'Dear Evan Hansen' is about how we share, like, and friend, love, feel, and survive in the modern world. Winner of six 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. 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. 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, 'Dear Evan Hansen' is a new American musical about life and the way we live it.
"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
"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
"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 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
"Platt's performance...is 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
"'Historic' is an adjective I’ve rarely used to describe a performance, but a review that does not invoke it for Ben Platt’s incandescent turn in the ravishingly bittersweet 'Dear Evan Hansen' would be doing it less than justice...Under the crackerjack stewardship of director Michael Greif, the cast of eight guides us with a gentle deftness...The delight here is that Pasek, Paul and Levenson do understand how to make this seemingly unmusical idea sing, and sing grandly." Full Review
"On Broadway, 'Dear Evan Hansen' is creaming the competition, proving to be a thrillingly moving experience...A rivetingly dramatic study in ethics—at least until the somewhat pat ending—and it’s blessed with a rich feeling score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, which is easily their most mature and affecting work to date...Michael Greif directs persuasively...Ben Platt is a revelation, giving a star-making, richly sung performance." Full Review
"Intelligent, imaginative, and humane…If anything, Michael Greif's production has deepened its strongly rooted acting, while minor tweaks have tightened and tautened both Steven Levenson's script and the score…The parable, on its newly enlarged scale, continues to ring true, and happily, so does Platt's performance, which provokes empathic tears with the sparsest, most disciplined means. " Full Review
"Once in a while a new musical comes along with an original story, a book that exactly integrates songs, and characters who achieve emotional intimacy...Beautifully rendered through a smart, keen book by Steven Levenson, and music and lyrics with Sondheim-like sophistication laced with a pop-folk cool by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul...The tiny cast of eight is individually and collectively first rate." Full Review
"‘Dear Evan Hansen’ is a show that holds you tight with its honesty of story told in a way that delights you to your very toes. Every aspect of what you see, hear and feel hums in perfect harmony throughout the piece…Writer Steven Levenson has given us a story that could be told around a dinner table right now...Two hours and twenty-five minutes fly by and this musical poo-pooer wished there had been more." Full Review
"Pasek and Paul's songs serve the characters, and the book brings the characters to a place where they can sing. They live harmoniously in the world of Levenson's book...The songs come from such a natural place and they grow out of the dialogue in the sense that you feel they're singing a conversation, not a song...In the hands of a less capable actor, Evan could have easily become a caricature or a joke, but Platt plays him with such honesty and humanity." Full Review
"Delivers a classic Broadway theme of 'man vs. self' in a unique and updated way that is riveting, heartfelt, and immediate...This show is quite simply a brilliant piece of modern theater...Levenson’s book strikes me as a young Aaron Sorkin. It is quick-witted, purposeful, and insightful. The music and lyrics are all amazingly poignant...In the end, 'Dear Evan Hansen' will remind you that we all want something in life and that we all 'want to be found.'" Full Review
"With Taylor Trensch...the character is decidedly less lovable and that's a very effective take. Trensch is certainly a fine actor and singer, and audiences are sure to admire the strength he brings to the role...This Evan has constructed thicker protective barriers; not just between him and the other characters, but between him and the audience as well...This realistic approach that requires the audience to work harder to feel empathy is a daring move." 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
"What Pasek and Paul, and Levenson, who wrote the book, do is bravely revel in dramatic perversity and a much gnarlier set of emotional and cultural truths...There are some brilliant songs as this insanity unfolds...'Dear Evan Hansen' doesn’t do the obvious. Rather, it addresses, inconclusively, more complex questions over the meaning and importance of truth and significance of memory...'Dear Evan Hansen' is beautiful to look at it, slickly directed, and moving, but also biting and subversive." Full Review
"A winning, insightful, and totally of-the-moment teen dramedy for the digital age. If its 'Heathers' meets 'Ordinary People' vibes don’t always combine in perfect harmony, its humor and extreme heart are sure strike chords with viewers of all walks...Director Greif does expert work in familiar territory...Pasek and Paul’s score is lyrical and emotionally rich, with an emo-pop, singer-songwriter feel that’s perfectly matched with the story, and offers Platt in particular many moments to shine." Full Review
"An exuberant, fresh, musical…The play gives a clear image of how humans can occupy center stage, even in a fast-changing and not altogether truth-speaking virtual world…The number that everyone will be humming is the show’s anthem, ‘You Will Be Found.’ When the crowded images disappear at an apple orchard that has become a memorial to the dead boy, the peaceful vision inspires hope, especially for the vibrant genre of musicals." Full Review
