Goodman Theatre's production of Good Night, Oscar by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright officially opens March 21. The show began previews March 12 at the Chicago venue and has been extended one week, now running April 24. The production was previously slated to complete its run April 17.
Emmy winner and Tony nominee Sean Hayes plays the titular Oscar Levant, as previously announced, alongside Emily Bergl as his wife June Levant, Ben Rappaport as Jack Paar, Peter Grosz as Bob Sarnoff, Tony nominee Ethan Slater as Max Weinbaum, Tramell Tillman as Alvin Finney, and John Zdrojeski as George Gershwin. Lisa Peterson directs.
Understudies for this production include Sam Bell-Gurwitz, Daniel Cantor, Chiké Johnson, Tiffany Scott, and David Turner.
The play is set halfway into the 20th century as Americans are glued to their TVs with Jack Paar’s amusing banter echoing across living rooms. One night, he is joined by the equally unbridled pianist and character actor Oscar Levant. During an evening of witty one-liners, Oscar lays bare the necessity of insanity in the making of brilliant work and the cost he is willing to pay to entertain the masses in an episode that Paar’s audience, and the rest of America, won’t soon forget.
“I’m very excited to be back at the Goodman for a third time, with another play about a character plucked from history,” says playwright Wright, whose previous work at the Goodman includes the musical War Paint (2016) and I Am My Own Wife (2005), for which he earned the Pulitzer Prize. “I hope Chicago audiences find Oscar Levant as irascible, lovable, infuriating, and unexpectedly moving as I have during the process of writing about him.”
The production features set design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Emilio Sosa, lighting design by Ben Stanton and Carolina Ortiz Herrera, sound design by Andre Pluess, and wig, hair, and makeup by J. Jarad Janas. Casting is by Stephen Kopel with dramaturgy by Jacqueline Lawton. Kimberly McCann is the production stage manager, and Mario Wolf is the stage manager.