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Good Night, Oscar on Broadway Starring Sean Hayes
Broadway

Good Night, Oscar on Broadway Starring Sean Hayes

New York, NY

About Good Night, Oscar on Broadway Starring Sean Hayes

In Good Night, Oscar, Sean Hayes plays Oscar Levant: Hollywood actor, concert pianist, and the most subversive wit ever to appear on television during its Golden Age.

It’s 1958 and Jack Paar is hosting “The Tonight Show.” He’s booked his favorite guest, a pundit as hilarious as he is unpredictable: Oscar Levant, who once famously proclaimed, “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity, and I have erased that line.” In 90 short minutes, Oscar will have audiences howling, censors scrambling, and - when it’s all over - America will be just a little less innocent than she was before.

Tell Me More

Good night, Broadway! Emmy-nominated Will & Grace star Sean Hayes is Oscar Levant in Good Night, Oscar, a new play by Doug Wright. Set an alert for Good Night, Oscar tickets on TodayTix.

Prior to the events of the play, Levant had built up a celebrated career as a concert pianist, actor, and composer in both Hollywood and New York. But the Good Night, Oscar play begins in 1958, when Levant established his most enduring legacy as a no-holds-barred comedian. Ironically, though, he wasn't necessarily trying — he appeared on the show to discuss the battles with addiction and mental illness that had left him hospitalized. That was practically unheard of, so audiences — and censors — tempered it by calling it comedy.

Levant regularly appeared on Paar for years, and his wit became just as famous as his music. And despite his heavy subject matter, Levant was trying to entertain — but at what cost? Good Night, Oscar is a comedy play, but it also examines the thin line between exploitation and entertainment and the cost of putting one's struggles in the public eye.

Good Night, Oscar is Wright's first play on Broadway since he made his debut with 2004's I Am My Own Wife. In between, he wrote the books for four Broadway musicals: Grey Gardens, The Little Mermaid, Hands on a Hardbody, and War Paint.

Hayes has played two previous Broadway roles: God in An Act of God and Chuck Baxter in Promises, Promises. He first played the role of Levant when Good Night, Oscar premiered in Chicago in 2022.

Set an alert for tickets to Good Night, Oscar in New York on TodayTix.

What to Watch For

  • After Levant stopped appearing on Jack Paar, Paar would often end his shows by saying, "Good night, Oscar Levant, wherever you are." That's where Wright's play gets its title!
  • Reportedly, after becoming a regular guest on Paar's show, Levant began to make $10,000 per episode. The average salary for a guest at the time was $320!
  • As a pianist, Levant was known for his recordings of George Gershwin's composition. Gershwin appears as a character in Good Night, Oscar on Broadway.
  • During the 1940s, Levant became the highest paid concert pianist in the U.S. for a time.
  • Did you know Levant himself was on Broadway? He was involved with five Broadway shows: one as a performer, two as conductor, and three as songwriter. (He conducted one of the shows he composed.) Plus, he starred in the movie musical An American in Paris, which was adapted for Broadway in 2014.
  • Levant inspired the fictional title pianist, played by Peter Sellers, in the 1964 film The World of Henry Orient.
Start date

April 7th, 2023

End date

August 27th, 2023

Genre

Broadway, Plays

Venue

Belasco Theatre

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