Life of Oscar Levant Brought to the Stage in World Premiere | Playbill

News Life of Oscar Levant Brought to the Stage in World Premiere Playwright and actor Dan Castellaneta will star as the famed pianist in his newest work, For Piano and Harpo, in L.A.
Oscar Levant in American in Paris Warner Bros. Entertainment

Los Angeles’ Falcon Theatre and Laugh Then Think productions will present the world premiere of For Piano and Harpo, a play by Dan Castellaneta that brings the life of Oscar Levant to the stage. Castellaneta will star as Levant (1906–1972), the actor, composer, and concert pianist who appeared in such films as An American in Paris and The Band Wagon.

For Piano and Harpo will begin previews February 1 ahead of a February 10 opening. The limited West Coast engagement, directed by Stefan Novinski, is scheduled to play through March 5.

Here’s how the Falcon Theatre outlines the new biographical world premiere: “Oscar Levant, the brilliant, witty, pill-popping concert pianist, wakes up to find himself in the Psych Ward of Mt. Sinai Hospital. His past collides with his present, as he grapples with his demons to save his marriage and his sanity. It’s a nightmarish, and sometimes hilarious journey, from addiction to redemption, as he verbally jousts with Jack Paar, is haunted by the genius of George Gershwin, and moves in with his only friend, Harpo Marx.”

Joining Castellaneta onstage will be JD Cullum, Deb Lacusta, Gail Matthius, Phil Proctor, and Jonathan Stark.

David O will be the music supervisor, with scenic design by Stephen Gifford, lighting by Jean-Yves Tessier, costumes by Kate Bergh, and sound by Drew Dalzell.

Another project depicting the life of Levant is also in development, with Emmy winner Sean Hayes attached. No news announcements regarding its progress have been made since 2015, when the play was first announced.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Box Office at (818) 955-8101.

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