Those arriving at the Wilshire Theater to applaud Billy Crystal, on hand with his sensaysh “Billy Crystal — 700 Sundays,” were greeted by this sign in the theater’s lobby:
“Welcome to our new home — The Wilshire Theater, Center for the performing arts, culture and Jewish life. The west coast version of New York’s 92nd Street YMHA. Join us in preserving and revitalizing this historic community theatre. A home for Rabbi David Baron’s Temple of the Arts, Judaism through music, drama, art & dance. L.A.’s biggest entertainment & arts synagogue — A Home for the Temple of the Arts.”
The purchase of the theater by the Temple was consummated after three years of negotiations, Rabbi Baron reported. The Nederlander Organization has leased the theater for the Billy Crystal run (through Feb.18) and it is anticipated further productions will continue the relationship between the Temple and Nederlander. Crystal begins his stand tonight, having missed a preview performance on Wednesday when he was downed by the flu.