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Dear Evan Hansen - 3/27
Dear Evan Hansen continues to expand and the show even builds upon its brilliance with new members of the cast. There are a handful of new locations announced for a national tour that will surely last for years if not decades. Dear Evan Hansen will be heading to Boston, Pittsburgh, Des Moines, and Orange County at the Segerstrom Center. #youwillbefound
Dear Evan Hansen - 3/8/2018
Dear Evan Hansen welcomes a new cast member on March 13th. Phoenix Best is taking over the role of Alana Beck in the Tony winning, smash hit musical Dear Evan Hansen. Best was most recently touring with Les Miserables and has earned high praise for her role in The Color Purple and Dreamgirls.
Dear Evan Hansen - 2/25/2018
There is always exciting things happening with the musical Dear Evan Hansen. The biggest piece of news recently is the transition of the actor playing the title role Evan Hansen. That change has taken place and we have seen the shift from Noah galvin to Taylor Trensch. Trensch received rave reviews for his work in the smash hit Hello, Dolly! and has been unilaterally praises thus far for his work pioneered by ben Platt as Evan Hansen.
Dear Evan Hansen is also gearing up for its National Tour which will likely last many,many years and perhaps even include an International Tour. Dear Evan Hansen is now hosting open casting calls as it expands operations. The first casting call is for the lead role but surely there will be several more as they round out a cast.
Born on the 3rd of May, 1989, Taylor Hunt Trensch is a renowned stage actor that is known for many roles among them, Dear Evan Hansen. He was born in Tampa Florida where he started his theatrical education. He attended the Howard W Blake School of the Arts located in Tampa Florida where he majored in acting and was a student under Eric Davis. He graduated from the institution in 2007 after which he proceeded to the Elon University in which he focused on musical theatre by enrolling into the institution’s musical theatre program. Taylor displayed remarkable talent and started landing acting role even before his graduation.
Early Start in Acting
Taylor Trensch commenced his acting career while still at the Howard W Blake School of the Arts. During his senior year, he was cast in the role of Blake’s Troupe 5742. His representation of the character was so brilliant that he got awarded Most Outstanding Performer Award given by the Florida State Thespian Society. As a sophomore at Elon University (2009), Taylor was cast in Spring Awakening’s national tour. He was replacement for the original touring member of cast Blake Bashoff. Juggling acting and school was a challenge and he had to take a leave from school in order to work on the tour. Taylor started pursuing the role while still at the Howard W. High School of the Arts when he made audition videos and submitted them as part of the application.
Taylor has had a number of regional credits that include Frank ‘N’ Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors as well as Jason in Rabbit Hole. All of these were hosted at the Lake Dillon Theatre located in Dillon, Colorado.
On the 24th of January, 2012, Taylor made his debut on Broadway in New York City’s production of Wicked in which he played the role of Bloq. He joined the members of cast of Wicked on a limited contract that ended April 22, 2012. He was brought into the project to cover for Etai BenShlomo who had been away working on another project. After the conclusion of his Broadway contract, Taylor landed another gig off-Broadway. Starting November of the same year, Taylor was cast in the role of Peter in an off-Broadway production of Bare. The project was hosted at the New World Stages and had a run between 19th of November, 2012 and 3rd of February, 2013.
Another notable Broadway role that Taylor has played is his depiction of Christopher Boone, the lead character in the original Broadway production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time that opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in October of 2014. Sharing the role with Alex Sharp, Taylor Trensch was featured in select performances of the show. Trensch played the role through to 12th September, 2015. Their work in the project was pretty impressive and proceeded to win 5 Tony Awards including awards in the categories Best Actor in a Play and Best Play.
In April of 2013, Taylor opened in the character of Michael Wormwood in Matilda the Musical’s original Broadway production. He played the role through to June of the following year. The show managed to bag twelve 2013 Tony Award nominations.
Taylor worked alongside some big names in showbiz including Bette Midler when he got featured in the Revival of Hello, Dolly. In the show, Taylor was featured to depict the role of Barnaby Tucker. Broadway previews of the show started on 15th March, 2017 while the official opening was at the Shubert Theatre on April 20th. Despite working with seasoned actors in the show, Taylor still managed to shine.
