Point of View

Billy Gives Back to Local Service Men and Women
December 23, 2009, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Broadway Across America

One never knows what to expect when meeting a legend in the flesh.  The Adrienne Arsht Center staff expected Billy Crystal to be an amazing performer and a consummate professional; what they didn’t expect was for this legend to also be such a nice guy whose graciousness and generosity has made him one of the most talked about performers ever to grace the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House stage.

More than 10,000 people came to see 700 Sundays, making it one of the highest-selling shows of the 09/10 Adrienne Arsht Center season.  Celebrities were spotted in the audience at several of the performances, including KC of KC & the Sunshine Band, former Yankees great Bucky Dent and Miami music icon Gloria Estefan.  With celebrity-studded sold-out performances, Billy Crystal asked the Center to do something that surprised all.  He requested that the Center set aside hundreds of tickets for men and women who serve Miami-Dade County through law enforcement and the fire department, to come see him perform – for free.  

Gloria Estefan and Billy Crystal

Gloria Estefan and Billy Crystal


Working with the Arsht Center’s Director of Security and retired Chief of Police David Ward, the Center was able to reach out to first responders throughout Miami-Dade County.  Within a matter of days, hundreds of law enforcement and fire personnel had accepted Billy’s invitation to the show. Many of them shared the special moment with their own fathers, bringing them to the performance.  “As always, we appreciate the consideration and recognition of artists like Billy Crystal who extend this kind of generosity to our men and women on the front lines of Miami justice,” praised Ward.

David Ward and Billy Crystal


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