Emmy winner and Tony nominee Sean Hayes has earned a 2023 Tony Award nomination for playing pianist, actor, and comedian Oscar Levant in Doug Wright's new play Good Night, Oscar. Get Good Night, Oscar tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
The Good Night, Oscar play is set in 1958, when Levant made his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. That guest spot would be the first of many, but that one cemented Levant's legacy as a notorious wit. He worked uproarious jokes into a frank discussion of his own mental illness and addiction, which shocked, enlightened, and enthralled audiences in equal measure.
The TV censors may have been working overtime, but Levant still managed to change the face of American television, albeit at his own expense. Indeed, once Levant stopped appearing as a guest on his show, Paar would regularly sign off with, "Good night, Oscar Levant, wherever you are" — hence the play's title.
Levant amassed a storied career before his death at age 65. He was primarily a musician known for playing George Gershwin's compositions and composing music for more than 20 Hollywood films. It's fitting that he has a Broadway show about him, as Levant himself performed, composed, and conducted on Broadway.
Prior to Good Night, Oscar on Broadway, the show had its world premiere at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in spring 2022, where it received rave reviews. Hayes, who is best known for his Emmy-nominated performance as Jack McFarland on Will & Grace, also starred as Levant in that iteration. He now makes his third Broadway appearance with Good Night, Oscar, following An Act of God in 2016 and Promises, Promises in 2010.
Is Good Night, Oscar a true story?
Good Night, Oscar is based on a true story. It is based on Levant's real-life television appearances, career, and personal life.
How long is Good Night, Oscar?
Good Night, Oscar runs 100 minutes with no intermission.
Get tickets to three-time Tony Award nominee Good Night, Oscar in New York.