Michael Park shares his love for the Broadway community

Michael ParkMichael Park has had a successful career on Broadway and TV for years, but it’s his role as Larry Murphy in Dear Evan Hansen that has thrust him into the spotlight. Michael is someone who has the utmost respect for every human he meets, and it was quickly apparent to us how much admiration and love he has for the Broadway community. We spoke to him about his career and the journey leading up to Dear Evan Hansen.

You have a degree in art and originally intended to be an architect – what made you want to be an actor instead?
When I was a sophomore in college my wife (at the time my girlfriend) said, “hey, let’s audition for the college musical Guys and Dolls. That would be really fun. We would be able to do our homework in the back, probably get ensemble roles and stuff like that.” So I thought yes, that would be really fun as well, I guess, – but I am not going to get cast as anything because I am not a theater major, not a music major. And I was cast as Sky Masterson and she was not cast. I started really that love for theater my sophomore year of college and then soon after college I started doing a lot of community theater. We have got a great community theater kind of life in Rochester, New York with Blackfriars Theatre and the JCC is fabulous there. I did A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum by the JCC and again was asked to do another show and another show, and pretty soon, I wound up in New York.

It’s really kind of cool. That’s not a normal kind of path to New York, but John Bolton has a similar story. Started out doing community theater in Rochester, New York with Blackfriars. We were so surprised to find that out about ourselves on the street last week as a matter of fact.

You were on As the World Turns for 13 years – how does it feel to work on a show for so long?
Well, at first it’s a little daunting because the history of As The World Turns runs deep. I tried my best to follow the lead of Martha Byrne who played Lily and the guy who played my cousin Jon Hensley and the late Benjamin Hendrickson. You get to be friends with these people and they become family and getting to do a different script every day was a lot of fun and exhausting. It really honed my skills as an actor because I don’t have any kind of formal training. I was able to learn through osmosis if you will, or kind of leach the techniques of other people. Benjamin was in the first class at Juilliard. Martha Byrne was a child actor. So many people had worked on Broadway. Scott Holmes worked on Broadway. Liz Hubbard went to Harvard.

So you are the only one who didn’t have training as an actor?
I went there wide‑eyed and I just kept my head and learned so much in the process. Thankfully when they shut their doors 13 years later, Rob Ashford, who directed me in an Encores! show called Bloomer Girl was there to say, “hey, I hear you are done with the soap opera. Now we can welcome you back to theater and that’s when I did How to Succeed.

Do you have a preference between film or live theater as an actor?
There is no preference. I mean, they are completely different skill sets in a way. Very small way, but the technique is usually the same. I have three kids. Now it’s about putting them through college and making sure that everybody is happy and healthy.

Do any of your kids want to follow in your footsteps?
You know what? I think it’s too early to say because keep in mind my footsteps didn’t start really taking off until I was out of college. I would be more than supportive of that. My daughter Kathleen does community theater with Rosie O’Donnell’s daughter.

In How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying you shared the stage with Daniel Radcliffe, Darren Criss and Nick Jonas who are so well known and have massive fan followings. What was it like to work with them on that show?
It was great being the go‑between between John Larroquette & Daniel. The three of us would take our breaks out in the alley and just hang out and John Larroquette dubbed us the alley boys. I learned a lot from Daniel Radcliffe who happens to be the smartest person just in about any room you go to, as is John Larroquette. So being this fly on the wall, hanging out with those guys, listening to those great stories– there are a lot of them. Daniel at the time was 21 and he lived a life of a 40‑year‑old. The last installment of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows hadn’t come out yet and Daniel came over for Thanksgiving that year and I was the cool dad on the block. As far as Nick, Nick and I are good friends. We travel a lot together, play a lot of golf together.

Dear Evan Hansen

The Dear Evan Hansen Softball Team

You and Nick were both on the Broadway Show League softball team?
Yes. He started the softball team and again, another guy who is wiser than his years. It’s just great to hang around with people like that that continue to teach you and challenge you and make you a better actor, as well as a better human.

