“Dear Evan Hansen,” the new musical that turned New York heads last week when it earned strong reviews in its current run at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage, has mapped out a road to New York, with the musical landing a slot this spring at Off Broadway’s Second Stage Theater.
The musical (pictured above at Arena Stage), which already has commercial producer Stacey Mindich attached, isn’t the first promising tuner project on which Second Stage and Arena have teamed. After “Next to Normal” premiered at Second Stage in 2008, a run at Arena later that year yielded a 2009 Broadway staging that won the musical a Pulitzer. (Both “Normal” and “Evan Hansen” are directed by Michael Greif, the original director of “Rent.”)
With a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“A Christmas Story”) and book by Steven Levenson (“Masters of Sex”), “Dear Evan Hansen” focuses on the titular high school student who’s at the center of a misunderstanding about his relationship to a troubled classmate. Critics at the Washington Post and the New York Times had high praise for the show and for performances by an Arena cast that includes Ben Platt (“Pitch Perfect,” “The Book of Mormon”) and Laura Dreyfuss.
No casting for the Off Broadway staging has yet to be set. The Second Stage stint for “Dear Evan Hansen” marks a return to the New York nonprofit for songwriting duo Pasek and Paul, whose musical “Dogfight” played there in 2012.
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Exact Off Broadway dates for “Dear Evan Hansen” have yet to be set. The current production wraps up its run at Arena Stage on Aug. 23.