'Dear Evan Hansen' announces casting for national tour opening in Denver

by John Moore | Jun 07, 2018
Dear Evan Hansen Cast National TourMembers of the 'Dear Evan Hansen' national tour cast, clockwise from top left: Jessica Phillips, Ben Levi Ross, Christiane Noll, Maggie McKenna, Aaron Lazar and Marrick Smith. 

Stars announced; tickets for the first national touring production in Denver go on sale at 11 a.m. Friday, June 8

Casting for the first national touring production of the Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen, opening in Denver this September, was announced today.

Stage and TV star Jessica Phillips will play Heidi Hansen, Tony Award-nominee Christiane Noll will play Cynthia Murphy and Broadway veteran Aaron Lazar will play Larry Murphy. Marrick Smith and Maggie McKenna round out the Murphy family (as Connor and Zoe, respectively), with Jared Goldsmith as Jared Kleinman and Phoebe Koyabe as Alana Beck. They join the previously announced Ben Levi Ross in the title role.

The cast also includes Stephen Christopher Anthony as the Evan alternate, along with understudies Ashley De La Rosa, Noah Kieserman, Jane Pfitsch, Coleen Sexton and Maria Wirries.

Tickets for the national tour launch of Dear Evan Hansen go on sale at 11 a.m. MDT Friday, June 8, at denvercenter.org. (Read more here.) The tour will launch in Denver at The Buell Theatre from Sept. 25-Oct. 13, kicking off the 2018-19 DCPA Broadway season. 

The winner of six 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Dear Evan Hansen features a book by Tony Award-winner Steven Levenson, a score by Academy Award and Tony and Grammy Award-winning composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and direction by four-time Tony® Award nominee Michael Greif. The Grammy Award-winning Original Broadway Cast Recording of Dear Evan Hansen, produced by Atlantic Records, was released in February 2017, making an extraordinary debut on the Billboard 200 and entering the chart at No. 8 – the highest-charting debut position for an original cast album since 1961 -- and went on to win the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. 

Read our exclusive interview with Director Michael Grief

Declared “One of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history” by the Washington Post’s Peter Marks, Dear Evan Hansen opened at the Music Box Theatre to rave reviews on December 4, 2016, where it’s broken all box-office records and has struck a chord with critics and audiences alike.

Dear Evan Hansen features scenic design by David Korins, projection design by Peter Nigrini, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, and hair design by David Brian Brown.  Music supervision, orchestrations and additional arrangements are by Alex Lacamoire.  Ben Cohn is the Associate Music Supervisor.  Vocal arrangements and additional arrangements are by Justin Paul. Danny Mefford is the choreographer.  U.S. Casting by Tara Rubin Casting/Lindsay Levine. Adrienne Campbell-Holt, Sash Bischoff and Adam Quinn are the Associate Directors. Judith Schoenfeld is the Production Supervisor.

CAST BIOS

Ben Levi Ross (Evan Hansen) joins the touring company of Dear Evan Hansen direct from the Broadway cast, where he made his Broadway debut.

Maggie McKenna (Zoe Murphy) made her professional theatre debut in 2017 as Muriel Heslop in the Sydney Theatre Company’s award-winning stage show, Muriel’s Wedding The Musical, for which she won the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Newcomer. Maggie began acting, singing and songwriting from a very young age, and at 11 she was the winner of the NAB/Mushroom Records National Songwriting competition. Maggie trained in many aspects of the arts throughout high school and was cast in the 2014 Victorian High School Spectacular as a lead performer & vocalist. After graduating high school, Maggie moved to Los Angeles to continue her training at the American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA) and graduated in 2016. Maggie’s television work includes the ABC TV drama series “The Doctor Blake Mysteries” in the featured guest role of Roslyn Kerr, and in 2015 she wrote and performed music parodies for the FOXTEL comedy series “Open Slather.” Most recently, Maggie performed a cover of “Xanadu” as part of the 2018 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony. 

Jessica Phillips (Heidi Hansen) has established herself as one of Broadway's premiere leading ladies over the past several years. Broadway credits include: Leap of Faith opposite Raul Esparza, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Next to Normal, Jesus Christ Superstar (25th anniversary revival), and The Scarlet Pimpernel. Her regional work includes Deathless, It’s Only Life, Into the Woods, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and the starring role in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Michael Friedman’s Unknown Soldier in 2015.Jessica’s film and television credits include La Vida Inesperada, The Impostors, Absent Mind, “Elementary,” “Royal Pains,” “Unforgettable,” “The Ordained,” “Bronx Warrants,” and, most notably, 4 seasons as A.D.A. Pippa Cox on “Law & Order, SVU.” In 2015, Jessica appeared as a featured vocalist for ASCAP’s 100th anniversary celebration of New Music at The Kennedy Center honoring, among others, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. In addition to stage and screen, Jessica’s voice can be heard on multiple cast albums and on iTunes with her band 10th& Carlisle. Twitter/Instagram: @fullipsonbway

