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March 24, 2017     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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PAGE 12A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 24, 2017 By Cindy Sher (JUF News via JTA)--The inimitable Billy Crystal is back on the road. The six-time Emmy Award-winning come- dian, actor, producer, director and writer--most recently of a book of essays, "Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys'--is currently touring the U.S. with his new show, "Spend the Night with Billy Crystal." The show, scheduled to tour T/c. I Custom Print Marketing Invitations ~- ~ts | Digital ~ Offset Printing Brochures &- Booklets Direct Mail Services Forms ~- Letterheads Envelopes 407-767-7110 % 205 North Street Longwood, FL 32750 ~ ] '~,~ vcevw, elegantpdnting, net ~L~_>: Men~nTh~ A~I and Receive 18% Discount - throughApril, promises to feel like an intimate chat with the audience--a blend ofstandup with a "sit-down" interview with Crystal, moderated at many shows by comedian and actor Bonnie Hunt. Crystal, who lives in Los Angeles, will tell stories, talk about the world as he sees it, reflect on his life and show some film clips from his long career. Of course, the popular nine-time Oscar host has numerous iconic films and roles to choose from: The title character in the quint- essential rom-com "When Harry Met Sally;" the grouchy "miracle worker" in "The Princess Bride;" Mitch, a New Yorker heading toward Rick Kern/Getty Images for Samsung Billy Crystal attending the Samsung Studio at SXSW 2015 in Austin, Texas, March 15, 2015. - 600 ft. $600 a month and up Including most utilities Located in the Heritage Building, Fern Park, FL For information, please call Jeff at 407-595-6062 rving mmunity Call on Central Florida's Exclusively Jewish Funeral Home for Details Regarding: Traditional Jewish Funerals Non-Traditional Services Interstate Shipping Pre-Arranged Funerals (Shalom Assurance Plan) Headstone, Grave Markers (Cardinal Memorials) 07-599-1180 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD Samuel P. (Sammy) Goldstein, Executive Director a midlife crisis who goes on I'maninsomniac. I'mwaiting mer, or Tyree Glenn, who was a cattle drive with his bud- for that guy to come back in LouieArmstrong's trombone dies in "City Slickers;" and the room. player, or any of these other in "Analyze This," a shrink What else do you love about great musicians. They were to Robert De Niro's mob boss. being Jewish? all just friends. My family la- But before he was charm- The storytelling, the bel--CommodoreRecords-- ing millions, Crystal, 68, was warmth, the sense of humor, produced "Strange Fruit," entertaining his family and My dad was strict about the which is Billie Holliday's epic friends while growing up in holidays. We honored them, songaboutlynching.Ittooka the quaint beach town of we went to temple. ! like the Jewish family to produce that Long Beach, New York. Then ritual, and the caring for our record, to write that song. a predominately Jewish and planet that's written into so How did your father's pre- Italian town, Crystaldescribes many of the works I read in mature death shape your life it as the "perfect place to Hebrew school, and your relationship with grow up." He often references How do you compare whenyour mother? his beloved hometown in his you were just starting out in I was 15 and was dealt a act, and in the aftermath showbiz 4o-plusyears ago to bad hand. You can't help but of Hurricane Sandy's bat- touring with your new show be angry, and I was angry tering of New York in 2012, today? and had to learn to live with Crystal and his wife of nearly It all feels the same. I don't that, and to deal with my 47years, Janice, helped raise think I've stopped work- mother, who was suddenly more than onemillion dollars ing since the eighth grade, widowedand forced back into to help Long Beach rebuild Backstage, when I was on the workforce. [Being[ back and rebound. Broadway, felt the same as homealonewithher, whilemy Crystal's early Childhood, it did backstage when I was brothers wereawayat college, back in the 1950s, was filled getting ready to do a school made me grow up really fast. with music and laughter. His play in high school. It's that I admired her strength--at mother, Helen, was a talented same energy of confidence, a the age of 50 she was sud- tap dancer and singer. His little bit of nerves... The mo- denly back in the workforce. father, Jack, worked six days ment you go out, you release Three sons in school and we a week at two jobs--as a jazz and say, 'OK, I'm ready, here all graduated college because promoter and manager of the I come.' It's kind of an intoxi- of her. You watch that and family's popular New York cating feeling to go out and learn what parenting is really City record store. Jazz greats entertain people, about, and what being a son like Billie Holiday--whowere That's why, after all these is really about. My morn sent friendsofhisparents--would years, I'm going back on the me on a path of trying to do frequent their home. road with this show ... At the right thing in my life and Crystal and his dad would this age and this point in my also valuing every moment spend most Sundays to- career, tostillhavethehunger that youlive. gether watching baseball IdidasayoungmanisagreatWhat's your secret to your games. Their relationship feeling, happy, healthy and long was chronicled in Crystal's Besides signing to a one- marriage? Tony Award-winning one- day contract with the New We still feel that we're dat- man show "700 Sundays" York Yankees, what'sanother ing. After all these years, and (also adapted into a book and of your proudest professional all the things that we've been HBO special), named for the achievements? through, and all the joys and number of Sundays he spent I was the first American sadness that we've shared with his father before his dad comedian to perform in together--right from the died of a heart attack when the Soviet Union back in beginning:You're 18andyou Crystalwas only 15. 1989 in an HBO special have to tell the in-laws [that] TheonlythingCrystalever called "Midnight Train to you'regoingtobeacomedian. aspired to do as much as com- Moscow." It was a Russian- But Janice's faith in me, edy was play baseball for his speaking audience [with] her trust in me, her strength beloved New York Yankees-- someAmericans.Gorbachevwhenthingsaren'tgoingwell. in fact, he says the highlight was in power, the [Berlin] Our key is we keep laughing, of his long career came in Wall had not come down yet, we keep talking and we keep 2008 ,when he signed a one- and [I felt honored] that HBO loving. day contract with the team trusted me. I found all these I'm going to remind you in honor ofhis 60th birthday, relatives that I didn't know about a scene from your In a phone interview with I had there [in Russia]. But own movie, "City Slickers." JTA, Crystal looked back on performing there and being Curly, a cowboy, asks your hisfamily, hisJewishidentity, an ambassador, if you will, character, Mitch, ifyouknow his long career and the "one for American humor in that the secret to life. Then, Curly thing" that keeps him going, country is something I look holds up one finger andsays JTA: You seem to be a celeb- back on with great pride. "Onething.'WhatltookCurly rity who wears your Judaism What did your father teach to mean is that each of us have as a badge of honor, and not you during those "700 Sun- to find that one thing that in a self-hating sort of way. days,"before he passed away? give our lives meaning. What Would you agree? Besides teaching me a love is that one thing, or maybe BillyCrystal:Ido. Imean, I forcomedy, aloveforreading, a couple of things, that give stillmakefun, butit'snotabout a love for baseball, he also you purpose? Jews--it's about my Jews, it's taught me about doing the The purpose is Janice and about my relatives. It's not rightthing'Mydadwasacivil the kids, and continually do- generalizations, rights giant in his own quiet ing right by them and right What are some of your way, in that he was one of the by myself. That's the most favorite parts about being first promoters to integrate important thing.., and in my Jewish? jazz bands. So the house, yes, job, I have a purpose. I have a You mean, besides the wasfilledwithJewishrelatives mind that still loves to create circumcision? with stories, but sitting next and I follow that deeply. You remember that, huh? to them was Zutty Singleton, Cindy Sheris the executive Yeah, oh yeah, that's why who was a great jazz drum- editor of Chicago's JUF News.