The show, about a socially awkward high schooler who tells a spiraling lie, is ending its run in September, five years after winning the Tony for best musical.
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By the time the production closes on Sept. 18, “Dear Evan Hansen” will have played 1,678 regular performances and 21 preview performances. The number of regular performances would have been considerably higher, but the show shut down for 21 months starting in 2020 because of COVID-19. It reopened on Dec. 11, 2021.
Prior to Broadway’s forced hiatus, “Dear Evan Hansen” was one of the hottest tickets in town. The show became a sensation when it opened at the Music Box Theater in December 2016, garnering critical and commercial acclaim and cementing Ben Platt, who plays the title character, as a household name. Given its popularity, the musical regularly attracted bold-face names like President Joe Biden, Beyonce, Barbra Streisand and Meryl Streep, and it managed to recoup its investment in less than nine months. It’s not clear why the show is closing, though ticket sales have slumped in recent weeks.
“Dear Evan Hansen” was nominated for nine Tony Awards and won six, for the score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the book by Steven Levenson, the orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire of “Hamilton” fame, and the performances by Platt and Rachel Bay Jones, who played his mother. Those weren’t the show’s only accolades. The London production won the Olivier Award for best new musical, and the cast album won a Grammy.
Universal Pictures adapted the stage show into a feature film starring Platt, a casting choice that many criticized because he was 27 years old at the time and no longer looked like a teenager. Marred by negative reviews and COVID-19 concerns, the movie version went mostly unseen on the big screen, grossing only $15 million at the domestic box office in 2021.
“Dear Evan Hansen” will continue to play a North American tour. As previously announced, the London production will conclude on Oct. 22, 2022.
“From our earliest reading of ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ in 2011, there have been two great joys that stand out above all the others (and there are many),” says Stacey Mindich, the show’s producer. “One is the sweeping and soaring show itself, which never fails to make me think, cry, laugh and try to be a better mother and person. The other is watching the profound change in the audience from when they walk into the theater to when they leave. I feel grateful to have been part of bringing Pasek, Paul, Levenson and Greif’s original musical to life — which has captured the hearts of so many, impacted millions of audience members across the globe, and literally changed lives with its with its breathtaking score and its vital and universal message.”
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