Open run

Dear Evan Hansen

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great singing, Must see, Relevant
101 reviews
2098 reviews

The smash Off-Broadway musical about how we share, like, and friend, love, feel, and survive in the modern world transfers to the Main Stem.

... Read more

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. 'Dear Even Hansen' is a new American musical about life and the way we live it. Created by three-time Tony-nominated director Michael Greif ('Rent,' 'Next to Normal,' 'Grey Gardens'), Tony-nominated songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul ('A Christmas Story,' NBC’s 'Smash'), and playwright Steven Levenson, it stars Ben Platt in the breakout title role.

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Reviews (2199)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

The New York Times

"The marvelous young actor Ben Platt is giving a performance that’s not likely to be bettered on Broadway this season. What’s more, this gorgeous heartbreaker of a musical has grown in emotional potency during its journey to the big leagues...The musical finds endless nuances in the relationships among its characters...Under the superb direction of the veteran Michael Greif, the show has been subtly refined, its brasher comedy softened, and the performances have grown in delicacy." Full Review


"Not since 'Next to Normal' has a score tapped so deeply into the troubled psyche of its needy protagonist...The lyrics go beyond the spoken thought and reach for the unspoken feelings hiding behind the words. Better yet, there’s not a hint of sentimentality...Under the thoughtful direction of Greif, Platt goes beyond physical specificity to get under Evan’s skin and into his unsettled mind. And the introspective, gentle score becomes the language of his troubled thoughts and yearnings." Full Review

Time Out New York

"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...The musical benefits mightily from Greif’s dynamic direction, Korins’s vivid set design, Nigrini's cascading projections and an excellent cast...Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s score brims with tuneful and thoughtful songs...And Levenson’s book is unfailingly smart...'Dear Evan Hansen' must be seen to be believed." Full Review


"Ben Platt is stripped down to his emotional skivvies for us voyeurs to judge, gawk at, and pity. His breathtaking performance in the show's title role is just one of the reasons Pasek, Paul, and Levenson's new musical moves audiences to their feet before the lights even come down...This musical offers a truly 21st-century story...The composers strike a balance between substance and popular appeal with memorable melodies and character-driven lyrics." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"One of the strongest scores in years. The songs are not merely tuneful and funny and touching; Pasek and Paul can plumb the inner depths of their characters and rip through emotions in words and music...Levenson has given us an impressive book which tackles a difficult subject with warmth and humor...Platt is altogether extraordinary...The actors around him are universally excellent...The show continues the progression of astonishing musicals on Broadway." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"The whole sorry story is treated by the authors with a remarkable double vision, keeping us engaged with Evan as he careens ever closer to disaster...The songs similarly combine real feeling with sharp-eyed observation as they briskly move the story along...Greif's staging is both well-paced and nuanced, never losing sight of the heartbreak at the story's center; he has also assembled a cast of performers who wear their characters like old clothes." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

"'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...The transfer feels seamless. The unchanged score holds up, comprised of the same tuneful and moving songs...All give superb performances. Platt has toned down his nervousness – he fidgets less – which makes his performance all the more credible, all the more heartbreaking." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"If I'm not quite prepared to say that Platt is giving the best performance I've ever seen a male actor give in a musical, it's darn close—undoubtedly in the top five. Alas, too much of the rest of 'Evan Hansen' fails to ascend to Platt's exalted level...Fancy staging can't easily conjure electricity from no component materials, and, compelling though Levenson's writing may be, it cries out for a charge Pasek and Paul simply do not provide...Platt, though, provides all he can and then some." Full Review

The Wall Street Journal

"It’s smartly crafted, emotionally open-hearted and ideally cast. What’s more, it’s pitched to and has been embraced by millennials...yet its appeal is universal...Michael Greif has staged 'Dear Evan Hansen' with fluid, fast-moving simplicity...The score is not quite as strong as Steven Levenson’s ingenious book...Still, the songs work on their own terms, and the book is strong enough that it could be done on its own as a play...The best musical to open on Broadway since 'Hamilton.'" Full Review

