Producers of Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen have found the next actor to don the iconic polo shirt and arm cast to play the musical’s title character. Andrew Barth Feldman, the 16-year-old winner of the Best Actor Award at this year’s Jimmy Awards, will make his Broadway debut in the role. Feldman, who is a high school junior at Lawrence Woodmere Academy in Woodmere, New York, will succeed Taylor Trensch on January 30, 2019. Trensch will play his final performance on January 27, 2019. Michael Lee Brown, original cast member, will continue as the Evan Hansen alternate.
“As a real-life high school student, I relate to the character of Evan Hansen immensely. And as a performer, it’s obviously been a dream of mine to sing Pasek & Paul’s amazing score – I’m so excited to get to make my Broadway debut in this show that means so much to me and my peers,” Feldman said.
The Jimmy Awards honors high school students for excellence in musical theatre. Producer Stacey Mindich weighed-in on her first encounter with Feldman: “Dear Evan Hansen was proud to sponsor the Jimmy Awards this year, where Andrew impressed us all with his performance. During the show, I texted our casting director, Tara Rubin, who was a judge for the Jimmys, and Andrew was in the casting office auditioning for the role within days of winning the award. It was clear very quickly that we’d found our next Evan. We’re grateful that The Jimmy Awards celebrate young artists and that they gave us a chance to discover Andrew, as well as so many other talented actors.”
“There’s nothing more exciting than discovering young talent,” director Michael Greif said. “Evan is such a complex role – and one that is difficult cast. But the moment Andrew walked into the room, we knew we’d found our next Evan, and I can’t wait to see what he does with the role.”
Feldman will join the current Broadway cast of Dear Evan Hansen cast which includes Lisa Brescia, Mallory Bechtel, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Michael Park, Alex Boniello, Sky Lakota-Lynch, Phoenix Best and Roman Banks, Michael Lee Brown, Garrett Long, Olivia Puckett, Asa Somers, Nicole Van Giesen, Diamond Essence White and Dan Macke.
Dear Evan Hansen opened at Broadway’s Music Box Theatre on December 4, 2016, under the direction of Michael Greif. The musical features a score by the Tony-winning duo of Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, and a book by Tony-winner Steven Levenson. The musical also took home the coveted prize of Best Musical. Dear Evan Hansen features scenic design by David Korins, projection design by Peter Nigrini, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, and sound design by Nevin Steinberg.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.