The Oscar host has written an autobiographical play he will star in, called 700 Sundays

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 24, 2004 08:00 AM

Hugh Jackman, move over: Popular eight-time Oscar host Billy Crystal may be up for a Tony next spring, as the veteran funnyman makes his Broadway debut this November with an autobiographical one-man show, to be called 700 Sundays – his first live performance in 16 years.

“I’ve never been as excited about anything since I starting working on this play,” Crystal tells the Associated Press. “It’s been such a great energy at this point in my life, to be able to bring the show to New York.”

Crystal will play several characters drawn from various stages of his life, and the title refers to Crystal’s father, Jack, a jazz concert producer who died when Billy was only 15.

“He always worked two or three jobs, so Sunday was the only day to be together with dad,” says Crystal, 50. “And I calculated that I only had 700 Sundays with him.”

On one such Sunday, the elder Crystal took his son to his first Broadway show, 1956’s Mr. Wonderful, starring Sammy Davis Jr. (whom Crystal later impersonated) and Chita Rivera.

“I remember just feeling the excitement,” Crystal said. “I never lost that.”