The Clyde Fitch Report

"It’s a shame that a late and sizable script shortcoming lowers the rank of this tuner from surpassing musical treat to compromised excellence...The fair approach is to rave about 'Dear Evan Hansen‘s' outstanding elements, starting with Platt’s star-making performance. Surely, too, the place to start is with Levenson’s original book...Bolstered by Pasek and Paul’s energetic music...They all lack the courage of their dramatic convictions, and thus contrive for Evan an unearned redemption." Full Review

AM New York

"A smart, deeply felt and altogether extraordinary new musical...Pasek and Paul have crafted a haunting soft rock score that is neatly integrated into Levenson’s captivating book. Greif presents a tight and compelling production built around finely-textured ensemble acting and a seamless visual design of shifting panels and floating video imagery. Platt is giving one of the most vulnerable and shaded performances you’ve ever seen." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"So fine in its craft and rich in its gathering of themes that it rewards being seen again—and again...Platt imbues the character with so much pathos and lively detail that he succeeds as the story’s engine despite being almost pathologically passive...That Levenson has been able to find spots for humor at all in this grippingly sad story, and that Pasek and Paul have been able to turn those opportunities into songs of comic relief is a sign of the size of the ideas in play." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"What's perhaps most distinctive about Pasek and Paul's melodic emo-pop score is how beautifully it captures the peaks and valleys of adolescence, in the thoughtful lyrics and in the music itself...Playwright Steven Levenson matches the musical components beat for beat in his terrific book, which sets up with persuasive conviction what could easily have been a contrived premise...Across the board, the ensemble is superb, each of them registering rich moments of emotional complexity." Full Review

New York Daily News

"Platt nails each shifting mood and tone as a socially inept outcast. Original and up-to-the-minute, the musical has a lot to say—about parents and children, social media, and more...Stirring ballads and rousing group songs in the vibrant, varied score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul ooze emotions. Director Michael Greif excels at guiding actors through complex stories—and his work has never been better...The show's so satisfying it deserves a thank-you note." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"With its near perfect score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul...Subtle direction by Michael Grief, combined with a layered and truthful book by Steven Levenson, it has Tony Awards written all over it. Add to that the winning performances by the cast, especially Ben Platt, this musical will get under your skin and speak to you in so many ways...Here is an original musical that didn’t skip any steps, wraps its audience in its arms and allows the music, the story and the characters to do their jobs." Full Review


"The score by Pasek and Paul is packed with engaging tunes and insightful lyrics. The book by Levenson portrays teen angst taken beyond the normal boundaries with compelling dignity...Platt plays the title role in a movingly sensitive, career-making performance...Platt seems more to inhabit Evan than to merely portray him...The score soars, bringing us along with it. 'Dear Evan Hansen' is an intimate show with a gigantic heart." Full Review


"With its original team back for the move, it's settled very nicely into the Music Box. The staging has been expanded to fit the larger stage and theater, happily without succumbing to the over amplification, an all-too-common feature of big Broadway musicals. Ben Platt, who was such a terrific Evan last spring, is even better...The rest of the cast is again excellent...Given all of the above, everything I said when I reviewed the show last May still holds." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"Platt's as profound and heartbreaking a portrayal of a 17-year-old as one might ever hope to see. It is the heart of a superbly crafted and performed show that is unafraid of complexity and ambiguity...This plot, which rarely strains credulity, brings up a veritable plethora of people in pain, and Pasek and Paul have penned a banquet of ballads of anguish and confusion, but they somehow avoid sentimental exploitation." Full Review