Role in Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen is among the most significant roles he has played throughout his career. He portray the titular character Evan Hansen, a role he assumed on the 6th of February, 2018 on-Broadway at the Music Box Theatre. His character is a high school senior with a social anxiety disorder. His condition makes it hard for him to connect with or even make friends with other people. After the unfortunate death of a classmate, he fabricates a lie that brings him closer to the classmate’s family and helps him realize his purpose.
Dear Evan Hansen – 12/5/17
The cast of Dear Evan Hansen (original, including Ben Platt) achieved a first ever milestone by reaching the #1 spot in the Dance Club Songs Chart. The remixed version of “Waving Through A Window” is the track that reached this level. The cast album for Dear Evan Hansen has spent all 42 weeks since its release in the top three of the Billboard rankings for cast albums.
Noah Galvin has more than admirably stepped into the iconic blue striped polo of Evan Hansen worn so masterfully by the departed Ben Platt. Galvin is earning rave reviews for his performance as the lead character in Dear Evan Hansen and performed some of the key tracks on Thanksgiving Day on the television coverage.
Celebrities continue to flock to the Music Box Theatre to see Dear Evan Hansen much like they have and do so for Hamilton. The show is truly reaching that status level. Katie Holmes, Beyonce, prominent politicians, Kerry Washington, Katy Perry, Jane Fonda, and many others have made their way to the show. Dear Evan Hansen continues to mesmerize fans of all stripes and will do so for a very long time.
Dear Evan Hansen – 11/17 Update
Dear Evan Hansen made a couple of very exciting announcements recently. One of the announcements is the release of new music never before heard by any audience. The musical is releasing a new disc that includes the smash hit “Waiving Through a Window” and a new track titled “In the Bedroom Down The Hall”.
Additionally, there is an upcoming book about Dear Evan Hansen as well. On November 21st the book Through The Window hits the shelves and offers fans an exclusive, behind the scenes look at the stunningly successful musical Dear Evan Hansen.
In a recent interview with Variety, lead actor Ben Platt discusses the excitement of meeting one of his idols – Beyonce. Platt is mesmerized by Beyonce’s ability to sing and dance simultaneously at the incredible level she does in her performances. Receiving a compliment from the Queen was one f the highlights of the incredible run Platt has enjoyed via Dear Evan Hansen.
Platt, whose father produced Wicked, rose to prominence initially with his role in the huge hit The Book Of Mormon. Platt is moving on soon but the show Dear Evan Hansen is just getting started. The show continues to sell out every single performance several months in advance and will embark on a multi-year National tour in 2018. Stay tuned for more updates.
Dear Evan Hansen - 10/17 Update
The wait is finally over as fans of Dear Evan Hansen heard about who will be taking over for the Tony Award Winner Ben Platt in the role of Evan Hansen. Platt is set for his final performance on November 19th. At that point a dear friend of Platt and the show, Noah Galvin, will take over the lead role for a limited run.
In mid-January the show’s leading role will be played by a new entrant from the wildly successful Broadway Musical called Hello, Dolly! Taylor Trensch has performed superbly in Hello, Dolly! And has now earned the opportunity to take over full time as Evan Hansen in the smash hit Dear Evan Hansen.
We still do not know any more information about the National Tour for Dear Evan Hansen beyond what we shared in an earlier update. Suffice to say that every major stop is clamoring to get the stupendous musical to make a stop on its circuit. There is no doubt that the tour will make as many stops as it can and likely continue for many, many years.
Dear Evan Hansen continues to touch so many and interact with so many people of different ages, races, origins, and walks of life. The wonderful cast is highly interactive with social media and fans are always submitting their own renditions of scenes, songs, and music from Dear Evan Hansen. This will only increase in intensity as the tour approaches and auditions are conducted around the country and eventually around the world. Dear Evan Hansen is making an extremely positive contribution to society and will continue to do so.
