Sean Hayes Sets Broadway Spring Return as Oscar Levant in Doug Wright’s ‘Good Night, Oscar’

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Sean Hayes will return to Broadway this spring to star in Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright’s new play Good night, Oscar, in which Hayes will play the Hollywood Golden Age actor, pianist and Oscar Levant.

Directed by Lisa Peterson, Good night, Oscar will begin with performances at the Belasco Theater on April 7, 2023 and an official opening on April 24. The 20-week limited engagement ends on August 27, 2023.

The official synopsis: It’s 1958 and Jack Paar hosts The Tonight Show. He’s booked his favorite guest, an expert who is as hilarious as he is unpredictable: Oscar Levant, who once famously proclaimed, “There’s a fine line between genius and madness, and I’ve erased that line.” In 90 short minutes, Oscar will have the audience howling, censorship scrambling, and—when it’s all over—America will be just a little less innocent than before.

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Hayes said, “I’m thrilled the Broadway audience can experience” Good night, Oscar. Oscar Levant was a versatile pioneer, from concert pianist to notorious storyteller. It’s an honor to portray one of my heroes.”

The playwright Wright said: “While somewhat forgotten by today’s audiences, Oscar Levant was a startling phenomenon in his own day; after a stellar concert and film career, he became a celebrated pundit and held his own in the chat shows of the 1950s. A brilliant, often searing narrator, he was the first celebrity to sacrifice his personal demons for entertainment.Time and time again, Oscar challenged our notions of the acceptable limits of comedy, revealing the psychological costs of offering one’s life for public consumption. At a time when every TikTok user and internet influencer aspires to celebrity, Oscar’s story is ripe for re-examination.”

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Other cast members include Emily Bergl as June Levant; Peter Grosz as Network Manager Bob Sarnoff; Ben Rappaport as TV host Jack Paar; and John Zdrojeski as George Gershwin. Additional casting will be confirmed soon.

Good night, Oscar is produced on Broadway by Grove Entertainment (Beth Williams, Mindy Rich), Barbara Whitman, Hazy Mills Productions, Yonge Street Theatricals and Frank Marshall. The play premiered earlier this year at the Goodman Theater in Chicago.

“Doug has written a darkly funny, searing portrait of a complex American entertainer, Oscar Levant,” said director Peterson. And Sean inhabits Oscar with such unwavering honesty it’s almost shocking. I love that this is a story set at the dawn of television – I feel like we’re really talking about the birth of the same culture that is now consuming us, with all its joys and all its horrors. I can’t wait to share it with more audiences.”

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The creative team for Good night, Oscar includes Rachel Hauck (Set Design), Emilio Sosa (Costume Design), Ben Stanton and Carolina Ortiz Herrera (Lighting Design), Andre Pluess (Sound Design), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervision) and J. Jared Janas (Wig, Hair and make up design).

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