Dear Evan Hansen: Through the Window book published as Platt departs Broadway musical

In his dressing room at “Dear Evan Hansen,” Ben Platt has kept an anonymous letter from a fan: “You stopped me from letting go.” That letter kept him going when “I don’t want to cry, and sing, and scream” in the title role of Evan Hansen in the Tony-winning Broadway musical.

Platt is leaving the musical today, two days before the official publication of “Dear Evan Hansen through the window” (Grand Central Publishing, 2017, 224 pages) the latest coffee table book that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a Broadway musical and also contains the entire libretto of the show, annotated.

The new book is similar to last year’s Hamilton The Revolution and The Great Comet of 1812: The Journey of a New Musical to Broadway Like the others, the Evan Hansen book is geared for fans such as that anonymous letter-writer, the most fanatical of whom call themselves “Fansens,”   It is an elaborate souvenir book with lots of photographs, individual profiles of each member of the cast and creative team and a tinge of self-congratulations. (It is also printed on paper dyed blue or black, which is dramatic and keeping with the the musical’s color scheme, but makes the words less easy to read.)   But the book also offers intriguing details of the years-long process of putting together a musical from scratch, without even, say, American history or a famous novel to guide its creators.

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2017 Drama League Awards: Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen

Ben Platt beat out dozens of other nominees to snag the 2017 Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance,  at 23 the youngest winner in the League’s 83-year history. “Dear Evan Hansen,” the musical in which Platt stars, received the award for outstanding production of a musical.  Dear Evan Hansen’s director, Michael Greif, received the League’s non-competitive award in directing.

When receiving the award at a ceremony this afternoon, Platt called it “a big fire under my butt!”


Outstanding production of a musical: Dear Evan Hansen

Outstanding production of a play: Oslo

Outstanding revival of a musical: Hello, Dolly

Outstanding revival of a play: Jitney

Distinguished performance award: Ben Platt

Non-competitive Awards:

Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre: Bette Midler

Unique Contribution to the Theatre: Bill Berloni

Founders Award for Excellence in Directing: Michael Greif


2017 Drama League nominations

Guide to 2017 Theater Awards


Dear Evan Hansen: Review, Pics, Song

The title character in the musical Dear Evan Hansen is a clinically anxious high school student who is so friendless that he can’t get any classmates to sign the cast on his broken arm, except an even worse misfit named Connor. But then Connor commits suicide, and his death turns Evan’s life around.

In other hands, it might be difficult to suspend disbelief in the series of unlikely, near-satiric events at the heart of this original musical, which is now running Off-Broadway through the end of the month. But Dear Evan Hansen has become a sold-out hit, something of a cult favorite, with plans to transfer to Broadway. It’s easy to see why. Composer/lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, whose previous musicals include Dogfight and A Christmas Story, have fashioned a tuneful, affecting pop-rock score. Director Michael Greif, who has some experience with shows about adolescent angst (Rent, Next to Normal), has created a first-rate, resonant production.(It’s worth pointing out that Team Evan Hansen includes Hamilton alumni David Korins as the set designer and Alex Lacamoire as the musical supervisor and orchestrator.) And the eight-member cast offer some deep and credible performances, led by the extraordinary Ben Platt…

Full review on DC Theatre Scene

Click on any photograph by Matthew Murphy to see it enlarged.