Dear Evan Hansen
About The Show
"Dear Evan Hansen" is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it.
A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in.
The winner of six Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, "Dear Evan Hansen" features a book by Tony Award winner Steven Levenson, a score by Grammy, Tony and Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman), and direction by four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal).
"Dear Evan Hansen" opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre on December 4, 2016, where it’s broken all box office records and has struck a chord with critics and audiences alike.
Evan Hansen is having a hard time. He broke his arm over the summer, and is nervous for his first day of senior year. To confront his anxiousness, his therapist asks him to write a letter to himself as an exercise. So he writes, “Dear Evan Hansen, today is going to be a good day, and here’s why.” At school, he runs into his crush, Zoe Murphy, and fumbles over the conversation. Then her loner brother Connor takes a surprising turn and signs Evan’s cast. But while Evan prints out his letter assignment in the computer lab, Connor steals the letter and runs off. The next day, Evan goes to the principal’s office where the Murphys reveal that Connor killed himself, mistake Evan’s letter for Connor’s suicide note, and assume Evan was his friend. As Evan slowly lets the family believe the lie, he finds comfort in their home life, so unlike his own where his single working mother Heidi is struggling to get by. But as soon as the lie becomes bigger and bigger, Evan must figure out how to confront his reality and find a way to connect beyond the falsehood. Oscar-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul penned the Tony-winning score, alongside playwright Steven Levenson, who also won a Tony for the show’s book. Michael Greif, director of Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway shows like Rent and Next to Normal, helms the show, which “The New York Times” calls “a gorgeous heartbreaker of a musical” “The musical is ideal for families looking for something yeastier and more complex than the usual sugary diversions,” The Times raved. “But then it should also appeal to just about anyone who has ever felt, at some point in life, that he or she was trapped ‘on the outside looking in,’ as one lyric has it. Which is just about everybody with a beating heart.”
What To Watch For
- Composer/lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul based the premise for the musical on a real-life incident from Pasek’s high school.
- The musical had its world premiere in Washington D.C. at Arena Stage and premiered off Broadway at Second Stage Theater before moving to Broadway.
- Pasek, Paul, and Levenson wrote the role of Evan Hansen for Ben Platt. Platt auditioned for Pasek and Paul’s earlier musical Dogfight, and while he was too young for that show, they had just started writing “Dear Evan Hansen,” so they crafted the role with Platt in mind.
- The Act 1 finale “You Will Be Found” was not initially part of the show. The song, which has become a kind of anthem and message for the musical, was written when the show moved off Broadway. The original Act 1 finale was called “A Part Of Me.”
- The Act 1 finale incorporates videos from real fans holding up signs that say “You Will Be Found.” When the show premiered in New York, the producers solicited videos on YouTube from fans, and the footage is part of the projections in the song.
2hr 35min (incl. intermission)
Music Box Theatre
239 West 45th Street, New York, NY 10036
Toward the close of 1919, the prominent theatrical producer Sam H. Harris made a proposition to his friend Irving Berlin: if the popular songwriter would devise a musical revue, Harris would find a theatre for it. Berlin responded with The Music Box Revue and in 1920 the Music Box Theatre was built to house the show. The Shuberts began acquiring shares of the venue from Harris in the 1920s. When Harris died in 1941, his wife sold half the shares in the theatre to the Shuberts, and half to Berlin. From that point on, Berlin and Shubert became equal partners in the ownership of the house. In 2007, the Berlin share of the theatre was sold to Shubert, now the sole owner of the theatre.