Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve always fantasized about having a family full of famous comedians so that I could just listen to them talk whenever we get together. Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays is much like that fantasy becoming a reality. 700 Sundays is an intimate performance by the man himself, telling stories about his family and life lessons he learned growing up on Long Island. Crystal is effortless in his storytelling. I’m sure a ton of work was put into the production, but it really comes off as being simple and fluid. The format and production make you feel as though it’s just you (and a couple hundred other people) around the table after Thanksgiving dinner listening to Uncle Billy tell stories. The stories aren’t just a humorous stand-up comedy act, either. There is plenty of comedy in the show, but Crystal also has a fascinating family history and shares what he has learned about the life he is lived. The show is as insightful as it is entertaining.
I was surprised to see that the vast majority of the audience was gray haired and appeared to have made the pilgrimage from the wealthy western suburbs. It’s true that Billy Crystal is from a certain generation and that ticket prices are not “cheap”, however, I believe that Billy Crystal’s talent fame is appreciated by a much wider audience. Furthermore, Minneapolis is the ONLY CITY, other than New York (on Broadway, naturally) in which the show is currently scheduled, and ticket prices are a steal as compared to Broadway prices (and the trip to New York!).
My impression after seeing the show was mostly gratitude. It is such a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse into the life of a Hollywood legend that is simultaneously personal, heartwarming, thoughtful, first hand, and in person–add to it the fact that I was laughing or crying (or both) the whole time– and you have one of the best excuses to get out of the house in years. Be sure to silence your cell phone before you enter the theater, though, or Billy might just summon the undead corpse of Jack Palance to snatch it from you-with your arm still attached!
700 Sundays plays at the State Theatre through October 26th. Tickets start at $51.
DEAL ALERT: Student Rush Tickets are available for all performances. 2 tickets per valid ID; $25 per ticket, cash only; available only at the State Theatre Box Office beginning 2 hours prior to each performance; student/educator must be present with valid ID at time of purchase; resale or transfer of rush tickets is strictly prohibited and all tickets are subject to availability.