Christiane Noll (Cynthia Murphy). Broadway/Tours: Elf (MSG), Chaplin (Drama Desk Nom), Ragtime – Kennedy Center Revival (Tony & Drama Desk Nom, Helen Hayes award), Urinetown (Ovation Award), The Mambo Kings (pre-Broadway), It Ain’t Nothin But The Blues, Jekyll & Hyde (FANY award), Grease, Miss Saigon, City of Angels, South Pacific (Australia/Thailand). TV/Film: Madam Secretary (CBS), Law & Order SVU (NBC), The Sound of Music Live (NBC), The Good Fight (CBS), The King & I (Animated - Singing Anna). Favorites: Next to Normal (CCC award), Snow Child (Arena Stage), October Sky, Follies (STL Circle award), 1776 Encores!, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, Closer than Ever (Off-Bway Alliance award), The King & I, The New Moon Encores!, Ace (Helen Hayes award nom), The Witches of Eastwick, Mack & Mabel (CCC Award), The Sound of Music (Salzburg Marionette Th.), Frankenstein, Little By Little, Little Shop of Horrors, The Baker’s Wife, Lizzie Borden, Into the Woods, The Student Prince, Carousel and Lincoln Center “American Songbook Series” – Frank Loesser. Guests soloist with over 100 symphony orchestras around the world. Opera with Placido Domingo and Hollywood Bowl/O2 Arena with Julie Andrews. Solo Recordings: Christiane Noll – A Broadway Love Story, Live At The Westbank. The Gershwin Album, My Personal Property, Gifts-Live at 54 Below.

Marrick Smith (Connor Murphy) is an actor-musician from Staten Island, New York. Broadway: Fun Home (OBC); Off Broadway: Pretty Filthy, Wild Goose Dreams, The Underclassman. Film/TV: The Lennon Report; “The Big Dogz”; Music: The Entropy EP, Pretty Filthy (original cast recording).

Information on Friday's ticket sale for Dear Evan Hansen in Denver

Aaron Lazar (Larry Murphy) has starred in 10 Broadway productions: he debuted in The Phantom of the Opera; originated roles in the world premieres of A Tale of Two CitiesImpressionism, and The Last Ship; starred in the revivals of A Little Night Music and Les Miserables; and romanced audiences in The Light in the Piazza at Lincoln Center and Live from LCT on PBS. On film, Mr. Lazar has worked with acclaimed directors including Clint Eastwood, Mary Harron, Shawn Levy, Martin Scorsese, and the Russo brothers. Television guest star roles include:  NBC's The Blacklist; CBS's Blue BloodsThe Good Wife, and Bull; and FOX's The Following. In addition, Aaron has recurred on Disney'sGirl Meets World, FX's The Strain, and IFC’s The Onion News Network. Mr. Lazar has been a guest artist with some of the world's finest symphonies including: The New York Philharmonic, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, The National Symphony  Orchestra at The  Kennedy  Center, The Boston Pops, The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra at Masada, The English National Opera Orchestra, and the Hollywood  Bowl Orchestra. He can be heard on dozens of Broadway cast albums and television commercials, and his critically acclaimed solo show, Broadway to Hollywood, continues to play cabarets and PACs around the country.  


Dear Evan Hansen National Tour Cast

Clockwise from top left: Jared Goldsmith, Phoebe Koyabe, Stephen Christopher Anthony, Noah Kieserman, Coleen Sexton, Maria Wirries, Ashley De La Rosa and Jane Pfistch.


Jared Goldsmith
(Jared Kleinman) is over the moon to join the Dear Evan Hansen family and originate the role of Jared Kleinman on the national tour. Born and raised in New Jersey, Jared attended Elon University where he earned his BFA in Music Theatre. But, don’t be fooled, Jared isn’t just an actor. Currently, he’s co-writing and developing an original musical: MAZKAPAN. Instagram: @jaredbgoldsmithon

Phoebe Koyabe (Alana Beck) was born in rural France and raised in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona. She is thrilled to be making her professional debut in the first national tour of Dean Evan Hansen. Playing Alana in Dear Evan Hansen is a dream come true.  

Stephen Christopher Anthony (Evan Hansen alternate) is so excited to be joining the Dear Evan Hansen family! Most recently he was in Book of Mormon on Broadway (u/s Elder McKinley). Prior to Mormon, he starred as con-man Frank Abagnale Jr in the national tour of Catch Me If You Can. Favorite regional credits include: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Hairspray, Carousel, Lend Me A Tenor. Stephen is a proud graduate of Florida State University.

Noah Kieserman is ecstatic to be part of the first national touring company of Dear Evan Hansen after graduating from the University of Michigan (B.F.A Musical Theater Program, Class of 2018). Regional: 1776, Newsies (Connecticut Repertory Theatre); Grease, How To Succeed… (Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts). An avid writer as well, Noah’s musical theater compositions have been workshopped in Ann Arbor, DC, San Francisco, New York, Calgary, and Charlotte. He is also a proud recipient of the Actors' Equity Association's Alan Eisenberg Award.

