Need something to listen to? Ain't Too Proud actor Jawan M. Jackson recommends the original Broadway cast recording of Dear Evan Hansen, the Tony-winning 2016 musical from songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and playwright Steven Levenson.
The production, directed by Michael Grief, initially premiered at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., followed by an Off-Broadway production at Second Stage Theatre. The Broadway production, which continues to run at the Music Box Theatre, originally starred Ben Platt (who won a Tony Award for his performance), Rachel Bay Jones (also a Tony winner), Laura Dreyfuss, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Michael Park, Mike Faist, Kristolyn Lloyd, and Will Roland.
The musical follows high school student Evan Hansen, who has felt invisible his entire life. But when a tragic event shocks the community and thrusts him into the center of a rapidly evolving controversy, Evan is given the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to be somebody else.
The production took home six Tony Awards in total, including Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, and Best Orchestrations. Multiple productions of the musical have gone on to open around the world, from Toronto to the West End.