DEAR EVAN HANSEN TICKETS
Dear Evan Hansen – National Tour
Millions of fans are wondering when Dear Evan Hansen will come to a city closest to them. The absolutely phenomenal smash hit on Broadway will embark on a two year national tour starting in the fall of 2018. As of right now they are announcing a two year tour consisting of over 50 cities. This does not mean that Dear Evan Hansen will tour for exactly two years and then stop. It also does not mean that the show will stop on Broadway anytime soon. Just take a look at Wicked and some other musicals. Wicked is still on Broadway and not only touring across the United States but also in other countries. Dear Evan Hansen is just getting started!
The tour will start in Denver at the Buell theatre in the fall. The other locations named so far include Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre, Chicago, Buffalo, and Charlotte. Presumably they will announce more of the cities and specific dates as we get into 2018 and beyond.
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Dear Evan Hansen: A Heartfelt Look into the Adolescent Experience
Dear Evan Hansen is the epitome of a modern musical. The show is set firmly in the mid 2010’s with technology and social media at the core of its plot, catering directly to its target audience of the teenagers and young adults of today while also connecting to people of all ages.
Winning the Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book of a Musical, the crew behind the production take full advantage of their target audience. Musical theatre is becoming increasingly more popular with young people, so with it's music, characters and plot, Dear Evan Hansen is almost irresistible to them.
The show, with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and book by Steven Levenson, deals with some pretty heavy subject matter, but they’re issues that are very hot topics at the moment. The heavy themes of mental illness, suicide, and struggling families are confronting, but as they become more prominent in real life, the need to portray these issue seriously in theatre is more crucial than ever.
Dear Evan Hansen handles these themes with grace and honesty. It makes a point of giving all of its characters flaws but still allowing them the chance for redemption. Unlike many other shows, Dear Evan Hansen acknowledges the effects mental illnesses can have on teenagers and doesn’t avoid talking about therapy or medication, making it an important show for people struggling with mental illness themselves.
Social media and technology are an integral part of the plot, and this is mainly conveyed through the set. Scenic designer David Korins uses portable LED platforms with projected images to create a visual for the world of the internet, making it a tangible presence. Social media feeds, pictures, and posts flicker across the stage, bringing the technology to life on a large scale. This is used to represent both the sense of community that can be found online, as well as the overwhelming amount of information and the permanency of everything that's shared there.
The more natural and organic moments of the show, such as the Murphy house and the apple orchard, are brought to life by lighting designer Japhy Weideman. The cold, sharp cyber world is softened and made gentle with beams of light. These lights, shining at different intensities and colors, are cued with the music, pulsing and flowing like the heart of the show.
The characters are all incredibly human, that the audience is guaranteed to find themselves in at least one of them. The dialogue is written and performed so naturally, it could have been recorded from the living room of any family. It’s a little shocking just how accurately the cast manages to portray conversations between teenagers and their parents in a way that isn’t overdone or patronising. It’s a rare thing in theatre to have such natural dialogue, and it’s truly refreshing.
The soundtrack is yet another reason the show is so popular with young people. The pop-rock tracks, with their gorgeously melodic vocals and guitar riffs, sound like they'd be just as at home on the radio as they would on a cast album. Straying from the usual conventions of show tunes, the tracks are contemporary and easy to listen to. The album as a whole feels like the fading light of a sunset - warm, bittersweet and cathartic.
Ben Platt’s knockout performance as the socially anxious Evan is enough incentive on it's own to see the show. Not only is his voice outstanding, but he has a clear emotional connection to the character that makes him so much deeper than the stock awkward teenaged boy that he could have been. Platt brings Evan Hansen to life with personal touches that make him endearing, sympathetic, and quietly funny all at once. As well as representing every person who has ever been “on the outside always looking in”, Platt’s Evan is his own person. Evan’s dialogue is unique - he stutters, he starts sentences three times over, and while the second-hand embarrassment is rife, it's only because so many of us have experienced it ourselves.
