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Meet the Nominees: Billy Crystal

Broadway and Beyond at the Tonys: Billy Crystal on Mr. Saturday Night the musical
Broadway and Beyond at the Tonys: Billy Crystal on Mr. Saturday Night the musical 02:36

NEW YORK -- Broadway is abuzz after nominations for the 75th Annual Tony Awards were announced.

The trophies will be handed out on June 12 on CBS2, and CBS2's Dave Carlin got the chance to interview some of the nominees in person at the annual "Meet the Nominees" event.

Veteran comedian and actor Billy Crystal is starring in his first musical, "Mr. Saturday Night," and the role landed him a nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.

Crystal also helped write the show and is nominated for Best Book of a Musical along with co-writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel.

"Well, it's tremendously exciting, you know, after my first experience was '700 Sundays,' to be back in a musical, at the age of 74 to make my musical comedy debut. The audiences have been phenomenal. It's still the greatest thrill ever is to be out there every night of the week doing what I love to do," he said.

Crystal stars as Buddy Young Jr., a comedian who's some 40 years past the peak of his career.

"This is a love letter to comics," Carlin said.

"Yeah. I mean, it's, you know, from when we first created this character so many years ago, which was 1984, to bring him live onto stage and embody all the great comedians that I loved and knew as a younger man, that Buddy Young Jr. is part of that history, we've made him part of that, and audiences have just loved the show," Crystal said.

He continued, "At the center is a very confused man. He's at a point in his career where he doesn't really have one, but now he gets a glimmer of a chance."

"Mr. Saturday Night" also stars: Randy Graff as Elaine Graff, Buddy's wife; David Paymer as Stan Yankleman, Buddy's brother, and Shoshanna Bean as Susan Young, Buddy's daughter.

"It's not only about him finding his path to maybe a more successful career but he finds how he can heal his family, which he's sort of left aside in his pursuit of stardom," Crystal said. "And so the show becomes about him healing his relationship with his brother and his daughter, who's wonderfully played by David Paymer and Shoshana Bean, who is a Tony nominee also, so there's a real strong emotional core of the show as well as being funny."

"You've got so many movies that would make great musicals. Is this going to be the beginning of something? Do we get 'When Harry Met Sally, the Musical'?" Carlin said.

"Ah, no, that... No, I don't think I could revisit him," Crystal said.

"I think you could. You look great for 74," Carlin said.

"Yeah, whatever happened to them together?" Crystal said.

"Mr. Saturday Night" is now running at the Nederlander Theatre.

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