Tuck Everlasting was a wonderful show that unfortunately closed too soon. How does it feel when you invest so much time and effort into a project that ultimately doesn’t do well?
It’s heartbreaking. It really is. It’s heartbreaking for everyone, for the producers and the writers. I worked with Nathan Tysen and Chris Miller for so long on the show, seven years almost. The wonderful things that came out of that was that I got to work with Carolee Carmello again and Terrance Mann and Fred Applegate and I got to hang out with Casey Nicholaw who is so much fun to be around. And so smart and inventive and I trust in every tip he ever gave me about comedy because he is right on it all the time. So yes, it was heartbreaking to invest that much time, only to not be received well. It was tough because I got to be the silly dad, yet still have that very poignant, wonderful song in the second act.

“The Wheel?”
“The Wheel.” And I miss that leather jacket.

What is your favorite memory from Tuck Everlasting?
My favorite memory is sitting in Terry Mann’s dressing room with Fred Applegate – or in Atlanta when Terry and I were dressing roommates together. I would say that my favorite memory is every time Fred would come in and the story would somehow turn to Fred Applegate and Terry and I would then kick him out of our dressing room. That was the best time we ever had – the constant ribbing each other. The three of us were inseparable really during that time and it was just wonderful to be around two legends, or three for that matter with Carolee Carmello.

You were in The Sound of Music and Peter Pan Live! – TV musicals seem to be the latest trend.
Yes. We were in the first one, Sound of Music Live!. 21 million viewers. It was such a novelty. We thought it was an enigma but it wasn’t.

Do you think they should do more TV musicals?
They are. You know, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Bob Greenblatt yesterday who is the head of NBC and I said, “remember when you guys were talking about doing Music Man?” Because the four pirates, Christian and Chris Sullivan and Austin Lesch, we wanted to be the quartet. That would be fun. So I kind of floated it out there again and he just chuckled, so I don’t think that’s going to happen, but I would love to do another one. I have the happy problem, the wonderful problem of being employed right now, so I don’t know how it would work.

It’s good to be employed though. Your show is doing really well.
But those shows are so much fun.

Dear Evan Hansen is a phenomenon on Broadway and so many people have been touched by the show. How does it feel to be a part of that?
To be part of a show that is about inclusion and acceptance and realizing your failures and forgiving yourself and getting to tell this wonderful story with this incredible cast and to be in a room with Michael Greif, all of these experiences and everything I just mentioned has been an unadulterated joy. There are no superlatives really that are worthy of using when explaining how I feel about being part of the show and I have learned a lot about myself as a father and I learned a lot about fathers in general and child‑rearing because of it and so have my kids. They have learned a lot about themselves and learned a lot about me, so I will forever be thankful for the show.

What is the most challenging aspect of playing Mr. Murphy?
The principal scene. The principal scene is the foundation of the relationship between Cynthia and Larry, the initial meeting Evan, the realization of loss of a son. It’s just the hardest thing to do every day, every night, to imagine or kind of put yourself in the place of a parent who has lost a child this way. I say it every night when I go out to sign that you never want to ask me “are you having fun.” It’s so hard to answer that question. People who know the show know that my son commits suicide in the second scene and so to live in those shoes, to be a part of this story because of that reason – it’s a task I would not want any parent to have to realize and to live through.

Laura Dreyfuss, Ben Platt, Michael Park, Annabelle Park & Kathleen Park
Source: @park24hrs on Instagram

Do you feel like you’ve developed a parental bond, working with Laura Dreyfuss and Mike Faist?
Oh, yes. We had such a wonderful time in D.C. together. I mean, I had known Mike for a while. We had done a number of readings together. Seems like we had been in a ton of readings together and just spent a lot of time with him, and Laura Dreyfuss, meeting her and having her as my fake daughter has just been a blessing because my daughter Annabelle wants so badly to be Laura Dreyfuss. Getting to know her in D.C. and then of course, getting to know her better when she would come to the house. We went apple picking together. Spending time with this cast away from New York where all we had was each other, we grew very, very, very close. I think that’s part of the success of this show, is that you are not afraid and we feel safe being vulnerable in front of each other. I thank Stacey Mindich, our producer for keeping us all together.

If Connor was your actual son, would you have been proud or disappointed in him?
It’s a hard question. I wouldn’t be proud of myself. I don’t think that’s a fair question actually. That’s not because I don’t think anyone who is hurting like that should be judged in any way. And I wouldn’t be proud of him for killing himself at all. But that’s the journey of Larry, is learning how to forgive his failures. And Cynthia grasping for what she could have done differently. I am normally an advocate – I talk to my kids. I force them to talk to me. Ad nauseam. I don’t know how to answer that question.

