Sean Hayes will return to Broadway this spring starring in Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright’s new play. Good evening Oscar, in which Hayes will play actor, pianist and witty Oscar Levant from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Directed by Lisa Peterson good night oscar will begin performances at the Belasco Theater on April 7, 2023, and the official opening is scheduled for April 24. The 20-week limited commitment will end on August 27, 2023.
The official synopsis: It’s 1958 and Jack Paar is the host. The program tonight. He has reserved his favorite guest, an expert as hilarious as he is unpredictable: Oscar Levant, who once proclaimed, “There is a fine line between genius and insanity, and I have blurred that line.” In 90 short minutes, Oscar will have audiences howling, censors fighting, and when it’s all over, America will be a little less innocent than it was before.
Hayes said, “I am thrilled that Broadway audiences will experience Good evening, Oscar. Oscar Levant was a multifaceted pioneer, from concert pianist to infamous storyteller. It’s an honor to play one of my heroes.”
Playwright Wright said, “Though somewhat forgotten by audiences today, Oscar Levant was a surprising phenomenon in his own time; After a stellar concert and film career, he became a celebrated commentator, speaking on the talk shows of the 1950s. A brilliant, often acerbic storyteller, he was the first celebrity to offer up his personal demons for the sake of entertainment. Time and time again, Oscar challenged our notions about the acceptable limits of comedy, and in doing so, revealed the psychic costs of offering one’s life for public consumption. In an era where all TikTok users and internet influencers are fighting to be famous, Oscar’s story is ripe for re-examination.”
Other cast members include Emily Bergl as June Levant; Peter Grosz as network executive Bob Sarnoff; Ben Rappaport as TV host Jack Paar; and John Zdrojeski as George Gershwin. Additional casting will be confirmed soon.
good night oscar It is produced on Broadway by Grove Entertainment (Beth Williams, Mindy Rich), Barbara Whitman, Hazy Mills Productions, Yonge Street Theatricals and Frank Marshall. The play opened at Chicago’s Goodman Theater earlier this year.
“Doug has written a darkly funny and poignant portrait of a complex American artist, Oscar Levant,” said director Peterson. “And Sean is inhabiting Oscar with such unflinching honesty that it’s almost shocking. I love that this is a story set in the dawn of television. I feel like we’re really talking about the birth of the same culture that consumes us now, with all its delights and all its terrors. I can’t wait to share it with more audiences.”
The creative team of 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, hairstyle and makeup design).