Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen is a stage musical with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and book by Steven Levenson.
|Dear Evan Hansen|
Broadway promotional poster
|Premiere||July 10, 2015: Arena Stage, Washington|
2018 US Tour
2019 West End
|Awards||Tony Award for Best Musical|
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
Tony Award for Best Original Score
Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics
Obie Award for Musical Theatre
Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Production
The musical opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre in December 2016, after its world premiere at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., in July 2015 and an Off-Broadway production at Second Stage Theatre from March to May 2016.
At the 71st Tony Awards, it was nominated for nine awards, winning six, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Actor in a Musical for Ben Platt, and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Rachel Bay Jones.
The musical has its origins in an incident that took place during Pasek's high school years at Friends' Central School. The musical
"...takes the notion of a teenager, Platt's Evan Hansen, who invents an important role for himself in a tragedy that he did not earn."
There were several readings prior to the first stage production: in May 2014 at Pearl Studios (New York), July 2014 at Chelsea Studios (New York) and September 2014 at Manhattan Movement and Arts Studio (New York). A full workshop took place in March 2015 at Gibney Dance Center. The project was initially called The PPL Project. Ben Platt was involved in all of the readings and workshop.
Evan Hansen is a teenager with social anxiety. His therapist recommends that he write letters to himself detailing what will be good about each day. His mother, Heidi, suggests that he make new friends in senior year at high school by asking people to sign the cast on his arm.
Meanwhile, in the wealthy Murphy family — Cynthia and Larry, and their children Zoe and Connor — Zoe and Larry berate Connor for getting high before school, while Cynthia struggles with the fact that her family is falling apart. The two mothers wonder how to connect with their sons ("Anybody Have a Map?").
At school, Evan meets Alana, a precocious but somewhat self-absorbed classmate, and Jared, his only (family) friend. Both Alana and Jared notice his broken arm, but neither signs his cast. Evan then runs into Connor, who interprets Evan's awkwardness as making fun of him, resulting in Connor's pushing Evan to the ground. Connor's sister Zoe, whom Evan has a crush on, feels obligated to apologize for her brother's behavior. Evan wonders if this is his destiny — to be ignored and an outcast — for the rest of his life ("Waving Through a Window").
Evan writes a letter to himself, wondering whether anyone would notice if he were not there. All his hope is focused on Zoe, since his crush on her is the only thing that brings him happiness ("Waving Through a Window" (Reprise #1)). He encounters Connor again, who now offers to sign Evan's cast. Connor finds Evan's letter on the printer and reads it; he becomes furious at the mention of Zoe, thinking Evan intended for him to see the letter in order to make fun of him. He storms out, taking the letter with him.
Evan is in an intense state of anxiety over what Connor might have done with the letter and tells Jared online about his assignment to write letters to himself. Evan is called to the principal's office and is told by Connor's parents that Connor committed suicide days before, with Evan's letter found in his pocket, which they believe is a suicide note addressed to him.
Evan goes to Connor's house for dinner. Jared had instructed him to "nod and confirm" to avoid making things worse, but Evan is awkward and uncomfortable and he lies, pretending he and Connor had been best friends, emailing each other from a secret account. The Murphys don't question this because Mr. Murphy had been monitoring Connor's real account. Zoe and Cynthia get into an argument, and Evan jumps in, recounting a fictional version of the day he broke his arm at an abandoned apple orchard the Murphys had visited ("For Forever"). When Evan gets home, Heidi mentions hearing about Connor's death, but Evan tells her not to worry and that he didn't know Connor. After realizing he needs evidence of his supposed "secret email account", Evan enlists Jared's help in creating fake, backdated email conversations between himself and Connor ("Sincerely, Me").
After Evan shows the Murphy family Connor's "emails", Cynthia is ecstatic that her son had a friend, but Larry is hurt that Connor took his family and his privileged life for granted. Cynthia tries to show Zoe the emails, but they argue again. Zoe still refuses to mourn Connor ("Requiem"). Despite this, after reading the "suicide note", Zoe notices that she is mentioned and asks Evan why Connor would say that about her. Evan, unable to tell her the truth, tells her all the reasons he loves her under the guise of Connor saying them ("If I Could Tell Her"). Overcome with emotion, he impulsively kisses Zoe, but she pulls away and tells him to leave.