Mike Faist told us that he doesn’t think of Connor as a bully, he is just misunderstood– do you agree?
I definitely don’t think he is a bully. That would be the wrong kind of label to put on him. Is he misunderstood? Absolutely. Is he hurting? Absolutely. Is he lost? Absolutely. And he is closed off, so it’s hard to reach people that way, which is why I really can’t stress enough that if you are feeling lost and alone, you are not alone. We all went through it. And that’s what this show kind of highlights, if you are feeling alone, if you are feeling lost, it’s natural to feel that way. Everyone has felt that way. And there are outlets to seek out to help you get through this rocky, rocky time in your life.

As a parent, have you had to deal with bullies? What would you tell your kids if they were being bullied or bullying others?
I had to deal with bullies as a kid. I use that as fodder sometimes for Larry Murphy. Christopher, my son was bullied a couple times. You know, it’s not the kid’s fault who is bullying him. That kid is just acting out, trying to, I don’t know, prove something to himself, prove something to someone and he is lost too. So being there to listen and to not react. You know, your reaction is the hardest thing to control. Because I am going to march right down there and talk to the principal – no. You can’t – I don’t know if that’s the right or wrong. It depends on the situation. Every bullying situation is different. Christopher Park handled it himself. He went to the principal’s office himself and he talked with the counselors there and they wanted to know how to discipline that child. My son is beyond his years.

I went to my parents. My parents went to the principal and I am friends with the kid who bullied me. To this day.

My daughter Annabelle tends to step on a line sometimes too. She can be a little tough and so I don’t know if she would be considered a bully or if she is being bullied but – and I don’t want to generalize in any sense, but I think girls have different issues obviously than boys do. Bullying can be very subtle and kids are so mean. Adolescence sucks. And middle school kids can be mean. High school can be just a tough place to be sometimes. But you are not alone in feeling that way.

You have been part of so many musicals over the years. Are there any that stand out?
All of them. For so many wonderful reasons. Hello Again. Violet. Even Carousel which I didn’t get to go on, but I met so many friends there. That’s where I first met Lauren Ward and later we were in Violet together and it was great. So many wonderful shows. Little Me where Michael McGrath, Brooks Ashmanskas, and Martin Short would make everybody pee in their seats. They were so funny. Yes. I have had a very wonderful career to this point.

What’s the worst onstage mishap that you can remember?
We were doing Smokey Joe’s Cafe and I was in the middle of the shimmy number and I fell off balance and DeLee Lively got mad at me and stormed off the stage. I remember feeling really awful, like what do I do now. I didn’t mean to fall off balance. So I had to finish the song by myself and that was not a very fun moment in my life.

The other one was when I went up on my lines in “Secretary Is Not A Toy” and for some reason the word “perfect” came out of my mouth. I don’t know why, but everyone laughed. For weeks, people would just come up behind me and go “perfect.” But that’s about it.

You know, I have nothing really funny to tell you. See, the first one was a little heartbreaking and second one was just me being stupid, but I come up with different ad libs. If I ever make a mistake or something goes wrong, you write your own ad libs.

If you had the chance to play any character; regardless of age, sex or race, what role would you play?
Billy Bigelow. I already played him and Bobby in Company which I think is a perfect – you know what? I am coming up to it. Sweeney Todd.

What is your favorite thing about New York City?
I love this community that we have. I love the Broadway community. I love going to different places after a show and running into someone you haven’t seen in a long time. You never know who you are going to run into here. It’s kind of a wonderful neighborhood that we have. I love the different neighborhoods of Manhattan.

 

GIVEAWAY! Win a signed cast photo and a copy of the Dear Evan Hansen Book. Prize will only be shipped within the USA.
How to enter:
1- Tweet the following: Win a signed cast photo and @DearEvanHansen book! Read @TheBroadwayWiz interview with @park24hrs for more details. http://broadwaywiz.com/michael-park/
2-  Leave a comment below telling us what you love about Dear Evan Hansen.