Another stand-out performer is Rachel Bay Jones in her role as Heidi Hansen, Evan’s overworked single mother. Jones’s husky voice adds warmth to the music, and brilliantly conveys the stress and frustration of a mother trying to be there for a child who keeps pushing her away. Heidi Hansen is a sympathetic representation of every mother, and a reminder that trying your best doesn't mean you can't make mistakes.
The most important thing that Dear Evan Hansen does is start a conversation. With the rising rate of mental illness, there's no better time for this show to exist. The amount of research and care put in by the actors and creative team means that the story is honest, empathetic and compassionate. It's a true representation of young people struggling with their mental health and how it affects their friends and the people around them. It's also a critical look at the way we view teen suicide and how it often isn't treated with the respect it deserves.
Dear Evan Hansen is a light in the darkness, a hand reaching out in support. It's a reminder that everyone on this earth has value and the things they do will affect someone else's life. The show connects with anyone who feels like they don't belong, and assures them that they matter.The emotional depth to this show is incredibly touching as it shines a light on the truths we often hide from ourselves while at the same time reminding us that it's ok not to be perfect.
The digital age that we live in is frightening and new, but Dear Evan Hansen illuminates the humanity in all of us and brings comfort to the confusion of this new world. The set, lighting and cast come together to create a beautifully complex show, providing a uniquely honest and vulnerable experience that is guaranteed a place amongst the Broadway classics in years to come.
DEAR EVAN HANSEN MUSICAL PRODUCTION REVIEW
Dear Evan Hansen has surpassed Josh Groban as Broadway’s biggest new hit. With $1.1 million in its pockets, this musical is creating a huge buzz that is drawing ardent fans across the board. Its average ticket price of $141 remains one of the highest box office rates in its niche. This amazing hit was originally in book form and the creativity of Steven Levenson led to its seamless transition to a wave-making high school musical. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul wrote the musicals for Dear Evan Hansen. It is on track to be one of the most successful pieces of musical theater ever to originate in Washington.
The plot is centered on the peculiar problem of communicating in a time where technology has made it easier to reach out to people. Evan Hansen is a friendless high school student who achieves Internet fame due to a misunderstanding he perpetuates in regards to his supposed closeness to another troubled classmate who committed suicide. The twists in the story line help to accentuate the challenges that the younger generation face in today’s world. The gripping effects of the story and the raw show of emotions make this story one of the most amazing productions to ever grace Broadway. Parents can gain more insight and understanding into their children. Children can watch and learn how challenging it is for their parents to understand them at times. Grandparents, well, they will get to view this communications conundrum from all angles and certainly gain a good chuckle along the way.
This record-setting, sold-out musical has been attracting positive reviews from leading names in the industry and beyond. Peter Marks of the Washington post calls it ‘’A heart-piercing trip to the place that musical theater can sometimes take us to.’’ He believes that this musical, which was first performed on November 14, 2016, holds the ace in every range. On the other hand, Charles Isherwood of the New York Times proclaims “This is a superb musical with great heart and humor.’’
When you leave a musical with one or two great songs running through your head, it can be said to be a success. However, leaving a musical with about 10 great songs running through your head is pretty much unheard of. The power of Dear Evan Hansen has set a new height that may not be surpassed by any production for many years. This is a performance that anyone serious about the arts absolutely must see and a performance certain to draw in permanently that first time attendee to a Broadway performance.
This production pairs the Tony-nominated composing team of Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, the three time Tony Award nominated director, Michael Greif and the award-winning playwright, Steven Levenson in a very remarkable journey that will change the face of high school musicals.
The cast of the musical include Ben Platt, Laura Dreyfuss, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Will Roland and so much more.
Anybody Have a Map
Anybody Have A Map is an interesting choice for an opening number. Rather than start Dear Evan Hansen off with the show-stopper that is undoubtedly the musical’s most recognisable song, Waving Through a Window, the first song played when the curtains rise is a very slice-of-life look into the show’s two prominent families.
