhattan, his teenage years, and finally adulthood. The Tony Award-winning show is a funny and poignant exploration of family and fate, loving and loss.

Won the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event in 2005.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Dorizius
    I've been a fan of Billy Crystal for many years. Not just a comedian and actor but a real story teller, giving us an incredible tour of his life from childhood to today and the family that is so much of who he is. I was laughing one minute, crying the next, then laughing again. His love of jazz, baseball and comedy were so well punctuated throughout, as you listen to him you personally reflect on the things that are important in your own life, the things you love, family and friends. I was most moved by the relationship with his father and how he would so wonderfully talk about the good and the bad. This is a must see and thanks to HBO for mounting this production. And for the man himself, pure genius. Bravo Mr. Crystal, BRAVO!
  • comment
    • Author: Lesesshe
    Light years ago, I saw a young stand-up comic on The Tonight Show. After his set, Johnny called him over to the coveted chair position. That's when I fell a little bit in love with Billy Crystal. He talked about his childhood, his father who was a Jazz entrepreneur, and meeting some of the best Jazz musicians backstage. That was my first introduction to "Face" and I've been a fan ever since.

    Last night, I watched 700 Sundays, Billy Crystal's Tony Award winning one-man show about his beloved father who died when Billy was 15. I learned that his uncle founded Commodore Records and recorded Jazz legends and ground-breaking songs (Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday).

    This is an absolute "must watch" two hours for Billy Crystal fans and a should watch for Jazz fans alike. Be forewarned that there are moments you will reach for the tissues and others where you will laugh so hard you grab your sides.

    If your not a Billy Crystal fan, wander over to some other show. This is pure Billy and full of the humanity of the people in his life. His portrayals are funny, touching and poignant, often at the same time.
  • comment
    • Author: Akinonris
    Unabashedly sentimental, at moments arguably too shticky, but there's a lot of heart and laughs, along with a good set of smiles in Billy Crystal's one-man show remembering his youth, especially the 700 Sundays he had with his father before his untimely death.

    From the telling, Crystal had a remarkable childhood, and came from a remarkable family. His father owned a music store and promoted concerts, and knew and was loved by many of jazz's all time greats. His family come off as sweet if eccentric. As related here, this was a family without many of the painful skeletons in their closets that most of us grew up with. It's sort of the Jewish version of Norman Rockwell's America, but I don't mean that as a put down. Crystal seems to truly appreciate the blessings he's had, and to honor and love the people who made him who he is. He doesn't deny that life can be painful, but that doesn't mean for a second he's going to say it's not wonderful and worthwhile.

    If a few moments of emotion feel forced in the unforgiving close up lens of a camera, there's a lot that ring true, no matter that Crystal has performed variations of this monologue on stage hundreds of times.
  • comment
    • Author: Gajurus
    I personally have never seen anything like this before and am so glad I have now.

    I know Billy's story will give everyone a touch of familiarity. He pulls you into his own right away, he will make you laugh and even (for me at least) make you cry.

    You know, it's such a simple thing. A man telling you the story of his life. Not for this one though. The presentation brings the emotions of being there to life. It becomes way more than "just a story".

    Watching this is giving yourself something good. I recommend when you do that you give yourself time. No interruptions. You want to watch it all in one sitting. It really is worth every second.

    For me, my family came to America and stayed on the east coast. When I was just a few years old we broke away and moved to the west. Along with a few of our closest family members. We brought the East Coast values along with us. Something I never truly understood like I understand them now.

    Good food, strong family, hard times, breath taking moments and always, always love.

    You do not have to live on the east coast, have it your past or in your heart to enjoy this amazing show. You only need to clear your mind and take a listen. You will come away appreciating the many moments in your own life. You will also be reminded of how precious it and how much each person in your life means to you.

    You deserve to watch it.
  • comment
    • Author: Zeli
    First of all, I am not a fan and I found this brilliant. Not perfect, as some very dignified reviewers seemed to have asked for, but brilliant. It has better parts and weaker parts, now he delivers amazing timing and physical comedy, then he flirts rather annoyingly with the camera. The show has some vulgar bits (not even close to some of today's disgusting stand-up 'stars') and also some touching bits, sure, but that's how life is, too. The silent movie scene was wildly hilarious, while some of the sad parts prove he's not a drama actor. Anyway, this is a honest take and I will forgive even his poses for the camera for the sake of one of them (I don't remember where it occurs): it pictured perfectly the bittersweet and almost touching humor of the poor Jewish folks or of any people forced to deal with a hard life in a subdued, non-grandiloquent way.
  • comment
    • Author: Rolling Flipper
    I have watched this so many times. I am so glad that this one man show was filmed because I would have never been able to see it otherwise.