Dear Evan Hansen giveaway

 

 

2017-07-25T02:32:54+00:00 July 7th, 2017|Broadway, Interviews, Musicals|106 Comments
  • Mark Greeno

    I love how the characters can feel so broken yet be able to find the strength within themselves to pull themselves up when they need to before falling so deep they can’t recover. Very inspiration and heartfelt performances. Loved it so much.

  • Sam G.

    I love DEH because it’s a show that I could truly relate to and something that could actually understand me. I don’t think I have ever fallen in love with a show so quickly. I can’t put into words how grateful I am for this show. From the little things like playing “You Will Be Found” when I’m having a panic attack to the big impact it’s had on helping me find myself… I’m forever grateful. Some people will say it’s just a show… they don’t realize it is so much more. It’s a safe space, a welcoming hand, a home. This show found me.

  • Stephanie Cheng

    I love the inspiring message of the show. Just listening to the soundtrack, it’s clear that each actor is so invested in their roles and their passion comes across in the music. I hope I get to witness that in person one day. I think it’s a very powerful thing when a show like this can help people. When I’m feeling especially sad or lonely, I will listen to “You Will Be Found” and it makes me feel better. This show reminds me that it’s perfectly okay to feel alone sometimes, but it’s important to remember that in the end, there are people (you wouldn’t always expect) there for you and ready to help you. Even though I’ve only listened to the soundtrack, I have such a deep love for this show. I truly admire each and every individual that is part of this production because they do have to be extremely vulnerable and let their emotions out. I can’t imagine how hard it can be to do that night after night. Everything about this show is just wonderful—from the music to the absolute realness of the story.

  • Rachel C

    I love DEH because I love how all the characters are broken in someway. They all feel insecure about something. Whether it’s their wealth, parenting skills, or just themselves as a person. I struggle with self confidence and this musical has helped me so much. Throughout the musical the characters all learn to heal and grow, especially Evan. I love all the characters in DEH and the amazing cast behind them. This musical is very close to my heart and always will be.

  • Rebecca

    I love DEH because as someone with depression and social anxiety myself, I was able to see myself in some of the characters, but I was also able to see other people I know in some of the characters. I love that each character in the show is so well developed and nuanced and unique. I also love the music – especially the harmonies and the orchestrations. But most of all, I love it because it’s helped me. Ever since I was introduced to the show in November last year it has shown me that I am not alone.

  • Hanna

    What I love about Dear Evan Hansen is the end when Evan meets Zoe in the apple orchard. Evan forgives himself in his speech “today at least you’re you, and that’s enough”. I think accepting that what you did was wrong but also forgiving yourself for it is so important and is a huge takeaway for me from the show.

  • Alexis K.

    I loved the show initially because I saw myself in Evan more than I thought possible just in Waving Through a Window. The first time I listened to the cast album in full it hit me like a truck (in a good way). The more I listened, the more I felt like I learned abiut each character. I love this show so much for featuring dynamic, flawed characters with a hint of mystery that makes it feel so honest.

  • selena

    What I love about DEH is their ability to be totally vulnerable onstage. As a theater major in college, I find this extremely admirable. The way they are willing to strip themselves down in front of an audience eight times a night to tell the story of a young man with crippling anxiety who gets himself stuck in a tricky situation is SO inspiring to me. I think that is why this show has taken the world’s heart.

    I applaud you, DEH cast. You guys are truly brilliant and deserved that Tony. Thank you for being so true to the story and so fearless onstage. Thank you for taking risks. Thank you for opening up to us as an audience.

  • Nina Del Rosario

    I’m not one of the many lucky people who have gotten to see Dear Even Hansen yet. But inspite of this, just listening to the OST gets to me… the characters… the songs… the inspiring message of it all. I can’t wait to be moved even more WHEN I see this. And i WILL definitely see this!

  • Lara Pena

    I find that the characters are so flawed such a great thing. It really shows that they are human and have their ultimate faults that bring them down. It’s contemporary and relatable, different from other musicals, that whisk you into sort of a dream setting. Dear Evan Hansen could and has happened to high schools and it’s sort of showing what will happen if a tragic event happens: will we break or rise to the occasion. It resonates with all ages to be honest because even if you aren’t in high school, you still take away pieces from it, where you know that character reminds yourself of you.

