Sean Hayes Takes on Oscar Levant in play ‘Good Night, Oscar’

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By Batman

The story behind Award winning actor Sean Hayes’ return to Broadway to play the lead in the critically acclaimed play “Good Night, Oscar.”

Sean Hayes finally achieved the dream of his best known character Jack McFarland (Will and Grace) : to star in a Broadway play. The actor has returned to the stage to play the lead role in “Good Night, Oscar” where he portrays Oscar Levant, a brilliant but troubled concert pianist.

Good Night, Oscar

Sean Hayes in Good Night, Oscar

The play focuses on a few hours of Levant’s life where he was interviewed by the then tonight show host Jack Paar. He gives the audience an exaggerated yet a realistic portrayal of Levant which is in stark contrast of any characters Hayes has played in the past.

The “ghost” of composer George Gershwin, a friend and at times competitor of the protagonist is also featured in the play. The deciphering of this apparent rivalry, coupled with the comedic one-liners in which Hayes has already shown his proficiency, makes this an entertaining production.

The play premiered last year in Chicago’s Goodman theatre. But eventually it made its way to the coveted New York theatre.

Good Night, Oscar’s success should be attributed to Hayes’ ability to not only play the character but to disappear into the character. Hayes clearly showcased this with his expert playing of the piano in the climax of the play. The style of his playing just proves how perfect he was for the role.

From TV to Stage

So, while Hayes himself has confessed that returning to the stage after playing a sitcom character for so long was a challenge it seems that he has more than proven himself as more than the “gay character” and with his Tony Award, he has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with in the world of theatre.