Mr. Saturday Night star and co-writer Billy Crystal stopped by Late Night With Seth Meyers May 23 to talk about his new Broadway musical, now playing the Nederlander Theatre. Crystal is a 2022 Tony nominee for both his performance and co-writing the musical's book with Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel.
Based on the 1991 film of the same name, the stage musical reunites Crystal with co-writers Ganz and Mandel and features both Crystal and David Paymer reprising their screen roles. The story follows an aging Borscht Belt comedian looking to revive his career and repair his familial relationships. According to Crystal, the nomination for the musical's book was particularly special because of all three writers' long history with the story.
"When we wrote the movie, we were 41. We're not anymore. So to get a nomination for the three of us for Best Book of a Musical is thrilling for us."
Crystal goes on to describe the difference in make-up required for the role between the film, in which a 42-year-old Crystal had to age up to 75, and the stage adaptation, with a now-74-year-old Crystal reprising his performance.
"I was in six hours of makeup a day for 54 of the 72-day shoot to be 75 years old. Now I just show up, which is very thrilling. They actually have to make me look younger sometimes."
Watch the full talk above.
Mr. Saturday Night also stars Tony winner Randy Graff (City of Angels, Les Misérables) as Buddy’s wife, Elaine Young; Chasten Harmon as his agent, Annie Wells; and 2022 Tony nominee Shoshana Bean as Buddy's daughter, Susan. Rounding out the ensemble are Jordan Gelber, Brian Gonzales, and Mylinda Hull.
Along with Crystal, Ganz, and Mandel's book, the project features a score by composer Jason Robert Brown and lyricist Amanda Green. Tony winner John Rando (Urinetown, On the Town) directs with music direction by David O and choreography by Ellenore Scott.
The production received five 2022 Tony nominations, including Best Musical, Book (Crystal, Ganz, and Mandel), Score (Brown and Green), Leading Actor in a Musical (Crystal), and Featured Actress in a Musical (Bean). See the full list of nominees here.