700 Sundays by Billy Crystal

By Billy Crystal

To aid his relatives, Billy Crystal's father, Jack, labored jobs, having just one day per week to spend along with his relatives. according to Crystal's one-man Broadway express of an analogous identify, "700 Sundays"--referring unfortunately to the time shared by means of an adoring father and his committed son--offers a heartfelt, hilarious memoir. pictures all through.

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It is a bawdy, bedroom farce, winking at adulterous liaisons and apparently mocking the solemnity of marital vows. The final act borders on vaudeville: who hides where? Who cheats on whom? The whole spirit of the plot is mistrust and suspicion, all the more venal for being warranted; the final triumph at the end does little to assure us any of the lovers will not stray again. The plot, then, seems entirely lacking of the warm grace found in Arden; it is closer to the mean-spirited, almost cruel comedy of the ancient Greeks.

But the next step deserves note. Earlier in the play Arthur had discovered a curious piece of jewelry which he recognized as a brooch-bracelet he had originally given his cousin and which Mrs. Cheveley had stolen. After she admits it was hers, Arthur attaches it to her wrist, then threatens to call the police, for he now can prove she is a thief. Blackmailed by this threat, Mrs. Cheveley is impelled to give Arthur Robert’s letter, which he then burns. As he does so, Mrs. Cheveley spots the pink stationary on which Gertrude had written the compromising note to Arthur.

If one wanted to be a musician, one went to the ecclesiastical authorities; who else, besides kings, could afford it? Even Wagner sought a post as Kappelmeister. Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms wrote Masses and Requiems long after music had reached its autonomy. Second only to the church was the army. Martial spirit is enhanced by martial music, even if reduced to fife, drum, and bugle. Marches stir the soul, and some good music can be found in this service to the king’s favorite necessity.

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