  • Gabriella Rapisardi

    What I love about the show is the characters. They really make the show complete. They are all so flawed that is makes the show much more relatable. I find myself in all the characters: in Evan’s loneliness and his desire to belong, in Connor’s feeling of being an outcast, in Zoe’s desire to be strong, and just in everyone’s want to be heard somehow. All the characters in this show want to be found, and the beautiful thing is, that’s what all the audience members want as well. This show really helped me come to terms with my anxiety. It made me realize I am NOT alone. Everybody goes through loneliness at some point in their life. It made me realize that no matter what, I will always be found. Someone will always be there to help me. I love this show for how raw and passionate and beautiful it is. It really helped save me and brought me into a new light of realization. It changed my mindset on the way I look at life and I will be forever grateful for this show. Thank you

  • Mads

    Dear Evan Hansen has shown me that I’m not alone. That I’m not the only person out there who feels like they could disappear at any given moment. In my darkest times, it’s been the most beautiful, comforting, reassuring light. Listening to the songs feels like being with an old friend that I’ve known my entire life. This show has given friends when I’ve had no one. I love everything about it. Everything. From the incredible, amazing actors to the people who work on the lighting, every single aspect of Dear Evan Hansen makes me so proud. I’m proud to be represented in such an impactful way. It makes me so glad knowing that this show is truly helping people become comfortable with expressing themselves. I love Dear Evan Hansen because it has taught me that, even if I am on the outside always looking in, I will be found. All that it takes is being me.

  • Samantha Dement-Graham

    Dear Evan Hansen came into my life at the perfect time. My 14 year old son has a history of depression and anger and cutting himself and he found himself within this show. It has helped him (and me) start the healing process. Truthfully he is feeling a bit better. I feel that Dear Evan Hansen coupled with his therapy has been a great thing in his life. So, thank you for being there for my wonderful son. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • E.T.

    I went to see Dear Evan Hansen for a field trip and it helped me reconnect to my classmates one last time before we graduated. I love the show because it brings up relevant topics such as lying, suicide, social media and anxiety. I really like how it encourages us to speak up and have conversations.

  • PianoRocknRoll

    That is too long to tweet WITH an additional comment. It’s already at maximum characters… so I assume tweeting that alone will be an entry in that case?

    • PianoRocknRoll

      I love DEH because it speaks to the outsider in all of us.

  • Emily Blackburn

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because it tells an amazing, heart-wrenching story and truly makes you feel !!

  • Bella Sabino

    I love DEH because the show connects with EVERYONE. No matter who you are or what you’ve been through, you will able to find a part of yourself in each of the characters, and that’s the beautiful thing about it. 🙂

  • Kourtney Thompson

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because I’ve finally found a piece of art in our society that understands mental illness and portray it in a way that’s universal. Also, I told a friend about the show. She came back the next and told me “it’s amazing. I’ve never heard anything like it.” That’s it. That’s why it’s so important. A show about not being able to connect is connecting people. And to me, that is phenomenal.

  • Hannah Welch

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because it tells a story that needs to be told in today’s society. Dear Evan Hansen reminds people that no matter what we are never alone because we have people around us that love and care about us. The cast of Dear Evan Hansen do a wonderful job telling this story. I also love that in this musical each cast member plays a distinct part in making sure the musical is a success. The actors perform with such raw emotion and tell the story beautifully.

  • Nichole Wolf

    I love that so many people can relate to this show for many different reasons. I love when a show can hit home to so many different people young and old. The music is also just incredible

  • Ariana Hofer

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because it shows how ugly and engrossing mental illness can be. It also shows a variety of ways it manifests between Evan, Connor, and even Alana.

    Also, “sincerely me” is a bop.

  • brittany

    I adore Dear Evan Hansen with my whole heart. This musical opened my eyes up to a whole world of broadway musicals, and truly made my love for the theater what it is now. This musical in particular sparked my interest as i have been where Connor was and where Evan was. I was bullied for many years of my life in elementary school and middle school, and it stuck with me even through high school. It made me feel extremely low about myself and a lot of the time i would isolate myself and just stay in my room where no one could hurt me. I grew more and more depressed and along with that came suicidal thoughts. Dear Evan Hansen showed me that it’s okay to feel unwanted and like you’re not good enough, but you are enough. It showed me that no matter what someone truly does care. I relate to Evan so much, and seeing his success story and that he comes out to be okay and happy, gave me so much hope in my own life. I am not perfect today but i am working on it. Dear Evan Hansen showed me that i can be happy, and for that I will always love this musical and the cast with my whole heart.

