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‘Sundays’ in the park

Crystal legiter bow an emotional occasion

NEW YORK — Opening-night curtain calls are strictly pro forma on Broadway. After two bows and a standing ovation, it’s usually a mad dash up the aisle to the party and free buffet. Leave it to Billy Crystal to give the moribund tradition a jolt of genuine emotion.

In a show that lionized his late parents, Crystal stopped the curtain-call applause at Sunday night’s opening of “700 Sundays” to echo George M. Cohan: “I know this may sound corny saying this on a Broadway stage, but my mother thanks you, my father thanks you, and I thank you.”

At the Tavern on the Green party, Crystal said having Robin Williams, Jessica Lange, Harvey Keitel, Rob Reiner and Robert De Niro in attendance made his preem perf feel like “the first day of school. With friends of such intelligence and taste, you want them to go, ‘Good!’ ”

Now that he’s made his Broadway debut, it is only natural for Crystal to follow his gigs on the Oscars and the Grammy by next hosting the Tonys. Is he in talks with the legit awards people?

“I’ll just go to my party now,” replied Crystal.

Sounds like a yes to us.

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