700 Sundays

I didn’t wake up in time to catch the beginning of CBS This Morning, but I caught the chef segment. Some of Michael Anthony’s signature dishes are roasted and fried chicken with dill and tatsoi, asparagus and turnips with guanciale and pecorino, grilled lobster toast and triple chocolate chunk cookies. I checked the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs on April 17, 1975 were “Before the Next Teardrop Falls,” “Emma,” “What Am I Gonna Do with You,” “Chevy Van,” “Supernatural Thing, Part 1,” “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You),” “No No Song,” “Lovin’ You,” “(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” and “Philadelphia Freedom.” I visited the record store and the shoe store. I bought a pair of shoes that made my feet feel like the breeze was blowing against them. At Barnes and Noble, I bought a special issue of Rolling Stone magazine about The Who. I had a late lunch of a burger, and I bought some groceries. I had finished watching “700 Sundays,” the Billy Crystal one-man show about his life and family. It’s difficult for one person to maintain an audience’s interest over two hours, and Crystal spoke too quickly during most of the program, but he reached for deeper emotions than I’d ever seen from him before. Some of the fascinating anecdotes involved jazz musicians. Crystal said that Billie Holiday took him to his first movie, “Shane.” I did get sick of the references to the Yankees and Mickey Mantle. The humor about the Jewish family reminded me of scenes from “Annie Hall.” There are no special effects to speak of in this video, but there are projected photos, many of them remarkable. Crystal’s father apparently shot a lot of home movies. The bit about the Fourth of July holiday in 1957 was what made the crowd laugh louder than anywhere else in the show, although the bit ran too long in my eyes. Audiences are more forgiving when they see the actor in person. There was one part where Crystal said that he stole material from Bill Cosby, which is a fact that feels uncomfortable now. His childish attempts at tap dancing were very funny. My one criticism is that Crystal is talking about all of this rather than showing us. If it’s all being filtered through his perceptions, we have to question his interpretations. He showed like he was getting a bit old to be spilling out his soul to these audiences. The Billy Crystal of 1989 would have been great, although that was before certain key events. Still, it’s hard to go against someone who is doing most of everything the right way. This show of his was very good, full of memorable moments, and sometimes very moving. It was the best thing that Crystal has ever done. I thought it was not without a few minor flaws, but I would see it again. It takes about thirteen and a half years for a person’s life to reach 700 Sundays. The funniest of these Sundays for Billy Crystal was his first. He had a great ability to use his face to express his humor. I wanted to know more about “Soap.” I kept wondering whether Crystal’s memory was really that accurate in recounting the exact dates of events. When I was walking to the bus station earlier, I saw some Giants fans walking towards the ballpark. When I was in the bookstore, I heard the end of the Warriors game on the radio. The Pelicans made a strong late effort in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors hung on to win by seven points. When I got home, I watched “Frances Ha” again. I noticed some of the shots that seemed to come out of a Truffaut movie. I thought that Greta Gerwig did the best work of any actress I’ve seen on the screen in the last five years at least. The black and white photography is excellent, and it brings to mind some of the classic French films, along with “Manhattan.” I think I could watch this movie over and over again without getting sick of it. David Bowie’s “Modern Love” had new meaning for me after I saw this movie. I read my Tolstoy novel as I had Wonder Woman on the television. Debra Winger was in the episode. Everyone else in the show had to be idiots for not deducing that the two of them were the women who were running around in those costumes, and those people were supposed to be protecting us from the Nazis. The Star Trek episode was “Mirror, Mirror,” which had a transporter accident sending Kirk Scotty, McCoy, and Uhura to an alternate universe. The Alternate Spock didn’t seem overly logical, and he seemed to have a lower intelligence than the actual Spock. Sulu behaved in ways that I didn’t think were possible for him. Kirk treated to influence bearded Spock before he left. Kirk’s flirting with the new young woman crew member looked like it might develop into sexual harassment, but the episode faded out before we could see anything. I heard that the A’s shut out the Royals. It was Billy Butler’s 29th birthday. Somehow, I thought he was older. I heard that Jesse Hahn and Josh Reddick did well. The Giants managed to end their losing streak. I wished that KQED was showing a movie like “Gone with the Wind.” Some of the people who died on April 19 include Charles Darwin (1882), Benny Hill (1992), J.G. Ballard (2009), and Levon Helm (2012). Today is a birthday for James Franco (37), Ashley Judd (47), Tim Curry (69), Elinor Donahue (78), and Hugh O’Brien (90). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 19, “Carousel” opened on Broadway in 1945. In 1975, Elton John was Number One on the singles chart with “Philadelphia Freedom.” In 1982, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel announced that they would continue their reunion performances that began with a Central Park concert. In 1988, Sonny Bono was inaugurated as mayor of Palm Springs.

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