    Funny, touching and entertaing, Crystal tells stories about his family and Commodore Records and proves to be an excellent storyteller. The rawness of certain stories only amplifies the honesty. His family's jazz lab makes some stories from his early life exceptional, but the family focus gives a universally-relatable feel to most of the special. The love ia evident throughout and gives an insight to a great entertainer that will take you through a range of emotions.
  • comment
    • Author: Kulafyn
    If you're a fan of the film "Mr. Saturday Night", Mr. Crystal's self-indulgent portrayal of a mediocre TV comedian, then you might love this. Otherwise, if you want amusing reminiscences of childhood, find a monologist who can do this kind of thing well (Jean Shepherd, Bill Cosby) without resorting to profanities, vulgarity, or overly maudlin histrionics. Crystal has some amusing, touching moments in this nostalgic look back at his childhood, but these moments are too often padded out with tacky jokes about flatulence, foul-mouthed relatives, and many, many references to his private parts. Maybe these remarks are intended to be shocking, but a man in his sixties bragging about his once-glorious equipment sounds pathetic, like the male version of "Sunset Boulevard"'s Norma Desmond's obsession with her faded beauty. All too often, these attempts at humor not only become tiresome, but overshadow the more poignant moments of the show, which deal with Crystal's late father. Those moments, while sad, are somewhat undone by Crystal's explosive emoting; he really needed better direction during the more dramatic passages.

    Besides the excessive, tiresome vulgarity, there's the tendency Crystal has to mug shamelessly several times during the show; the habit he has of striking a pose and grinning coyly at the camera, as if to ask the audience, "I'm so cute, ain't I?" is just obnoxious. Again, maybe some better direction and reining in of Crystal's ego could have made this a better show.
  • comment
    • Author: Fordrelis
    I really expected something else... Billy talks about how his life as a child which mixes up with a part of Jazz history in the U.S. But if you don't care or know about Jazz and its history, it is boring...

    Overall I found it boring... Rarely laughed...

    It is so much story and details from when he was 5, 6, 7, 8 years old. I doubt he remembers it all and I doubt anyone from his family remembers EVERYTHING in such details which draws me to conclude he made most of it up.

    Also, a lot of jokes about Jewish people (he is Jewish and do his entire family). If you are not Jewish or are not aware of their mannerisms, it is boring...
  • comment
    • Author: Unsoo
    I know that I'm in the minority here and shall be criticized, but I was not exactly overly fond of this biographic story by comic Billy Crystal.

    I felt that it certain circumstances, he was merely trivializing the tragic death of his father in 1963. By the way, Mr. Crystal: The black ribbon that you referred to as a sign of mourning is not worn during the 30 days of mourning. It is only worn for the seven days that the family observes Shiva.

    I really didn't care regarding the callous reaction of neighbor Ceil Weinstein's response when she was told of his father's death from a coronary while at a bowling alley.

    Up until the incident of his father's untimely demise, the play was good as he recounted the family interest in jazz and certain family members, many of whom were stereotypical Jewish people of the 1950s and 1960s. The story regarding his high school playing Erasmus Hall was hilarious.
  • comment
    • Author: Carrot
    the earlier review posted here about comparing to Mr. Saturday Night, and comedians who tell childhood stories more effectively was spot on, in every regard. The good, the father stories, the gangster visit...the bad, the cutesy expressions and the overindulgence in vulgarity by a comic fans like myself are totally unaccustomed to seeing work blue. The obsession with his 13-year old entrance into sexual awareness was WAY over the line, and not funny. Unlike Mr. Saturday Night, which grew darker and meaner over time, but was saved by some vintage insights into that period...this gives only minor glimpses into that life growing up, and far too much self indulgent, not funny, overly dramatic, overlong, joylessness.
  • Credited cast:
    Billy Crystal Billy Crystal - Himself
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