At school, Evan and Alana notice that people are starting to forget about Connor, so Evan enlists Alana and Jared's help in founding "The Connor Project" to keep Connor's memory alive. The three pitch the idea to the Murphys, who agree to support the project ("Disappear"). Moved by his dedication, Cynthia gives Evan a necktie she had gotten for Connor that he had never worn and asks Evan to wear it when he speaks at Connor's memorial service. At the official launch of The Connor Project, Evan gives an inspiring speech about his loneliness and friendship with Connor, which goes viral. Zoe, overcome by the impact her brother and Evan have had, kisses him ("You Will Be Found").
Evan and Alana pitch a fundraising idea on The Connor Project's website, to raise $50,000 to reopen the abandoned apple orchard where Evan and Connor supposedly spent time. However, Evan becomes preoccupied with his new relationship with Zoe and his newfound family in the Murphys and begins to neglect his mother, Jared, and The Connor Project ("Sincerely, Me" (Reprise)).
Heidi asks Evan why he did not tell her about The Connor Project or about his friendship with Connor. He angrily responds that he did not have the time because she is never around. Overcome with emotion, he rushes off to the Murphys, where Evan bonds with Larry Murphy and confides in him about his childhood. Larry offers him an old baseball glove of Connor's that was never used. ("To Break in a Glove"). Later, when Evan begins to mention Connor, Zoe tells him that she does not want their relationship to be about Connor, but about the two of them ("Only Us").
Evan goes to the Murphys, only to discover they invited Heidi for dinner. She is mortified to learn they want to give Connor's college fund to Evan. At home, Heidi and Evan fight over his secrecy and deception, with Evan confessing that he feels welcomed and accepted into the Murphy family because of Heidi's absence. Meanwhile, Alana begins to find inconsistencies in the fake emails. Evan asks Jared to help fix the inaccuracies, but Jared refuses and threatens to expose Evan, who counters that he could expose Jared's role. Heidi, Alana, and Jared converge in Evan's conscience, compounding his guilt and doubt over his decisions ("Good for You").
Evan decides he has to confess to what he has done. Imaginary Connor attempts to talk him out of it, but Evan shouts that he needs the whole thing to be over. Connor tells him that if he tells the truth, all he has will be gone, and the only thing he will be left with is himself ("For Forever" (Reprise)). He disappears, leaving Evan alone.
Evan apologizes to Alana, but she has given up on Evan's help with The Connor Project as she doubts the truth of his statements that he was Connor's best friend. Evan shows her the letter to himself that he wrote when he was giving up on having a good year, claiming it to be Connor's suicide note. Realizing that the letter is the key to fulfilling the fundraising goal, Alana posts it online where, to Evan's chagrin, it goes viral. As a result, many people begin to believe Connor's suicide was because of his uncaring, wealthy parents ("You Will Be Found" (Reprise)).
The Murphys have become the targets of hateful comments because people believe they were responsible for Connor's death. Evan, distraught, walks in on the Murphys fighting about why Connor really killed himself. Evan admits his fabrication, hopeful that he could forge a genuine bond with the Murphys out of the tragedy. As Zoe and her mother tearfully leave, Larry turns away from Evan in disgust. Alone once more, Evan absorbs his perceived brokenness as inescapable ("Words Fail").
Heidi saw the letter online and knew that it was one of Evan's therapy assignments. She apologizes to Evan for not seeing how badly he had been hurting, though Evan denies her guilt due to his deception. He vaguely admits that his fall from the tree was a suicide attempt. Heidi recalls the day that his father moved out and did not know how she was going to make it by herself. In the end, she realized that she was not alone – she had Evan and knew that the two of them could survive anything so long as they were together. Tearfully, Heidi promises that she will always be there for him when he needs her ("So Big/So Small").
A year later, Evan is still living at home and working at Pottery Barn to earn enough money to go to college the next semester. He contacts Zoe, whom he has not seen since she found out the truth, and asks her to meet him. She insists that they meet at the orchard that has been reopened in Connor's memory. He apologizes for the pain he caused by manipulating her family and admits that he has been reading Connor's ten favorite books in an attempt to connect with who he really was. He thanks her and her parents for keeping his secret and reveals that they never told anyone else that his friendship with Connor was a lie. She forgives him, saying the ordeal brought her family closer together because "everyone needed it for something." Evan asks her why she wanted to meet at the orchard, and she replies that she wanted to be sure he saw it, and the two share a gentle moment before they part. Evan mentally writes himself one last letter reflecting on the impact he has had on his community and finally accepts himself ("Finale").