  • Evan the Jelly Bean

    What I love about DEH is that every character has flaws, makes mistakes, and finds their way somehow. It shows that nobody is truly alone and that you will be found. It’s connected to me in so many ways and the cast brings so much life into their character portrayal.

  • purlygirl75

    What can I say? I love the whole show! The music, the acting, the sets, everything. I saw it with a group of high school students and the impact it had on them as well as their parents was incredible.

  • Jesus Amar

    I love everything in this show. The songs, the characters, and most importantly the message. It’s a very inspiring musical.

  • Anthony Hernandez

    The show is so relevant to today and can be related to the ways of thinking of many teens and even adults. Anxiety, bullying, mental illness. All things very real and very scary and with someone like Evan you can’t help but want to be his friend and help him thus hoping that you can do this for someone else in real life!

  • Anaiis

    I really love how it is has created such a wonderful community of teens who have dealt with anxiety or general high school struggles and understand each other. Maybe if more people become inspired by this show to reach out to others, it will improve society as a whole 🙂

  • Emily

    I knew I would love DEH as soon as the first track finished playing on the cast recording. The songs are powerful and so full of heart. It is safe to say that the cast recording has been constantly on repeat! Being able to actually see DEH preformed live was absolutely amazing and an opportunity that I have not taken for granted. The whole cast is flawless and gave powerful, heartfelt performances.
    What I love about the show is that it is relatable. No matter who you are, I feel that you can find someway to connect to this show, especially through the music. The songs are incredible and the message behind the show is something that I feel everyone should be able to experience. Thank you DEH for taking me on this incredible journey.

  • Abby Palese

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because of how everyone can relate to it no matter if it’s to the plot or to a character. Also the music is just so amazing and so heartfelt.

  • Amy

    I love the interactions of the two families.

  • Angela Nguyen

    I love how Dear Evan Hansen shows every person’s humanity and the realness of being human, imperfect with flaws. It shows that no matter what good intentions, we will make mistakes. Also, as a teen who has social anxiety, the show is very relatable. Everyone just wants to find where they belong or the answers to life. And I think the show portrays that very well. The ending is not nicely tied up with a bow. Evan is not magically cured of his anxiety at the end of the story. He still is challenged by it but now he is working through it. The Murphys aren’t the perfect family, they are still suffering of a loss of a family member. I think this really reflects what life is all about. In reality, there is never going to be a perfect ending, instead we work through the negatives.

  • Lexie

    The show Dear Evan Hansen is so important to others and myself, because it tells such an important story someone that can relate to what is going on with the show and help them change for the better. It’s so different than any other show, because it has a special message that can get through the audience in such an effective way. “You Will Be Found” has helped me in my daily life, because it helps me know that even in the darkest of times someone is always there for me when I need them. Seeing this show was so important to me because everyone in this cast has inspired me and every time I listen to any of the cast I always get the chills because the show is so amazing, and they 100% deserved all their tony awards this year! @youreintheband

  • Gillian Brown

    First of all, the music is simply phenomenal. The songs beautifully convey the characters’ struggles, strengths, and vulnerabilities, while still maintaining an undeniable universality. Each and every actor on stage gives it their all, performing with such raw emotion and giving depth to their character. This show also carries such a paramount message: no one is truly alone; everyone matters. Everyone’s had a point in their life where they’ve felt alone in the world, as if they’re “on the outside always looking in.” It can be so easy to let loneliness consume everything; Dear Evan Hansen is a powerful reminder that each and every person really does matter. This brilliant work of art continues to inspire me, and countless others, every day.

  • Bee

    I love how the show highlights mental illness and the effect on the title character! I wish more broadway musicals talk about mental illness! I also love Ben Platt’s singing and acting! He’s incredible!

  • Bridget Leworthy

    I’m in the UK and can’t afford to fly over and see DEH. I’m hoping that it will come to London, so I & my 3 children can all see the magic! I love that my children adore the soundtrack as much as I do, that we sing together and appreciate the lyrics. I want my teens to know that they will always be found – by me, whatever happens.

