Billy Crystal fans only have a few more weeks to see the comedy legend perform on Broadway. His show, Mr. Saturday Night, is closing on Sept. 4, producers said Sunday. Crystal is leaving to work on a new Apple TV+ series with director Barry Levinson.
Mr. Saturday Night is a stage adaptation of the 1992 movie Crystal directed, produced, co-wrote, and starred in. Crystal plays stand-up comedian Buddy Young Jr., who became an early television star but let his growing ego get in the way of sustained success. Crystal co-wrote the book for the musical with the film's co-writers, Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. Jason Robert Brown wrote the music, with lyrics by Amanda Green.
The Mr. Saturday Night cast also featured Randy Graff, David Paymer, Shoshana Bean, Chasten Harmon, Jordan Gelber, Brian Gonzales, and Mylinda Hull. Like the movie, the musical earned critical acclaim. It was nominated for five Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Actor in a Musical for Crystal, and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Bean. John Rando directed the production. Paymer was reprising his role from the film, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
"Bringing Mr. Saturday Night to the Broadway stage and experiencing the laughter and tears this show generates has truly been one of the high points of my career," Crystal said in a statement to Variety. "It has been a joyous experience to make my musical comedy debut at the age of 74, and I thank everyone involved... The character Buddy Young Jr. has been part of my life for many decades and I'm honored that I was able to share him with the audiences at the Nederlander Theatre."
Last month, Crystal agreed to star in Before, a new limited series written by Sarah Thorp (Hawthorne) and produced by Paramount Television for Apple TV+. The series centers on a recently widowed child psychiatrist (Crystal) who meets a troubled young boy. Crystal, Levinson, and Eric Roth (A Star Is Born) are the executive producers of the series. This is Crystal's latest television role, following his short-lived The Comedians with Josh Gad. Crystal has won six Emmys, including four for his work on Oscars ceremonies. He also won a special Tony in 2005 for his one-man show, 700 Sundays.