Roles and principal casts
|March Workshop &
|Original Broadway Cast
|Original US Tour Cast
|Original Toronto Cast
|Original West End Cast|
|Evan Hansen||Ben Platt||Ben Levi Ross||Robert Markus||Sam Tutty|
|Heidi Hansen||Rachel Bay Jones||Jessica Phillips||Jessica Sherman||Rebecca McKinnis|
|Zoe Murphy||Barrett Wilbert Weed||Laura Dreyfuss||Maggie McKenna||Stephanie La Rochelle||Lucy Anderson|
|Cynthia Murphy||Jennifer Laura Thompson||Christiane Noll||Claire Rankin||Lauren Ward|
|Larry Murphy||Michael Park||John Dossett||Michael Park||Aaron Lazar||Evan Buliung||Rupert Young|
|Connor Murphy||Will Pullen||Mike Faist||Marrick Smith||Sean Patrick Dolan||Doug Colling|
|Alana Beck||Erin Wilhelmi||Emily Walton||Alexis Molnar||Kristolyn Lloyd||Phoebe Koyabe||Shakura Dickson||Nicole Raquel Dennis|
|Jared Kleinman||Alex Wyse||Will Roland||Jared Goldsmith||Alessandro Costantini||Jack Loxton|
|Evan Hansen (alternate)||N/A||Michael Lee Brown||Stephen Christopher Anthony||Zachary Noah Piser||Marcus Harman|
Notable Broadway cast replacements
- Evan Hansen: Noah Galvin; Taylor Trensch; Andrew Barth Feldman; Jordan Fisher
- Heidi Hansen: Lisa Brescia; Jessica Phillips
- Connor Murphy: Alex Boniello
- Cynthia Murphy: Christiane Noll
- Evan Hansen – A high school senior. He is assigned by his therapist to write letters to himself about why each day will be good, which becomes the catalyst for the plot of the story (hence the name, Dear Evan Hansen). He has never had any friends, and has had a crush on Zoe Murphy for a very long time. After Connor's death, he begins to tell lies of his being friends with Connor to the Murphy family because they found Evan's letter to himself folded up in Connor's pocket; they thought Connor wrote it to Evan. The first act centers on his outreach propelled by Connor's death, while the second act has him unleash his yearning towards the Murphys and his anger towards Heidi and Jared, who he believes have used him for validation and ignored him when they didn't need him.
- Heidi Hansen – Evan's mother, a nurse's aide who attends paralegal school at night, often leaving Evan on his own as a result. She tries to connect with Evan, but struggles because she doesn't personally understand what he goes through on a daily basis. Having been left by her ex-husband years prior to raise Evan on her own, she exhibits possessive and jealous behavior once she learns of the Murphys' interest in securing Evan's future. However, she comes to see her failings and Evan's concealed sorrow as a wake-up-call not to hide from her son.
- Zoe Murphy – Connor's younger sister and Evan's longtime crush. She was never close to Connor, even hated him and thought he was a monster, but wishes she had known him better and turns to Evan after he lies and says he was friends with Connor. She is initially mad at Evan when he comes clean about the lies, but eventually forgives him a year later.
- Cynthia Murphy – Connor and Zoe's stay-at-home mother. She is constantly trying to keep her fragile family from falling apart, but is often unsuccessful. She did all that she could to keep the family together and make Connor happy, but with Larry's controlling personality, it was rather difficult. The second act elaborates on her past attempts at coaxing Connor through expensive retreats, and her bitterness towards her husband's distance.
- Larry Murphy – Connor and Zoe's busy and distant father. He chooses to do things the hard way, because he believes it's the "right way" throughout the musical, which turns out is just the wrong thing. It only ends up hurting Connor, resulting in strain in the entire family. He seemed to also be very controlling towards his own wife, Cynthia Murphy. Larry displays fatherlike behavior towards Evan once he comes into their lives, often saying that he was better than Connor, and that Evan is "the son he never had".
