Book by Steven Levenson
Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
Directed by Michael Greif
Choreographed by Danny Mefford
Cast: Ben Platt, Laura Dreyfuss, Rachel Bay Jones, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Mike Faist, Michael Park, Will Roland, Kristolyn Lloyd
Scenic Design: David Korins
Projection Design: Peter Nigrini
Costume Design: Emily Rebholz
Lighting Design: Japhy Weideman
Sound Design: Nevin Steinberg
Music Supervision, Orchestrations: Alex Lacamoire
Musical Director: Ben Cohn
First Performance November 14, 2016
Opening December 4, 2016
Submit a review for Dear Evan Hansen
The journey began in the summer of 2015, with a smash hit world premiere engagement of Dear Evan Hansen at Arena Stage in Washington DC. Audiences and critics alike instantly fell in love with what Peter Marks of The Washington Post called: “A heart-piercing trip to the place that musical theater can sometimes take us to.”
Next stop, a record-setting, sold-out run at New York’s Second Stage Theatre, where once again, this uniquely original musical stunned audiences and moved Charles Isherwood of The New York Times to proclaim: “This is a superb musical with great heart and humor.”
Dear Evan Hansen, which pairs the three time Tony Award nominated director Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal, Grey Gardens) with the Tony-nominated composing team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (A Christmas Story, Dogfight, NBC’s “SMASH”) and award-winning playwright Steven Levenson (Showtime’s “Masters of Sex”) now takes the next step on its remarkable journey. Broadway performances begin this November.
Charles Isherwood – New York Times
For those allergic to synthetic sentiment, rest assured that the show, with a haunting score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (the coming movie musical “La La Land,” for which they wrote the lyrics, is already generating Oscar buzz), matched by a book of equal sensitivity by Steven Levenson, doesn’t sledgehammer home its affecting story. On the contrary, the musical finds endless nuances in the relationships among its characters, and makes room for some leavening humor, too. It is also the rare Broadway musical not derived from or inspired by some other source, which is refreshing in itself.
Marilyn Stasio – Variety
The very thought of a Broadway transfer of “Dear Evan Hansen” might chill the blood of theatergoers who loved this bittersweet show when it played in the intimate setting of Off Broadway’s Second Stage Theater. But through the alchemy of Michael Greif, who directed the original productions at Arena Stage and at Second Stage, Broadway’s Music Box Theater proves a perfect fit for this sensitive musical starring a sensational Ben Platt as a neurotic misfit trying to survive senior year in high school. As for the music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul: Not since “Next to Normal” has a score tapped so deeply into the troubled psyche of its needy protagonist.
Jesse Green – Vulture
But when a musical drama clicks, an amazing fusion event occurs: The songs and the story enlarge each other in the process of becoming inseparable. Think of Sweeney Todd or, more intimately, Fun Home. And now add to the list Dear Evan Hansen, which opened tonight in a production beautifully directed by Michael Greif. I called the Off Broadway production at Second Stage this May “the feel-anxious musical of the season.” But it is even better on Broadway, so fine in its craft and rich in its gathering of themes that, like the best works of any genre, it rewards being seen again — and again.
Jeremy Gerard – Deadline
Platt seems more to inhabit Evan than to merely portray him. The halting delivery of soulful lines, the arms that flutter out in birdlike spasms as if grasping for logic or reason and, most of all, with a voice that rises from assured tenor to plaintive falsetto all conspire to bring this character to life. Evan could be cousin to The Glass Menagerie‘s Laura Wingfield.
David Rooney – The Hollywood Reporter
A smart, soulful depiction of teen solitude graced by both gentle humor and raw feeling, this original musical graduates to Broadway after being honed in two earlier productions, scaling up its physical dimensions without sacrificing its piercing intimacy. At its center is Pitch Perfect star Ben Platt as the painfully awkward 17-year-old title character, giving a deeply affecting performance that’s also an extraordinary display of sustained emotional intensity. Bring Kleenex.
Matthew Murray – Talkin’ Broadway
I had high hopes for Dear Evan Hansen after seeing it at Second Stage this past spring, and I assumed the creative team would use the ensuing months before Broadway to iron out its flaws. The only changes to the material have been superficial, leaving the enterprise, like Connor, a case of promise stunted by the nutrition it didn’t receive when it needed it most.
Chris Jones – Chicago Tribune
Most teenagers — despite appearances to the contrary — are fragile optimists. And Ben Platt, the astonishing star of the extraordinary new Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” has a way of throwing lines out into the wind, head usually cocked to the side, brave, aspirant, unsure of where those salvos will land, terrified of being blown over when they come roaring back to crush his soul. This performance by an actor who first gained attention for his stage work in “The Book of Mormon” in Chicago is as profound and heart-breaking a portrayal of a 17-year-old as one might ever hope to see.
Jonathan Mandell – New York Theater
“Dear Evan Hansen” has changed now that it’s on Broadway, in ways that make it an even more affecting musical. Ben Platt’s performance, impressive from the get-go, is even better. But what’s changed the most is the world outside the theater, turning the story of a lie that gets out of hand into something more realistic and unfortunately more relevant.
Mark Shenton – The Stage
How thrilling it is that Broadway, a place largely turned into a destination to make money not art, is still capable of producing shows that are genuinely bold, daring and confrontational.
Adam Feldman – TimeOut NY
Simply put: Platt is giving one of the greatest leading male performances I’ve ever seen in a musical, and the thrillingly modern and moving Dear Evan Hansen is worthy of it.
Melissa Rose Bernardo – Entertainment Weekly
Leaving a new musical with a great song or two running through your head is a rare but exciting thing. Leaving with about 10 great songs running through your head is pretty much unheard of. But that’s the power of Dear Evan Hansen, which just opened on Broadway after a world premiere at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage and a stint at Second Stage Off-Broadway.