Evan is a very introspective protagonist, which means most of his songs centre around his own thoughts and feelings instead of his environment. Placing Anybody Have a Map at the start of the show fills the audiences in on Evan’s home life before everything changes for him, giving insight into his future motivations and most importantly, his relationship to his mother.
In Anybody Have a Map, Heidi Hansen and Cynthia Murphy both struggle to connect to their families, exasperated by the effort they’re putting in and admitting that they have no idea how to navigate motherhood. Heidi, as the audience learns later, has been a single mom since Evan was very young, and attends night school and takes extra shifts to make enough money to support him. It’s hard for Evan, in his struggle through adolescence and his anxiety disorder, to not feel neglected by her. But it’s easy for the audience to see how hard she’s trying to make things better for him, even if it means working herself to exhaustion.
Anybody Have a Map is a folksy ode to the stress of motherhood, with the two women singing overlapping harmonies at the end to symbolise the fact that they’re not alone in their struggles. It’s a beautiful track that sets up the rest of the show in an unassuming and empathetic way.
So Big/So Small
So Big/So Small gives an emotional insight into Heidi and Evan’s relationship. The gently strumming guitar leads into Rachel Bay Jones’ tender voice describing the day Evan’s dad left them. As she sings, she comforts Evan through this incredibly intimate and heartwarming song, Heidi cradling her son while they both cry.
The song is a heartfelt reminder of the infinite capacity of a mother’s love and her ability to forgive. It also gives Heidi a chance to vocalise her fears about raising Evan alone, her insecurities about not having all the answers, and most importantly, her dedication to her son.
The lyrics are simple, yet manage to strike so many chords. Despite feeling “so small”, Heidi reinstates how Evan is the most important thing in her life, and she’d stand by him no matter what. The acoustic feel of the song, with only Heidi’s voice, makes So Big/So Small feel like a loving lullaby.
It’s fitting that this song is the penultimate track, as Heidi’s unending love for her son is what allows Evan to begin to forgive himself. Heidi is the one person in the show that has been there for him before he started lying, and she’s the one that finally brings some resolution to his situation.
Dear Evan Hansen – June 2017
Dear Evan Hansen has been taking the Broadway world by storm throughout all of 2017 and that intensity ratcheted up on the night of the Tony Awards. The phenomenal musical took home a whopping six Tony Awards and was the undisputed king of the evening. Dear Evan Hansen was the winner of Best Musical and leading man Ben Platt was the winner of Best Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role In A Musical.
Rachel Bay Jones was the winner of Best Performance By An Actress In Featured Role In A Musical. Alex Lacamoire was the winner for Best Orchestrations. Steven Levenson won for Best Book of a Musical. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul won for Best Score with Dear Evan Hansen.
The musical is absolutely on fire right now with box office sales soaring and smashing records left and right. Following the Tony Awards the Musical announced new performances through April of 2018 which promptly sold out almost immediately. The Musical also announced plans to go on a National Tour in 2018. The only thing we know so far is that the National Tour will commence in Denver. More details are forthcoming.
So what is about Dear Evan Hansen that is making fans continue to sell out every single performance? The musical appears to be connecting people in a very special and powerful way. Look no further than the typical throngs of teenagers begging stars of the show to sign autographs after each performance. The musical addresses issues related to adolescent anxiety and development and how social media fits into one’s life and can impact emotions and interactions. If there ever was a musical that could connect teenagers and parents in a big way in this era of connectivity and social media, it is indeed Dear Evan Hansen.
Teenagers love it. Parents are grateful and thankful after the musical given its ability to help teens and parents understand each other. Patrons with no current connection to a teenager love it as well for all that it does and many, many other reasons. Make sure you find a time to go see and experience Dear Evan Hansen.
“Waving Through A Window”
This wonderful song from the soundtrack of Dear Evan Hansen is such a pristine personification of the lead character with which tens of millions of teens can relate. The author refers to stepping out of the sun, falling in the forest, and waving through a window among other metaphors and scenarios. As the lead character sings the song you can just picture a confused teenager lacking confidence in each position and situation.
