Billy Crystal Thanks ‘Mr. Saturday Night’ Audience For Slapless Dress Rehearsal

Billy Crystal reminded an audience at last night’s dress rehearsal for his Broadway show Mr. Saturday Night just why he was such a popular Oscar host way back when.

During a curtain speech following the final dress rehearsal – the new musical has its first Broadway preview tonight – Crystal made the kind of genial yet topical quip that served him well as Oscar host for much of the 1990s: “We got through a show and no one got slapped. Unbelievable.”

Check out the speech above.

Mr. Saturday Night is a musical adaptation of the 1992 Columbia Pictures film of the same name, and features Crystal as Buddy Young Jr., the once outrageous comic star from TV’s early days. The musical’s story picks up 40 years after Buddy’s career flamed out, and, as the synopsis states, he “seeks one more shot at the spotlight, and while he’s at it, one last shot at fixing the family he fractured along the way.”

The Broadway production at the Nederlander Theatre reunites Crystal with his film version co-star David Paymer. “Thirty years later Mr. Paymer and I don’t need the make-up,” Crystal jokes.

The musical also stars Randy Graff, Shoshana Bean and Chasten Harmon, with music by Jason Robert Brown, lyrics by Amanda Green and choreography by Ellenore Scott. John Rando directs.

“This has been an unbelievable journey,” Crystal tells the dress rehearsal audience, “and just to think I have to do this seven times a week. What the hell was I thinking?” Crystal adds, “Now the work begins.”

Mr. Saturday Night begins previews tonight, with an official opening on Wednesday, April 27.


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