- Connor Murphy – A high school senior who, like Evan, is also a social outcast with no friends. He is a frequent drug user, getting high to cope with his aggressive and violent tendencies. He has a strained relationship with his sister, Zoe, who notes that Connor had threatened her life multiple times. He dies by suicide early on, but his image returns in Evan's imagination to guide him. Evan's imaginary version of Connor is likable, contributing to Evan's belief that they could have been friends. His death is the basis of the whole story.
- Alana Beck – Evan's earnest but melodramatic classmate. She is constantly looking for academic and extracurricular activities to boost her collegiate chances. As Alana has it, "Connor was one of my closest acquaintances", but is greatly affected by his death and the concept of mortality, and quickly joins Evan in founding The Connor Project in order to keep Connor's memory alive.
- Jared Kleinman – Evan's so-called "family friend." Although Jared presents himself as an arrogant jerk, he is actually also insecure like the other seniors. He helps Evan and Alana found The Connor Project.
*Not included on the Original Broadway Cast Recording
The show is orchestrated for a band of eight, including the music director. The parts are: MD/Keyboard; Violin; Viola; Violoncello; Guitar 1; Guitar 2; Bass Guitar/Upright Bass; and Drums. The show was orchestrated by Alex Lacamoire, who won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Orchestrations for his work.
An original Broadway cast album was released at midnight on February 3, 2017. The second song on the album, "Waving Through A Window", was released as a special early download for those who had pre-ordered the album. The fifth song, "Requiem", was made available to stream for 24 hours on January 26, 2017, a week before the release of the cast recording. The song was released as a second pre-order bonus the next day. The recording of the Act 1 finale "You Will Be Found" was available for a first listen online on January 30, 2017. The cast album debuted at number 8 on the February 25 Billboard 200. The cast album became available in compact disc format on February 24, 2017. The cast album, produced by Alex Lacamoire, featuring the band from both the original Off-Broadway and Broadway productions, including Ben Cohn (piano), Jamie Eblen (drums), Justin Goldner and Dillon Kondor (guitars), Rob Jost (bass), Justin Smith, Todd Low and Adele Stein (strings) and won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.
Producers announced a deluxe album on September 26, 2018. The deluxe album contains all of the songs in the Original Broadway Cast Recording, in addition to cut songs and covers. The cut song "Part of Me" was available exclusively on Billboard.com before it was officially released. The album was to be released on October 19; however, it was delayed to November 2. American singer Katy Perry re-recorded "Waving Through a Window" to promote the show's national tour. Other songs on the deluxe album include "Obvious" sung by Taylor Trensch, the precursor to "If I Could Tell Her", "Hiding in Your Hands" sung by Mallory Bechtel which was replaced by "Requiem", and an acoustic version of "Disappear".
Original Washington, D.C. production
Dear Evan Hansen premiered at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., running from July 10 to August 23, 2015. Directed by Michael Greif, the production featured orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, music direction by Ben Cohn, set design by David Korins and projection design by Peter Nigrini. Ben Platt featured in the title role.
Original Off-Broadway production
The musical opened Off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theater on March 26, 2016, in previews, with the official opening on May 1. The cast featured Ben Platt, Laura Dreyfuss, Mike Faist, Rachel Bay Jones, Will Roland and Jennifer Laura Thompson repeating their roles from the Arena Stage production. New cast members were John Dossett and Kristolyn Lloyd. Michael Greif again directed, with choreography by Danny Mefford. The Off-Broadway engagement closed on May 29, 2016.
Original Broadway production
The show premiered on Broadway on November 14, 2016, in previews, and officially opened on December 4. After announcing that performances would take place at the Belasco Theatre, in mid-September 2016, producers announced that the show would instead perform at the Music Box Theatre. Michael Park, who originated the role of Larry in the Arena Stage production, returned for the Broadway production (replacing John Dossett who went on to the musical War Paint). All other cast members from the Second Stage production returned for the Broadway engagement. Ben Platt played his last performance on November 19, 2017. Noah Galvin replaced Platt on November 21, 2017, and played until February 2018. Taylor Trensch played two performances in the show before officially replacing Galvin on February 6, 2018. The 2018 Jimmy Award winner, Andrew Barth Feldman, made his Broadway debut, replacing Trensch, on January 30, 2019. Zachary Noah Piser serves at the alternate for the role of Evan, and has performances Wednesday and Saturday matinees.
