The Tony-winning Best Musical of 2017 Dear Evan Hansen has a new plume to put in its well-adorned cap. After less than a year on Broadway, it has recouped its investment and will now operate in the black. For a Broadway musical, this is an important milestone, with many productions never making back the initial investment.
“This show has been a labor of love for everyone involved – some of us for more than eight years,” producer Stacey Mindich said. “On behalf of the Dear Evan Hansen family, I can say that we are deeply grateful for our audiences and the way they embrace this show, from Washington, DC, Off Broadway and now Broadway in such a profound way.”
Dear Evan Hansen cost a tidy sum of approximately $9.5 million dollars to bring to the Broadway stage. Ever since it opened at the Music Box Theatre on December 4, 2016, the musical has received generous praise from critics and an enthusiastic reception from audiences. The production has broken box office records and it has enjoyed standing-room-only capacity, all leading to its expedient recoupment in under nine-months.
Its monumental success can be partly attributed to its appeal to younger audiences, broaching relevant topics such as social anxiety, bullying, and depression. Tony-winning book writer Steven Levenson, as well as Tony-winning composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, created a story that spoke to a generation. Admittedly drawing from some of their own high school experiences to tell the story, they imagined Evan Hansen, a boy who has trouble connecting to the world, but through a series of events and opportunities, is inspired to help those struggling around him heal and find comfort.
Atlantic Records produced the original Broadway cast recording of Dear Evan Hansen. Released in February 2017, it made its debut on the Billboard 200, entering the chart at #8. This marks the highest charting debut position for an original cast album since 1961. The album’s enthusiastic reception has created a legion of fans who have yet to see the show, but look forward to the opportunity.
The Broadway cast of Dear Evan Hansen includes 2017 Tony Award-winner Ben Platt, Laura Dreyfuss, 2017 Tony Award-winner Rachel Bay Jones, Jennifer Laura Thompson, 2017 Tony Award nominee Mike Faist, Michael Park, Will Roland and Kristolyn Lloyd, and Michael Lee Brown, Garrett Long, Olivia Puckett, Colton Ryan, and Asa Somers.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.