"Although the show presents an ambiguously-disabled Evan Hansen, the character remains incredibly sympathetic...The score, while beautiful and full of belting and ballads, often falls flat, with all the songs sounding similar...A must-see. Go for the amazingly powerful and emotional acting performances or the beautiful ballads, stay for the poignant critique about technology and sympathy in the modern age." Full Review
"An astonishingly moving new musical…Directed by Michael Greif with palpable sensitivity, Evan is brought to life onstage by Ben Platt, who gives an exhaustingly rich performance…Levinson’s book offers piercing insight into the practice of marketing off of personal tragedies…I was surprised by the speed at which the story wraps up at the conclusion, which felt like too neat and tidy of an ending...But any slight criticisms are soon forgotten in the wake of the importance of this musical." Full Review
"It’s tender and heartbreaking, but there’s not a single moment that feels preachy—instead, the story, from start to finish feels fully authentic, which makes the show’s messages really resonate...The show is anchored by Platt’s beautiful performance...He’s ably supported by Steven Levenson’s strong book, which capably navigates nuanced content, deft characterization, and hot-button issues without missing a step." Full Review
"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
"Suffused with narrative purpose and emotional impact, the lyrics of the songs crack open each character allowing us to know their real fears and worries…Platt is equally riveting whether singing Evan’s pent-up agony or walking in his anxiety-prone shoes…The book nicely balances some of the darker themes against a comedic lightness…Because so much of the musical moves with careful elegance, some bald plot machinations stand out in contrast." Full Review
"Librettist Steven Levenson’s scenario is engaging, once you’ve suspended your disbelief about its more implausible components...Greif helps bring out some brighter undertones to the story during Act I, though the much-darker Act 2 at a certain point lapses into an unbroken orgy of tortured emotions. The songs, by Ben Pasek and Justin Paul, have the poppy-folky sound of a lot of contemporary musicals...The cast of eight does solid work." Full Review
"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
"It’s Mr. Platt who earns the affectionate audience responses, not the character of Evan Hansen created in the one-note, one-dimensional pop tunes by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, or the unexceptional book by Steven Levenson that makes everyone sound like they’re reading from the cue cards on a television sitcom…It’s the kind of phony feel-good narrative that could bend toward parody and get boring fast. But thanks to Ben Platt, that possibility never comes up." Full Review
See it if - You enjoy refreshing shows that capture the experience of feeling alone - You want a moving and masterful theatre experience
Don't see it if - You don't like shows that are emotional - You have recently interacted with suicide and could be triggered by the content of the show
See it if You like contemporary stories with classic broadway-style music; you appreciate complex characters and moving stoyrytelling
Don't see it if You prefer light, happy stories and more traditional Broadway endings.
See it if You’re a fan of Rent, Next To Normal and Yes Hamilton A memorable character of Broadway
Don't see it if You don’t like Broadway or Pop Music You Support Trump
See it if You love emotional musicals that will tear at your heart strings. The story and acting are brilliant and the use of the lighting is awesome.
Don't see it if You don't want to cry.
See it if Simply put, this is the best show on Broadway. It's thought-provoking and intelligently-written, brilliantly acted and sung.
Don't see it if you don't like broadway shows, though that goes for every broadway show
See it if You have a beating heart. No one could hate this show. A simple story with exquisite acting. I do not think I could quantify its brill
Don't see it if No reason not to see it. I was nervous because it is SOO popular (and popular to me usually translates to bad- see HAMILTON & BOOK OF MORMO
See it if you want to see a story about a person with social anxiety just trying to figure out where he fits in.
Don't see it if you dislike sad, depressing shows. The subject matter is very dark.
See it if you want a great show to cry at with great music and great emotion.
Don't see it if you have had someone commit suicide in your life. it may hurt a little, like it did for me.
See it if You want a beautiful experience told through soulful songs. Be ready to feel with every fiber of your being.
Don't see it if You don't like heartwarming stories or teen dramas.
See it if Ben Platt gave one of those performances that those of us lucky enough to have seen it, will be talking about it for years to come.
Don't see it if Teen suicide and the wounds of family dysfunction are still a little raw for you.
See it if Brilliant story of a made up story spinning out of control. Poinient moments mother : son & son with friends. Meaningful look at life
Don't see it if You are troubled by a boy being picked on who manages to become a hero albeit through artificial and surprising reasons
See it if You want a powerful theatrical experience.This is a true tour de force! Could see it over & over.
Don't see it if You do not want to be emotionally drained. This will envelop your mind body and soul.
See it if A show that is insightful and relevant and a powerful statement on the role of social media
Don't see it if If subjects like death and suicide and anxiety aren't for you
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