The reference to stepping out from underneath the sun specifically mentions being burned. This appears to be a clear description of “being burned” in life. Teens are constantly placed in situations where they have to step forward and confront fear or discomfort while facing intense scrutiny and peer pressure. The lyrics beautifully capture this. After being burned a few times one tends to step back from exposure to the sun.
The reference to trees falling and waving through a window are from the standpoint of wondering if anyone notices him or her. The audience can very easily imagine a youngster or teenager imagining the same. Teens must be asking themselves constantly if anyone is noticing them much like the age old question of whether anyone knows that a tree in a forest falls over or if it even is considered tipped over if nobody is there to witness it. The same applies to waving through a window. The person waving might be waving emphatically but that doesn’t ensure that anyone on the other side of the window can see the waving. Brilliant imagery and metaphors for life as a teen in the current era under so many microscopes and available via so many distribution platforms such as social media.
Dear Evan Hansen Songs – “You Will Be Found”
You Will Be Found is an uplifting anthem celebrating the kindness of humanity and the connections that can be made through social media. Evan’s struggle with his mental illnesses are a central point of the show, and in this song he reaches out to other people like him and encourages them to ask for help.
This Act 1 closer starts with Evan singing alone, and ends with the entire cast sharing his message of community and compassion. A unique aspect of this song are the voices used to represent comments on the video of Evan’s speech - these overlapping voices highlight the positive aspects of social media and how it can be used as a platform to spread important messages.
On a more specific note, the song communicates Evan’s longing for the kind of friendship he fabricated with Connor. He sings about how when you’re at your lowest, someone will be there to help you. This is something he wished for, but for most of his life he has been alone and friendless. It was only after supporting Connor’s family and showing that he cared that he was able to form connections with people and come out of his shell.
The song’s message that none of us are truly alone shines through the bright harmonies of the second half of the song that contrasts Evan’s solo in the beginning, creating a beautiful anthem of hope. As the centre piece of the show, the song represents the warmth and heart of the story as a whole.
Dear Evan Hansen Songs – “If I Could Tell Her”
If I Could Tell Her comes before Evan’s shining moment, and it really shows how awkward and shy his character is. The song is sweet and funny, and refreshingly dorky for a would-be love song. Evan attempt to subtly let Zoe know how he feels about her through things he pretends her brother said.
It’s endearing listening to Evan fumble his way through complimenting Zoe while not giving himself away. There’s nothing smooth or confident about the way Evan speaks, no clever lines that he uses to seduce Zoe - he’s just a clumsy, socially anxious boy who genuinely likes this girl but doesn’t know how to say it.
There’s a tight balance between Evan confessing his feelings and keeping up the facade that they were Connor’s words. Of course, Connor never talked to Evan about his sister, so we know that these are things Evan has noticed. They’re tell-tale signs of a high-school crush, like picking up on her nervous habits, but these observations never stray into creepy or weird.
Rather than take the cliched love-at-first-sight route, Dear Evan Hansen builds up the romance between Evan and Zoey slowly, allowing the audience to root for them. It feels real and genuine, and the soft, playful music accompanying the song paints a perfect picture of the uncertainty of first love.
More great information on Broadway Musicals and Plays plus ways to support theatre found here: https://www.tdf.org/
For anyone that has watched Dear Evan Hansen, Benn Platt is definitely not a new face. The show has grown into Broadway’s biggest hit and has outdone previous incredible shows such as Josh Groban. Ben Platt plays the title character in the show and he does quite an amazing job. Born Benjamin Schiff Platt on the 24th of September 1993, Ben Platt is a renowned American actor who is known for his amazing talent and outstanding personality.
Ben was born the fourth of five children in Los Angeles, California to Julie and Marc Platt. He has roots in the entertainment industry as his father is a TV, film and theatre producer who has been credited for working in projects such as the musical Wicked. Ben’s family is Jewish.