First National tour
A U.S. tour launched in October 2018 in Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Buell Theatre in October 2018. This is the venue where Frozen held its pre-Broadway premiere. Starring Ben Levi Ross in the title role and by December 2018 was scheduled for over 50 cities. It also starred Jessica Phillips in the role of Heidi Hansen, Jared Goldsmith in the role of Jared Kleinman, and Phoebe Koyabe in the role of Alana Beck. Also starring in the tour were Christiane Noll in the role of Cynthia Murphy, Aaron Lazar as Larry Murphy, Marrick Smith in the role of Connor Murphy, Maggie McKenna in the role of Zoe Murphy, and Stephen Christopher Anthony as the alternate Evan Hansen. The second year of the tour began on September 25, 2019, in Milwaukee, with Stephen Christopher Anthony stepping in to the role of Evan Hansen full-time, former Evan/Jared/Connor understudy Noah Kieserman as Connor Murphy, former Zoe/Alana understudy Ciara Alyse Harris as Alana Beck, John Hemphill as Larry Murphy, Sam Primack as the Evan alternate, and Toronto cast alums Stephanie La Rochelle as Zoe Murphy, Jessica Sherman as Heidi Hansen, Claire Rankin as Cynthia Murphy, and Alessandro Costantini as Jared Kleinman.
Canadian sit-down production
The show played its first international performance at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. The production began previews on March 5, 2019, and opened on March 28, 2019. The role of Evan Hansen was played by Robert Markus, and Zachary Noah Piser on Wednesday and Saturday matinees. The cast also included Jessica Sherman as Heidi Hansen, Evan Buliung as Larry Murphy, Claire Rankin as Cynthia Murphy, Alessandro Costantini as Jared Kleinman, Shakura Dickson as Alana Beck, Sean Patrick Dolan as Connor Murphy and Stephanie La Rochelle as Zoe Murphy. Understudies Erin Breen, Malinda Carroll, Jay Davis, David Jeffery, Laura Mae Nason, Kaitlyn Santa Juana and Josh Strobl rounded out the cast. Despite extending its booking period through September, the production closed early on July 21, 2019.
Original London production
A West End production opened at the Noël Coward Theatre from November 2019. The show began previews on October 29, before officially opening on November 19. The role of Evan Hansen is played by Sam Tutty. The rest of the cast includes Rebecca McKinnis as Heidi Hansen, Lauren Ward as Cynthia Murphy, Rupert Young as Larry Murphy, Jack Loxton as Jared Kleinman, Nicole Raquel Dennis as Alana Beck, and Lucy Anderson and Doug Colling as Zoe and Connor Murphy. Understudies and covers include Marcus Harman as the alternate Evan Hansen, Tricia Adele-Turner, David Breeds, Haydn Cox, Natalie Kassanga, Hannah Lindsey, Mark Peachey, Courtney Stapleton, Alex Thomas-Smith, and James Winter.
The musical has received critical acclaim, particularly for Ben Platt's leading performance, the lyrics, and the book. The story has also provided and encouraged open dialogue about its themes of mental illness and youth suicide. Dear Evan Hansen is a recipient of the 2015 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
Derek Mong, in his review of the musical at the Arena Stage, wrote that the "inventive set design by David Korins...that transforms a small stage into a platform for the most intimate living room where a mother and son share a heart-to-heart to the physical abyss of internet cyberspace... book by Steven Levenson... lyrics and music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul... heartfelt lyrics with universal appeal joined by the perfect, oftentimes acoustic, accompaniment that can change the mood from somber to celebratory to sinister in a single bar of music." Barbara Mackay in reviewing the Arena Stage production for TheatreMania wrote: "Levenson, Pasek, and Paul set themselves two high, untraditional bars in Evan Hansen: exploring a community's grief and examining a lonely protagonist who desperately wants to connect with that community... Ben Platt is outstanding as Evan... Since the success of the musical depends entirely on whether Evan's solitary nature appears funny or weird, Evan's ability to laugh at himself and make the audience laugh is crucial. Platt is charming as he eternally twists his shirt tails and hangs his head... Although the themes of grief and loneliness are serious, the musical is anything but somber. It addresses challenging facts of life. But from start to finish, when Evan leaves his room and finds an authentic life outside it, Dear Evan Hansen contains far more joy than sadness."
