Tag Archives: Musical

New Evan is a Hit!

Tyler Trensch has replaced Ben Platt as the title character in the musical “Dear Evan Hansen” at the Music Box Theater. CreditSara Krulwich/The New York Times

Everything is the same. And everything is different.

And then again, everything is the same.

Yes, “Dear Evan Hansen,” which officially introduced Taylor Trensch as its new Evan on Thursday, is still a gut-punching, breathtaking knockout of a musical. But it is differently gut-punching and breathtaking now than it was during the year that Ben Platt led the cast.

It would have to be. Even before Mr. Platt opened the show on Broadway, he had been living with Evan Hansen for years: He played the role from the very first reading of the musical in 2014. In some ways it seemed that the authors (songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul; book by Steven Levenson) had sewn the character directly onto his skin.

Certainly he yowled as if they had; it’s difficult to recall another Broadway musical performance so saturated with pain and confusion. The role could absorb it, though; when Evan tries to comfort the family of Connor, a schoolmate who has committed suicide, their need for information gets tangled with his need to be noticed and a moral nightmare ensues. Also a practical nightmare, as the lies he tells, amplified by social media, return to haunt him. These are big issues.

Playing the anxiety-riddled high school senior, Mr. Platt provoked in the audience a reverse suspension of disbelief: As he cried and belted, often at the same time, it was hard not to fear for the actor’s own well-being. On the two occasions I saw him in the role, I wanted to dose myself afterward with a cocktail of Zoloft and Mucinex.

Mr. Trensch — who recently finished a 10-month run as a zany Barnaby Tucker in “Hello, Dolly!” — is not playing his illustrious predecessor. (Noah Galvin took over the role during a two-month interregnum.) He has pruned Mr. Platt’s armamentarium of tics and twitches to just a few blinks, a stammer and some wringings of the right hand. He is more naturalistically and intermittently troubled than Mr. Platt was, more apprehensible as an actual 17-year-old.


Grammy Nomination for Dear Evan Hansen!

Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away, Hello, Dolly! Cast Albums Among 2018 Grammy Award Nominations

Only three musical theatre albums were nominated; five recordings have been recognized in recent years.

Ben Platt
Ben Platt Joan Marcus

The Recording Academy recognized three cast recordings in the Best Musical Theater Album category for the 2017 Grammy Awards. The nominations were announced November 28.

The Original Broadway Cast Album for the 2017 Tony-winning Best Musical Dear Evan Hansen was among the nominations in the category, as were the recordings for Come From Away and the Bette Midler-led Hello, Dolly!

The three-album race follows three consecutive years of five recordings receiving nominations in the category. This is the third time in Grammy history that three musical theatre albums were nominated (after 2012 and 2014).

Dear Evan Hansen original headliner Ben Platt and Hello, Dolly!’s Midler, who both earned Tony Awards earlier this year for their performances, are the only vocalists included in the Musical Theater Album nominations.

Also listed in the nominations are Dear Evan Hansen composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who were additionally recognized as producers with Alex Lacamoire and Stacey MindichCome From Away composers David Hein and Irene Sankoff—again listed as album producers with Ian Eisendrath, August Eriksmoen, and David Lai, and Hello, Dolly! album producer Steven Epstein.

Last year’s Grammy went to the cast recording for the Cynthia Erivo and Jennifer Hudson-led revival of The Color Purple, with Hamilton earning the honor the year before.

Tony winners Pasek and Paul were also nominated in the Best Song Written for Visual Media category, sharing the nod with Justin Hurwitz for their Oscar-winning “City of Stars” from La La Land. Joining them in the category is Hamilton Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, for Moana‘s “How Far I’ll Go.”

Adding to the Broadway representation in this year’s nominations is Leonard Bernstein – The Composer. The comprehensive, 25-disc retrospective, released by Sony Classical earlier this year as part of the continuing Bernstein centennial celebration, was nominated for Best Historical Album.

The 60th annual ceremony will take place January 28, 2018—from New York City for the first time since 2003.

For the full list of Grammy nominees, click here.