Ben Platt went to Harvard – Westlake University School found in Los Angeles from which he graduated in 2011. He earned himself a spot in Columbia University in New York. During the time he was to be in the University, Ben entered into a contract with The Book of Mormon. The situation demanded that he temporarily take a break from college in order to see the contract through to completion. After completing the contract Ben resumed his college education and even joined Nonsequitur A Cappella the musical group of the campus.
Ben Platt started showing an interest and amazing talent in acting from an early age. At just 9 years of age, Ben was featured in The Music Man in which he played the role of Winthrop Paroo at the Hollywood Bowl. He was cast alongside Kristin Chenoweth. When he was 11, Ben was featured on a brief national tour of Caroline, or Change which was originally done by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori. Five years later, Ben Platt was cast in the role of Jean Valjean in a remarkable youth theatre production of the renowned Les Misérables.
Ben also worked in the film Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2. In the film, he took up a supporting role in which he played Benji Applebaum, a character that is magic-obsessed. Ben depicted his character impeccably which earned him a nomination for the Teen Choice Award in the category of Choice Movie: Male Scene Stealer. Other projects in which Ben has worked include a collaboration on Alice by Heart’s workshop. He has also taken up the role of Claude Bukowski in a musical theatre production done by Columbia of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. Ben was featured in the role of Josh in 2016’s Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and as Daniel in 2015’s Ricki and the Flash.
2016 saw Ben launch his career breakthrough with the title role in Dear Evan Hansen. The Broadway musical has grown so popular and become one of the greatest hits in recent time. Ben’s performance on the musical is just remarkable and has been critically acclaimed for his great work.
Ben Platt has been a rather notable figure in the entertainment industry. His talent in the industry has definitely not gone unnoticed. He has been nominated for and has won a number of awards. On the 19th of May, 2017, Platt was announced to have won the Drama League Awards’ Distinguished Performance Award. The award is typically given in recognition of a brilliant performance made on the New York Stage in the previous year. It is a notable award given the fact that it can be won only once in the career of an individual. The award was in recognition for his performance on Dear Evan Hansen. Being only 23 at the time of the win, Platt has gone down in history as the youngest winner of the award in its entire history.
Before the win, Ben Platt had received a nomination for the Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance on Off-Broadway. For the same show, Ben won the Lucille Lortel Award in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in Musical as well as an Obie Award. He also bagged a Tony Award in the category: Best Actor in a Musical at the 71st Tony Awards.
Ben plays the title character in Dear Evan Hansen, a high school student with no friends who gets famous on the internet due to a misunderstanding in the twisted story of his closeness to a classmate who commits suicide.
One of the more popular and catchy songs emerging from the brilliant Broadway Musical Dear Evan Hansen is “For Forever”. The songs begins much like the overall persona of the lead character: a sort of bumbling and trembling lack of self-confidence and consistent self-doubt that fuels Evan Hansen. As the song progresses the energy and emotions rise and fall much like they do when you assess the musical as a whole.
The lead actor performs the song masterfully live. The “aww-schucks” self-doubt rises along with the emotions associated with the changing landscape (for the better primarily) of the social life of a teenager. The loss of one creates the bridge to the gain of a new relationship and growth of emotions and feelings. Confidence soars. The music makes your heart rate flutter and soar. “For Forever” will be one of those songs you blast while driving and feel the energy of the song and the road beneath you vibrate your soul and mind simultaneously. A true gem – “For Forever”.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Michael Greif is a stage director, a producer as well as a presenter who has made a name for himself in the entertainment scene with his great talent and unique direction skills. The Dear Evan Hansen Musical is among his latest projects which has further echoed his direction prowess. After attending North-Western University from where he received his BS, Michael Greif graduated under the graduate directing program from the University of California – San Diego where he received his MFA. He commenced his career in the mainstream direction in the ‘80s. Between 1994 and 1999, Greif took up the role of an artistic director of La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla – California. This was among the projects that brought him into the limelight.
Michael Greif has also had quite the career on Broadway. He has directed quite a number of Broadway musicals, most if not all of which have been complete successes. If/Then is an example of the Broadway musicals that he directed. He was also the director of Next to Normal as well as Arena Stage and Second Stage Theatre. Greif also directed Grey Gardens as well as at the Playwrights Horizons. Another of his notable directions is the 1996 original production of Rent. For his direction skills, Michael Greif has bagged quite a number of nominations and awards.