Charles Isherwood, in his review of the Second Stage production for The New York Times, noted: "The songs, by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dogfight, A Christmas Story), strike the same complex notes, with shapely, heartfelt lyrics that expose the tensions and conflicts that Connor’s death and Evan’s involvement cause in both families. The music, played by a small but excellent band on a platform upstage, is appealingly unstrident pop-rock, with generous doses of acoustic guitar, keyboards and strings. It's the finest, most emotionally resonant score yet from this promising young songwriting team." Susan Davidson, in her review of the Arena Stage production for CurtainUp, noted: "it helps to suspend the disbelief that sullen, anti-social teenagers can change quickly. Surely that's a process requiring time-released hormonal adjustments. It is hard to accept that a long-admired-from-afar girl can change Evan's outlook on life so rapidly or that Connor's teenage disequilibrium leads him to do what he does. Coming through loud and clear, however, is the fact that what starts as deceit can be blown totally out of proportion by the Internet where lies are disseminated with lightning speed leaving plenty of victims in their wake [...] The music is pleasant, not terribly original but good enough to get toes tapping. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's ballads stand out, particularly Heidi's 'So Big/So Small,' Evan's 'Words Fail' and Zoe and Evan's young sweethearts duet 'Only Us.'"
Despite widespread acclaim for the show, its story and music, the overall public reception was not without its criticism. Some reviews of the show claim that it romanticizes and sanitizes mental illness by not mentioning the name of the diagnosis Evan has (many claim it to be social anxiety disorder with features of Asperger syndrome) and glorifies suicide, leaving many to question how Connor kills himself and if Evan's suicide attempt was truly intentional (even Stacey Mindich, lead producer of the original Broadway production, claimed that she and the team did not want the show to be called a "suicide musical" in order to gain an audience).
Jason Zinoman in a piece for Slate argues that the musical "employs many different tactics to prevent us from seeing Evan Hansen as a jerk, but its most audacious is to not allow anyone onstage to see him that way...The choice to give Evan Hansen no comeuppance doesn’t make dramatic sense. But you don’t need to be too cynical to see its commercial and emotional logic. Not giving voice to anger at Evan Hansen avoids the more unpleasant ramifications of his exploitation of a tragedy for his own personal gain, which might complicate the audience’s reaction to him. Evan Hansen isn’t as interested in these themes as it is in keeping the focus on the insecurity of the outsider, the nerd, the teenager yearning for acceptance. (To be fair, it is also interested in Evan’s mother, who has one of the most moving songs in the show.)"
Hilton Als of The New Yorker was also critical, writing "It would have been amazing if Levenson had continued to dig into Evan’s awfulness. Instead, he takes side trips into tired knee-jerk liberalism and therapeutic healing. (One of the more uncomfortable moments in the show is when Alana, a black character, played by Kristolyn Lloyd as a P.C. bully, screams about her invisibility. Levenson and the others are trying to keep up with the times and diversify, but why does it have to feel so forced and tired?) Evan confesses his deceit and makes it clear that all he wanted, really, was to be loved, because of, well, that absent daddy, that inattentive mommy, and the nastiness of the world. With that false move, the show’s creators risk destroying what’s so spikily fascinating about Evan. Still, until the second act, and despite it, Platt gives a performance that binds us to him in the way that Holden Caulfield, that other teen with a voice, did—especially when he said, 'It’s funny. Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.'"
The West End production received many four and five star reviews. Writing in The Stage, Tim Bano said "Lucy Anderson makes a striking professional debut as Evan's crush Zoe, and Rebecca McKinnis does strong work as Heidi Hansen." while in Theatre Weekly's five star review, Greg Stewart commented "Sam Tutty gives the performance of the decade."
