Good Night Oscar: A Rave Review and A Raffle To Attend
Updated: Jun 27
When I saw Good Night, Oscar, I was deeply moved by the way in which it presented the mental health battles of Oscar Levant, an actor, pianist, composer, author, and radio and television personality prominent in the 1950s. Levant was known for his humor and tell-all TV appearances where he spoke openly about his mental health battles on live TV. Levant is suspected of having struggled with bipolar disorder, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He easily could have chosen to keep his mental health struggles to himself in order to preserve a certain celebrity image for the public. Instead, he was courageous and candid in speaking up about his struggles and breaking taboos in a world that, even now, is preoccupied with the perceived stigma associated with mental health challenges.
With an impressive display of physical contortions and gut-wrenching emotion, Hayes makes you feel the torment that Levant must have experienced in his bouts with bipolar disorder, depression, and OCD. With a good dose of comedic wit, Hayes makes you laugh at the same time that you feel like crying. And, if that were not compelling enough, Hayes dazzles with a virtuosic piano performance, which, for me, created a powerful juxtaposition of Levant’s musical genius and his mental health challenges.
There is one particular scene where Hayes is stirring his coffee compulsively while in the dressing room preparing for his live appearance on Jack Paar’s late-night television talk show. As someone who has struggled with OCD myself, this scene resonated with me, especially the part where Hayes/Levant tries to justify the rationality of his irrational behavior. It reminded me of childhood, standing in front of a mirror testing whether my vision was “perfect,” trying to convince myself that if my vision were perfect, I would stop feeling anxious about whatever it was I was feeling anxious about. For more on OCD, check out Episode 14 of the Curious Incident podcast, which our firm recorded recently with Dr. Dean McKay.
I was so affected by Good Night, Oscar and the manner in which it shined a light on the subject of mental health that I ran to my work team looking for ways that we might share this wonderful show with our community. We decided on a raffle so that others can have an opportunity to win a pair of tickets to see it.
Raffle Details Coming Soon
Stay tuned for more information about the raffle! We are excited to announce the details in the near future so you can enjoy this exceptional performance before the show closes in August.