×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Star Rachel Bay Jones to Exit Musical (EXCLUSIVE)

Rachel Bay Jones, who won a Tony Award in 2017 for playing the mother of an awkward teenager in “Dear Evan Hansen,” will be leaving the Broadway production this summer, Variety has learned. Her last day at the Music Box Theatre will be on Aug. 5.

“It’s been a really long, beautiful run,” said Jones, who originated her character of Heidi off-Broadway and in a table read almost five years ago. “I’ve connected with a lot of people and really enjoyed this role and the good that it’s done. I’m looking forward to doing some more things.”

Jones can be seen next in a reoccurring part in the new CBS sitcom “God Friended Me,” which shoots in New York. She’s also in “Ben Is Back,” an upcoming drama starring Julia Roberts and directed by Peter Hedges.

Dear Evan Hansen” quickly became a Broadway sensation after it opened in December 2016, winning six Tonys. “I think I still haven’t realized that the show is the phenomenon that it is,” Jones said. “I think the magnitude of it will maybe hit me later.”

The musical claimed high-profile groupies like Hillary Clinton and Beyonce. “I think Carol Burnett will always be the big one for me,” Jones said. “I grew up sneaking around the corner to watch her show while my parents were watching it in the living room. She was my first and greatest comedy teacher. It was really exciting to give that lady a hug.”

A replacement to play Heidi hasn’t been announced yet. Ben Platt, who originated the title role of Evan Hansen, exited in November 2017.

Has it hit her that she’s leaving? “I’m trying to make it real,” she said. “I’m trying to put away things in my dressing room and think about what other things I want to explore with the character before I go. And slowly saying goodbye.” She sounded wistful. “It’s more about saying goodbye to that person and the theater.”

More Legit

  • Richard E Grant Everybody's Talking About

    Richard E. Grant to Play Former Drag Queen in 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie'

    Oscar-nominated actor Richard E. Grant will portray a former drag queen and mentor in “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” the movie adaptation of the British stage musical. “Catastrophe” co-creator and star Sharon Horgan and “Happy Valley” star Sarah Lancashire have also joined the film. Max Harwood will play the titular role of Jamie, a role inspired [...]

  • The Secret Life of Bees review

    Off Broadway Review: 'The Secret Life of Bees'

    There’s a sweet sense of sisterhood that’s simply divine in “The Secret Life of Bees,” the heartwarming new musical at the Atlantic Theater Company based on Sue Monk Kidd’s bestselling 2002 coming-of-age novel, set in South Carolina in 1964 amid Civil Rights struggles. (A 2008 film adaptation starred Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah.) The feeling [...]

  • 10 Comics to Watch

    Variety Announces 10 Comics to Watch for 2019

    Variety has chosen its 10 Comics to Watch for 2019. The honorees will be profiled in the July 18 issue of Variety and at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal at a cocktail party on Thursday, July 25, followed by a panel and showcase on Friday, July 26. The events are sponsored by Cohen & Gardner LLP. The [...]

  • Vanessa Hudgens So You Think You

    Vanessa Hudgens, Hailey Kilgore to Star in Reading of 'The Notebook' Musical

    Vanessa Hudgens and Tony-nominee Hailey Kilgore are joining an upcoming reading of Ingrid Michaelson’s stage adaptation of “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks. Tony nominee Michael Greif is set to direct the reading, which will open June 23 at Vassar College’s Martel Theater as part of their Powerhouse Theater season. Kilgore will star as the younger [...]

  • Moulin Rouge director Alex Timbers

    'Beetlejuice,' 'Moulin Rouge!' Director Alex Timbers on Creating Worlds on Broadway

    In the past year, Alex Timbers has directed the Tony-nominated “Beetlejuice” and the stage adaptation of “Moulin Rouge!” (which begins previews June 28 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre). Here, he reflects on his most recent projects and the challenges of bringing two iconic movie musicals to Broadway within a year.  Both your musicals live in [...]

  • Actor Anthony Ramos Signs With Republic

    Actor Anthony Ramos Signs With Republic Records (EXCLUSIVE)

    Singer-songwriter and actor Anthony Ramos, known for his roles in “Hamilton” and “A Star Is Born,” has signed with Republic Records, the company announced today. Ramos will release his forthcoming debut album later this year, with new music expected this summer. Footage from the signing aired on his YouTube series today. “Anthony is a true [...]

  • Much Ado About Nothing review

    Shakespeare in the Park Review: Danielle Brooks in 'Much Ado About Nothing'

    The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park productions can be provocative, irritating, enlightening or maddening, but they are always fun. In his new staging of “Much Ado About Nothing” with a cast led by Danielle Brooks, director Kenny Leon (“A Raisin in the Sun,” “American Son”) delivers the fun in a slaphappy, dance-crazy version [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content