Honors and awards
Original Washington, D.C. production
|2016||Helen Hayes Award||Outstanding Musical—HAYES Production||Won|
|Outstanding Direction of a Musical—HAYES Production||Michael Greif||Won|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical—HAYES Production||Laura Dreyfuss||Nominated|
|Jennifer Laura Thompson||Nominated|
|Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical—HAYES Production||Won|
|Outstanding Lighting Design—HAYES Production||Japhy Weideman||Nominated|
|Outstanding Musical Direction—HAYES Production||Ben Cohn||Nominated|
|Outstanding Set Design—HAYES Production||David Kornis (Set Design) and Peter Nigrini (Projection Design)||Nominated|
Original Off-Broadway production
|2016||The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical||Steven Levenson (Book), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Lyrics & Music)||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Awards||Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical||Won|
|Outstanding New Score (Broadway or Off-Broadway)||Benj Pasek and Justin Paul||Nominated|
|Outstanding Book of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)||Steven Levenson||Won|
|Outstanding Director of a Musical||Michael Greif||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Ben Platt||Nominated|
|Outstanding Projection Design (Play or Musical)||Peter Nigrini||Nominated|
|Off Broadway Alliance Awards||Best New Musical||Nominated|
|Drama League Award||Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical||Nominated|
|Distinguished Performance||Ben Platt||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Awards||Outstanding Lyrics||Benj Pasek and Justin Paul||Won|
|Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Rachel Bay Jones||Nominated|
|Outstanding Projection Design||Peter Nigrini||Nominated|
|Obie Awards||Obie Award for Musical Theatre||Steven Levenson (Book), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Lyrics & Music)||Won|
|Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actor||Ben Platt||Won|
|2017||Lucille Lortel Awards||Outstanding Musical||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical||Ben Platt||Won|
|Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Rachel Bay Jones||Won|
|Outstanding Projection Design||Peter Nigrini||Nominated|
Original Broadway production
|2017||Tony Awards||Best Musical||Won|
|Best Book of a Musical||Steven Levenson||Won|
|Best Original Score||Benj Pasek and Justin Paul||Won|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Ben Platt||Won|
|Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical||Mike Faist||Nominated|
|Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical||Rachel Bay Jones||Won|
|Best Lighting Design of a Musical||Japhy Weideman||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Michael Greif||Nominated|
|Best Orchestrations||Alex Lacamoire||Won|
|Drama League Awards||Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Production||Won|
|Distinguished Performance||Ben Platt||Won|
|Rachel Bay Jones||Nominated|
|2018||Grammy Awards||Best Musical Theater Album||Laura Dreyfuss, Mike Faist, Rachel Bay Jones, Kristolyn Lloyd, Michael Park, Ben Platt, Will Roland & Jennifer Laura Thompson (principal soloists); Pete Ganbarg, Alex Lacamoire, Stacey Mindich, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (producers); Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (composers/lyricists)||Won|
|Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program||Ben Platt & the Cast of Dear Evan Hansen
"You Will Be Found"
(performed on Today)
In November 2018, producers donated several items from the Broadway run of the musical, including a shirt, arm cast, button for The Connor Project, copy of the "Dear Evan Hansen" letter, and a piece of sheet music, to the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution.
The musical was adapted into a young adult novel by actor and singer-songwriter Val Emmich, in collaboration with Pasek, Paul, and Levenson. The novel, which features additional material based on scenes and songs cut from the show's development that flesh out and expand upon the story, was released by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on October 9, 2018.
On November 29, 2018, it was announced that Universal Pictures optioned the musical to make a film version. Marc Platt and Adam Siegel will serve as producers, while Levenson, Pasek, and Paul will be executive producers. Stephen Chbosky is in early talks to direct from a screenplay by Levenson.
- Isherwood, Charles (May 1, 2016). "Review: 'Dear Evan Hansen' Puts a Twist on Teenage Angst". The New York Times.
- Marks, Peter (July 10, 2015). "Dear Evan Hansen: Original story, high hopes for Benj Pasek and Justin Paul". The Washington Post.
- Levenson, Steven. "It Takes A Little Patience" "Dear Evan Hansen: Through the Window", Grand Central Publishing, 2017, ISBN 1-538761904, Chapter 8
- Marks, Peter. "How ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ became one of the most remarkable shows in musical-theater history" The Washington Post, June 7, 2017
- Deb, Sopan (August 22, 2017). "'Dear Evan Hansen' Names Replacements for Ben Platt". The New York Times.
- Paulson, Michael (January 16, 2019). "He's 16 Going On Stardom: Meet Broadway's Next 'Evan Hansen'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
- "DWTS Champ Jordan Fisher to Play Title Role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen: See the First Photo". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- McPhee, Ryan; Gans, Andrew (August 7, 2018). "Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen Welcomes Wicked and Mamma Mia! Alum Lisa Brescia August 7". Playbill. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
- "Alex Boniello Joins DEAR EVAN HANSEN, Mike Faist and Will Roland to Play Final Performances". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
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