Review Roundup: Critics Weigh in on the National Tour of DEAR EVAN HANSEN

Review Roundup: Critics Weigh in on the National Tour of DEAR EVAN HANSEN

The Dear Evan Hansen National Tour opened Friday night at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Stage and TV star Jessica Phillips plays 'Heidi Hansen', Tony Award-nominee Christiane Noll plays 'Cynthia Murphy', and Broadway veteran Aaron Lazar plays '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' completing the on-stage company. Ben Levi Ross stars in the title role.

The cast also includes Stephen Christopher Anthony (as the Evan alternate) along with understudies Ciara Alyse Harris, John Hemphill, Noah Kieserman, Jane Pfitsch, Coleen Sexton and Maria Wirries.

Let's see what the critics are saying...

Dave Perry, Sentinel Colorado: The show's story, songs, characters and even the multi-media set pulls full-force at the audience from the first moments of the production. It immediately appeals to anyone who's struggled with the awkwardness of relationships and the critical pain of adolescence, which is pretty much everyone. Provocatively, the show puts issue dealing with child suicide and mental illness right in the spotlight.

Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver: Ben Levi Ross is so convincing in his role as Evan Hansen, lanky and fragile with a quirky demeanor that is clumsy and scared. He is full of anxiety, fear and loneliness. No real friends and too afraid to even answer the door for food delivery because it means having to interact with another human being. Yet he has to go to school and deal with everything that goes on there including other students.

Greg Moodly, CBS4: I never expected to be as touched, emotionally undone and deeply affected as I turned out to be. The characters, the story, the depth, the emotional insight, the music, the humor, the dramatic impact resonated across 60 years of theatregoing. I had, quite frankly, never seen anything like this show.

John Wenzel, The Know: There's supposed to be a sense in the end that something has been learned or dealt with after Evan's lies are exposed, that we got what we needed and everything is just fine. It feels at once rushed and pat, but it's analog to this crisply performed but mediocre show that has captured hearts by invoking - but never meaningfully dealing with - a host of issues. It's just fine.

Chris Arneson, BroadwayWorld: Ben Levi Ross brings an intuitive portrayal to Evan, letting the role's anxious quirks commendably consume his portrayal. Vocally he ascends through the complex score with ease, grounding the role's emotional core in all the right places.

Be sure to check back, as BroadwayWorld will be updating live as the reviews come in!

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