"The show is superb—original, sensitive, provocative, endearing—about so many other knowing and loving things that it’s even possible to overlook the unearned happy ending...Everyone is a fully developed person in Levenson’s smart book, and the clever, sympathetic songs by Pasek and Paul have a pop intimacy that challenges expansive vocal ranges without seeming to show off. The production by director Greif brings out the real-life depth in the eight exhilarating actors." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"'Dear Evan Hansen' has not lost any of its power and tension. It soars with an intense beauty that still captures our hearts and plays havoc with it all at the same time...Not much has changed with 'Dear Evan Hansen' beyond a tightening of its components. Visually it’s as perfect and awe-inspiring as it was Off-Broadway. Maybe even more so...I’m not sure if I will ever feel completely content with the final moments, but all in all, 'Dear Evan Hansen' delivers us a deeply felt rich story." Full Review


"The script ultimately backs off the issues it raises in the service of a happy ending...The evening is seldom lifted by the songs, which, with several notable exceptions, tend to a bland sameness, especially lyrically. And the direction, by Michael Greif, seems at times wrongheaded, better suited to a bigger story...When 'Dear Evan Hansen' is involving, as it certainly is at times, the great share of the credit goes to Platt and his prize-worthy performance." Full Review


"Heart-stirring and often shattering. But it’s not just the show’s universal and topical subject matter, smarty explored by Steven Levenson’s mostly well-written book or Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s lovely, deeply felt score, that lends the work such pathos. What makes 'Evan Hansen' so special, and oddly lovable, is the brave and extraordinarily raw performance by Ben Platt...In the end, 'Dear Evan Hansen' is both a must-see musical and a tribute to the singular talents of its rising star." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"A major musical on Broadway that deserves to find a new audience...The entire show is marked by creativity both in staging and performance. Platt is outstanding throughout in the title role of the production, which has a clever book by Levenson and involving music and lyrics by Pasek and Paul...Grief has directed with expert meshing of the show’s many ingredients...Not only an enjoyable show, but an admirable one that bears repeat viewing to absorb all of its energy and imagination." Full Review


"Deeply universal and utterly compelling...It's told utilizing the language of social-media, which director Michael Grief has employed to stunning effect. Pasek and Paul's score, so seamlessly woven into the story line, captures character nuances with the emotional eloquence of our finest dramatic plays, inducing tears and laughter in equal measure. And it is performed by a superlative cast...Platt gives an incomparable performance that ranks among the finest in years." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"This isn’t your usual Broadway musical–it’s better! It’s funny, sad, tragic and filled with great heart. This is a powerful story of a young, high-school misfit played by the remarkable Ben Platt, whose physical and emotionally nuanced performance is so compelling and sensitive that one is in awe...Michael Greif helms the cast with a magical directorial hand...Many Tony nominations and expected awards for this one!!" Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Great acting, Overrated, Great singing

See it if You want your socks knocked off by Ben Platt's awkward charm and incredible vocals, or if you're a teen girl.

Don't see it if You don't like teen-centric drama, you like believable plot lines, you expect teen suicide to be treated with more care.

Also Ben Platt is a unicorn. Never seen a show where you instantly fall in ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Must see, Profound

See it if You suffer from anxiety, depression or loneliness. You enjoy a tough story with loveable characters. You want a great pop sounding score

Don't see it if You're triggered by anxiety, depression, suicide or do not want to see those subjects on stage. You want a happy, go lucky musical.

Absorbing, Clever, Edgy, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if Everyone should see it and if you have children from about age 12 and up you should bring them.

Don't see it if You want to keep your head in the sand about what goes on in teenagers lives.

Exquisite, Must see, Profound, Resonant, Important

See it if You want to see a wholly original musical that's not based on a book, movie, music group, or famous event: just a story about normal people.

Don't see it if You don't like crying in public.

Great acting, Must see, Resonant, Great writing, Great singing

See it if You want to see Ben Platt be absolutely amazing, you've ever felt alone and hopeless, high school was rough, you want a good cry

Don't see it if You're looking for a more traditional musical, you're uncomfortable with discussion of suicide and mental health issues

Intense, Masterful, Must see, Profound, Relevant

See it if you want to be moved - repeatedly - by the story, the acting, the singing. Every part of this show is fantastic.

