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Dear Evan Hansen

“Devastatingly powerful”

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.

With Hamilton and the recent arrival of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, there’s plenty to challenge and provoke already. Dear Evan Hansen adds to New York’s impressive musical slate.

While the show revolves around teenagers, this isn’t High School Musical or Grease, but a very adult musical. The plot concerns a pair of isolated outsiders who become irrevocably bonded after one takes his life and the other is unwittingly implicated in a fabricated, consoling lie told to comfort the grieving parents.

It’s a powerful, intimate, original and redemptive story. It is also bang up-to-date in how it incorporates the pressures of social media to keep the story alive and in people’s guilty consciences.

The musical boasts a darkly textured and deeply nuanced book by Steven Levenson and provocative songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul that are drenched in feeling and fearless commitment. It never sentimentalises its subject, but feels constantly truthful.

As with the same composing team’s Dogfight (produced at Southwark Playhouse in 2014) this show registers its emotions with a frank, fearless ambivalence.

The tone of uncertainty and palpable unease is stunningly projected by Ben Platt, his face regularly damp with sweat and tears, as the title character who ends up doing decidedly the wrong thing by trying to do the right thing.

There are equally impressive performances from the other seven actors in the tight ensemble of Michael Greif’s deeply felt production. It’s another must-see show in a New York theatre scene that is currently full of them.


Production Details
Production nameDear Evan Hansen
VenueMusic Box Theatre
LocationNew York
StartsNovember 14, 2016
EndsJuly 2, 2017
Running time2hrs 25mins
ComposerBenj Pasek, Justin Paul
Book writerSteven Levenson
LyricistBenj Pasek, Justin Paul
DirectorMichael Greif
Musical directorBen Cohn
OrchestratorAlex Lacamoire
ChoreographerDanny Mefford
Set designerDavid Korins
Costume designerEmily Rebholz
Lighting designerJaphy Weideman
Sound designerNevin Steinberg
Video designerPeter Nigrini
Casting directorLindsay Levine, Tara Rubin
CastBen Platt, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Kristlyn Lloyd, Laura Dreyfuss, Michael Park, Mike Faist, Rachel Bay Jones, Will Roland
Stage managerJudith Schoenfeld
ProducerAdam Zotovich, Ambassador Theatre Group, Arena, Arielle Tepper Madover, Bob Boyett, Bonnie, Caiola Productions, Caitlin Clements, Colin Callender, Dante Di Loreto, Darren Bagert, Darren Deverna, David Mirvish, Double Gemini Productions, Eric, Eva Price, Fakston Productions, Fickstern Productions, Freddy Demann, Harris Karma Productions, Hunter Arnold, Independent Presenters Network, Jere Harris, Kenneth Feld, Marsi Gardiner, Mickey Liddell, Mike Kriak, On Your Marks Group, Robert Greenblatt, Roger, Roy Furman, Second Stage Theatre, Stacey Mindich, The John Gore Organization, The Shubert Organization, William Berlind, Zeilinger Productions
VerdictDevastatingly powerful, intense new musical about a teenage suicide and the lies that build up around it
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Mark Shenton

Mark Shenton

Mark Shenton

Mark Shenton

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