Emmy Winner Sean Hayes Will Star in New Play Based on Life of Oscar Levant

News   Emmy Winner Sean Hayes Will Star in New Play Based on Life of Oscar Levant
 
Beth Williams (Grove Entertainment), Barbara Whitman Productions and Hazy Mills Productions have announced the development of a new play based on the life of Oscar Levant, the actor, composer and concert pianist who appeared in such films as "An American in Paris" and "The Band Wagon."

The currently untitled work is being penned for "Will & Grace" Emmy Award winner Sean Hayes, who has also worked as a composer and classical pianist in addition to his numerous roles on TV, stage and film. Hayes, who was Tony-nominated for his work in the revival of Promises, Promises, will also star in the upcoming West Coast debut of An Act of God .

Sean Hayes
Sean Hayes

Information regarding the title, cast, theatre, creative team and production dates will be announced at a later date.

“Oscar Levant was a brilliant entertainer and a complex man,” said producer Beth Williams in a statement. “Barbara and I are excited to have this opportunity to work with the equally brilliant Sean Hayes in bringing Mr. Levant to life again on the stage.”

“I’ve been wanting to play Oscar Levant for over 10 years and this partnership is a dream come true,” added Hayes. “I have a deep passion for this project and an enduring love for my dear, Oscar.”

Oscar Levant (1906-1972) was an American pianist, composer, author, arranger, comedian and actor. Following his father’s death in 1922 he moved to New York to pursue music, where he quickly became a favorite with New York columnists – most notably Walter Winchell – and audiences alike. He made his Broadway debut in 1927’s Burlesque, which was his sole Broadway performing credit. In 1928 Levant moved west to Hollywood where his friendship and collaborations with George Gershwin began. Over the next 20 years, he composed music for more than 20 films and wrote or co-wrote notable songs including “Blame It on My Youth,” now considered a standard. When Gershwin passed away in 1937, Levant became the virtuoso performer of his music and was considered the most accomplished interpreter of the Gershwin songbook. Levant was featured in many films including 1945’s "Rhapsody in Blue," where he played himself, and is possibly best known for "An American in Paris" and "The Band Wagon."

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