NEW YORK , Billy Crystal isn't ready to say good-bye to "Mr. Saturday Night
This comic icon has made his comedy film into a Broadway-bound musical. He hopes to open it next season with Buddy Young Jr. reprising his film role of Buddy Young Jr., a bitter old insult comedian chasing one last laugh.
Crystal says that there's something special about the guy and the world that she loves, according to The Associated Press. "I believe that we've taken this story and this character into a better place than I could ever have imagined."
Crystal co-wrote the stage adaptation of his film with Marc "Babaloo' Mandel and Lowell Ganz. He then paired it with music by Jason Robert Brown, and lyrics by Amanda Green. John Rando will be the director.
Crystal says, "The music has elevated the story and helped to propel it and brought out the dynamics in the characters. It's quite amazing to me." It's something that I couldn't be more thrilled about, honestly.
He will be starring opposite Tony Award-winner Chasten Harmon, David Paymer and Randy Graff. Chasten Harmon will portray Buddy's brother Stan Yankelman, while David Paymer will reprise his Oscar-nominated role.
Crystal recently completed a development run at the Barrington Stage Company, Massachusetts. The performances will begin at the Nederlander Theatre on March 1, 2022.
After his 2004 Broadway premiere of "700 Sundays", which he rewrote in 2013, this is Crystal's first Broadway return. American Express members have access to the show starting Nov. 10, and the general public on November 22.
Crystal first made a name for itself in comedy, starting with stand-up and TV's soap. He then moved on to "Mr. Saturday Night, which he co-wrote and starred on, was his first major project. Buddy was a reinterpretation of real comedians like Pat Cooper, Buddy Hackett, and Alan King.
Crystal shared his memories of starting filming in Central Park at the age of 43, and spending six hours in the make-up chair. This was before he started work at 2 a.m.
He says, "Now, all these decades later, we don’t need the make-up." "I am playing my age. It's more liberating. It's more open-minded.
Crystal will play the role of a man that he calls "Willy Loman with laughters" at every stage of his life, instead of using flashbacks in the film. "I get to experience the pain, joy, and emotion that he experiences in the film live before people. They feel it as much as I do."