Don't see it if you can not handle the heavy emotional subject matter.

Great acting, Intense, Relevant

See it if Wow. What a refreshing new musical. Ben Platt is a star. Beautiful story. Heartbreaking. Small cast. Interesting technical design. Loved it.

Don't see it if The show deals with hard topics: suicide, depression, bullying and anxiety. This may be a trigger for some.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Breakout performance

See it if you want to see a musical boosting an original story set in the era of social media. However, I prefer the show that's open at the Imperial.

Don't see it if you want to miss the definition of a star-making, breakout role. Ben Platt, with his booming voice, gives the performance of the season

Banal, Disappointing, Insipid, Overrated, Slow

See it if Uninteresting, unrealistic story.

Don't see it if Uninteresting, unrealistic story.

Great acting, Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Great singing

See it if you want to see really excellent performances and you enjoy musicals about the struggling "outsider" wanting to fit in.

Don't see it if you like shows with an original approach in terms of story and style. You don't like shows excusing deplorable actions with no repercussions

Also Ben Platt gives an amazing performance and there are some good songs. ... Read more Read less

Edgy, Great acting, Must see, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you enjoy brilliant, original new musicals.

Don't see it if you can't relate at all to the everyday psychological and social issues of parents and high schoolers.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Intense

See it if you're interested in new musicals on offbeat but meaningful topics with innovative, rock-based scores sung by a great cast

Don't see it if You don't like contemporary rock musicals about teenagers with lyrics sometimes screamed as well as youthful enthusiasm

Great acting, Resonant, Indulgent, Overrated, Great singing

See it if you can get here in time for Ben Platt's performance. Platt truly is the strongest element of the production.

Don't see it if you don't like being manipulated. An invisible choir will repeatedly appear and basically scream their intended emotional response at you.

Also The show's most "inspiring" lyrics are actually ironic in context. Thi... Read more Read less

Relevant, Resonant, Great singing

See it if You want to witness a wonderfully special performance by Ben Platt and you like contemporary musical theater (i.e. Next to Normal, etc)

Don't see it if You want a big broadway production with dancing but I do think the singing and music are spectacular.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Dizzying, Profound, Great staging

See it if you are looking for a totally surprising new kind of Broadway musical.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in a new theater experience.

Great acting, Refreshing, Great writing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want to see a talented cast put on a musical about a difficult subject. The show may not be for everyone, but was well done.

Don't see it if you didn't like Next to Normal. Reminded me a lot like this show, especially with the same director.

Also The show was really good, but it wasn't a show I would say everyone ha... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Relevant, Resonant, Great writing, Unique

See it if interesting set design, engaging story, captivating vocals by Ben Platt

Don't see it if you dislike modern musicals (music, costumes, themes, tech), if you're in the mood for something purely upbeat and happy

Funny, Intelligent, Overrated, Entertaining

See it if You like pop music and new musicals

Don't see it if Enjoy the classics. You should give it a try though.

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a new modern show

Don't see it if you prefer old school shows

Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you appreciate a really different and emotionally moving story line, dazzling acting and singing, and a very original physical production.

Don't see it if you only like old fashioned traditional musicals.

Also By the end of the evening, I found the music in this show very tiring ... Read more Read less

Clever, Edgy, Relevant, Resonant, A new musical with really good new music!

See it if appreciate new and exciting musical theatre.

Don't see it if no reason not to see.

Great acting, Must see, Great writing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want to see one of the best shows this season

Don't see it if Want to miss great theater

Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Relevant, Great writing

See it if If you want to see a musical about issues that affects teens and how to fit into this all too difficult world

Don't see it if Don't see it if you want a light cheerful evening....

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if enjoy new, original musicals with an awesome cast and a very moving story.

Don't see it if are not a fan of musicals or are are looking for one with large dance numbers

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if you love YA novels.

Don't see it if stories about teenagers don't appeal to you.