Michael Greif held the role of New York Theatre Workshop’s Artistic Associate during which time he directed Big City and Bright Lights (between 1998 and 1999). It was also during this time that he directed the Rent’s original production. He directed several other projects during his time with New York Theatre Workshop.
Off-Broadway, Michael Greif has had just as much a successful career. He has received several directing credits Off-Broadway. Our Lady of Kibeho by Katori Hall is among the productins he directed Off-Broadway. He was also the director of John Guare’s Landscape of the Body as well as A Few Stout Individuals which premiered at the Signature Theater. Another notable project that he is credited for is Manhattan Theatre Club’s Beauty of the Father. Michael Greif directed Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Julie as well as The Tempest at the Delacorte Theatre’s New York Shakespeare Festival (2007, 2010 and 2015).
The year 2009 saw Michael Greif land another direction role for Mrs. Sharp for which music and lyrics were provided by Ryan Scott Oliver. Other directions include War Paint.
Dear Evan Hansen
One of the most notable roles that Michael has been credited with is directing Dear Evan Hansen, an original musical that opened on Broadway in December of 2016 at the Music Box Theatre. The musical has been a great hit receiving critical acclaim from audiences and critics. Ben Platt’s performance was particularly met with positive reactions from both the fans and critics. Dear Evan Hansen is a musical based on the life of Evan Hansen, the title character of the musical. He is a high school senior who suffers a social anxiety disorders. Things go south for him after the death of a classmate.
The first act of Dear Evan Hansen brings out his struggle with severe social anxiety. As an assignment from his therapist, Hansen writes himself a hopeful letter before his first day as a senior year. Although his mother tries hard to connect with him, she has trouble finding a common ground with Evan. Heidi, his mother tries to get him to make friends through various means. What follows is the life of a senior student who goes to school and meets new people, gets into a fight with Connor which makes Zoe, Connor’s sister who he has had a crush on to apologize on behalf of her brother.
He strikes a queer relationship with Connor probably due to the weird social skills they share. Connor winds up dead and he is called into the principal’s office where he is given the news and is told that Connor committed suicide and that he had Evan’s letter in his pocket. The loss of a “friend” inspires Evan to set up The Connor Website project in memory of Connor. The play sentimentally brings out the struggle people have with social anxiety and the Dear Evan Hansen Songs make it even more emotional and captivating. For this direction, Michael Greif bagged a Helen Hayes Award in the category of Outstanding Direction of a Musical – Hayes Production. He has bagged several other awards and nominations for Dear Evan Hansen.
Dear Evan Hansen – “Anybody Have A Map?”
“Anybody Have A Map” is a wonderfully catchy track from the brilliant musical Dear Evan Hansen that features a duet of a man and a woman. The song does a spectacular job of weaving together not just the challenges of being a teenager and growing up but also the challenges of a being a parent trying to raise and guide a teenager in today’s society. The connections and energy created by Dear Evan Hansen by both parents, teens, and grandparents is the essence of the powerful energy embodied in the musical.
This song makes references to challenging a teen to go around and ask others to sign his arm cast as if that would be helpful. The entire proposition itself highlights the challenges teens face in social situations. The female voice literally proclaims she has no clue what she is doing and is just making it up as she goes. This reference is drawn and hinged to both a teenager feeling this way AND a parent feeling the exact same way dealing with the teenager.
There is a discussion in the song about whether the teenage boy is high on drugs and if he should attend school in that state. Nothing is really resolved other than the fact that they agree the teen should not be on drugs but that being on drugs of course is just the perfect reason to miss a day of school quite conveniently. The parent also laments the reality of dealing with traffic and trying to balance all of the requirements of life between a job, parenting, teenage kids, and their school and issues.
A wonderful little song that just adds to the magic that is Dear Evan Hansen.
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Dear Evan Hansen Lottery
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