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

Jane Pfistch. Broadway: Angels in America (2018 Revival), Cabaret (2014 Revival), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (2008 Revival) and Company (2007 Revival). Off-Broadway: Peer Gynt and Allegro at CSC, The 39 Steps (New World Stages), Pumpgirl (MTC). Regional credits include: The Huntington (IRNE Nominations), Barrington Stage Company, The Old Globe, Williamstown Theatre Festival. Arena Stage (Helen Hayes Nomination), McCarter Theatre Center, San Jose Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, The Alley Theater, Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, Capital Repertory Theater, Virginia Stage Company. Film/TV: 27 Dresses and "Elementary." Member of Ensemble Studio Theater. Brown/Trinity MFA Program. 

Ashley De La Rosa is so proud to be a part of the cast of Dear Evan Hansen. Recent credits include: Beautiful The Carole King Musical (swing, 1st Nat’l Tour), RENT Nat’l Tour (swing u/s Mimi, Joanne). TV: Top 12 on NBC’s “The Voice” (Season 2). Instagram: @ashdelarosa. Twitter: @ashleydelarosa

Coleen Sexton. Broadway: Jekyll and Hyde, Wicked, Chicago, Legally Blonde. Off Broadway: Spamalot, Dames at Sea, Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar, End of the Rainbow, Mamma Mia. TV: “Law and Order,” “Third Watch,” “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light.”

Maria Wirries is a recent graduate from the musical theater program at Penn State. She most recently was seen in the Broadway revival workshop of Once on This Island. Other theater credits include: The Artist Series’ Hot and Cole, Penn State School of Theater’s Be More Chill, Sweet Charity, Hair, Titanic, and The Players Theater’s Master Class. She also performs solo cabarets and often collaborates with the Sarasota Orchestra on their Master Works series. Maria has a huge appreciation for new work and has performed newly commissioned pieces by composers and artists James Grant, Dick Hyman, Alex Rybeck, Sheridan Seyfried. This last fall at Penn State she participated in a commission project of a new theater piece written by Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger. As well as participating in the world premiere of Love in Hate Nation, a Joe Iconis musical. Maria also writes her own songs that can be heard on her SoundCloud account.

Dear Evan Hansen tour dates:
The first year of the tour route is as follows, with additional cities to be announced at a later date:

  • Denver: 9/25/18-10/13/18
  • Los Angeles: 10/17/18-11/25/18
  • Tempe, Ariz. 11/27/18-12/2/18
  • San Francisco: 12/5/18-12/30/18
  • Costa Mesa, Calif.: 1/1/19-1/13/19
  • Las Vegas: 1/15/19-1/20/19
  • Seattle: 1/23/19-2/2/19
  • Des Moines, Iowa: 2/5/19-2/10/19
  • Chicago: 2/12/19-3/10/19
  • Durham, N.C.: 3/12/19-3/17/19
  • Charlotte, N.C.: 3/19/19-3/24/19
  • Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.: 3/26/19-47/19
  • Tampa, Fla.: 4/9/19-4/14/1
  • Orlando, Fla.: 4/16/19-4/21/19
  • Atlanta: 4/23/19-4/28/19
  • Cincinnati: 4/30/19-5/12/19
  • Buffalo, N.Y.: 5/14/19-5/19/19
  • Pittsburgh: 5/21/19-5/26/19
  • Minneapolis: 5/28/19-6/9/19
  • Cleveland: 6/11/19-6/30/19
  • Greenville, S.C.: 7/2/19-7/7/19
  • Boston: 7/10/19-8/4/19

Washington, D.C.: 8/6/19-9/8/19
For more information about the tour, please visit www.dearevanhansen.com.

In addition to the touring production and the record-breaking Broadway production, Dear Evan Hansen will launch its first international production in Canada, in March 2019 at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre.

Dear Evan Hansen: Denver ticket information

UntitledSept. 25-Oct. 13, 2018
• The Buell Theatre
• Single seats go on sale at 11 a.m. MDT on Friday, June 8
• Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
• Note: Please be advised that the Denver Center for the Performing Arts – denvercenter.org – is the only authorized ticket provider for Dear Evan Hansen tickets in Denver. Ticket buyers who purchase tickets from a ticket broker or any third party run the risk of overpaying or purchasing illegitimate tickets. Patrons should be aware that the DCPA is unable to reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets and is unable to contact patrons with information regarding time changes or other pertinent updates regarding the performance. Patrons found in violation of the DCPA Ticket Purchase and Sale Terms and Policies  may have all of their tickets canceled.

Dear Evan Hansen: Creative team

• Book by Steven Levenson
• Score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

• Directed by Michael Greif
• Music direction by Ben Cohn
• Choreography by Danny Mefford
• Scenic design by David Korins
• Lighting design by Japhy Weideman
• Costume design by Emily Rebholz
• Sound design by Nevin Steinberg
• Projection design by Peter Nigrini
• Hair design by David Brian Brown
• Music supervision, orchestrations and additional arrangements by Alex Lacamoire
• Vocal arrangements and additional arrangements by Justin Paul

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John Moore
John Moore
Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

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