  • Megan Sharp

    I love how DEH did something that you don’t see in most shows, they put a real life story about today’s youth and how different people connect to it. That’s why I love DEH and how it personally touched me as a person

  • Juliana Rivelli

    What I LOVE about Dear Evan Hansen is the beautiful orchestration and how well the music works together. I believe this show has/ is changing lives, and the music and plot has changed mine!

  • Deej Tyler

    Dear Evan Hansen was there when I needed it the most, it basically found me as words fail began to play as a suggested song and at the time I was going through a though time and it appeared and I’m glad it was and now whenever I’m going through a tough time I always listen to the cast recording and it helps, not only that but I have gained many friends and people who are there for me when ever I need them and for that I’m glad. So in perspective Dear Evan Hansen means my life to me figuratively and literally.

  • Keeganrussell

    Whats not to love? I really love that this is not just a show with good music and good actors. I love how this is a true story for my genereation. This has happened to me before. That is why I love Dear Evan Hansen.

  • Carolyn

    I love ‘Dear Evan Hansen’
    because it tackles a hugely important issue in today’s world, as opposed to being a sugary-sweet ‘fun’ musical. The show truly gives an inside look at how hard anxiety is to live with for lots of people, and creates the first character some of us can really relate to, as well as inspire us to embrace our differences, promising that no matter how lost you may seem, ‘You Will Be Found’. It also helps that I’m a HUGE Platt fan, so as soon as I heard Ben was working on something new, i jumped all over it. I JUST LOVE THE SHOW! 💙

  • Castiel Hoffhein

    What i love about DEH is, is well everything, i love the OBC, I love the characters, I love the music and blocking, set desin, costumes, lighting and sound, But most of all i love the amazing betrayal of what it is like to live with anxiety, and how its unfortunately really relateable for me and others in the fandom, I love ben platts acting and how good he is and how he legit has a panic attack during words fail even tho i also hate it because poor baby, i love the understudies and the communtiy and i love how just amazing it all is and how everyone in the fandom knows what its like to feel like even and stuff and so we all treat eachother woth respect and kindness and we know how to help others when they are getting upset and anxious in certian things and how we vent to eachother i love that Will Rolands mother is in a DEH group, Im most proud of how everyone treats eachother and yes their are wee toxic people but i love how most of thw fandom knows and respects the actors and knows they cant be on 24/7 because of vocal strain and sickness, its just such an amazing thing that has come out of the minds of the actors writers and orchestra, and im so happy its a thing

  • Mark Greeno

    ….And BEN PLATT is amazing…..truly out of body performance……transcending. Ben really deserved his Tony win.

  • oddybear

    I love how DEH can focus on the issues and the problems we face in the modern world today. There are struggles we all face, but no one ever stands up and talk about it. DEH does so, along with an amazing book and great music, brought to us by a wonderful cast. Now, that’s why i love Dear Evan Hansen!! ❤️❤️

  • Emily B

    I love how relatable it is. Seeing the show, I love how from just the first scene I’m able to relate to Evan and to eventually all of the characters. Somehow, someway, I see myself in all of the characters. Plus all of their performances are great!

  • Joey Sura Dayrit

    Honestly there is so many reasons why i love DEH. I relate to many of the characters, especially, in so many ways, some of which are very personal. I first heard Sincerly, Me when it popped up on a mix playlist and instantly became interested, because let’s be real how can you not be a little curious when you hear a song like that haha. When i actually did some research on the muscical i felt something in me chest, so i listened to the full soundtrack.
    I have never felt a stronger connection to a musical in my life. The first time i listened to it i cried through most of the soundtrack, and even now i still do. All of the actors/actresses sing so beautifully and i get emotional whenever i listen.
    I suffer from mental illnesses as well and hearing about it in a way people can understand, having it be brought to attention without it being a brunt on a joke, helps me feel that people understand me as well. I wish i had DEH when i was really at my darkest times because it probably would have helped me asking for help.
    But i have it now and everytime i listen to it, it gives me hope that I’ll be okay.

  • Reilly Gault

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because it is a musical that everyone can relate to because everyone goes through similar problems related to the casts. I have friends that have thought about suicide and I’ve sent them the link to the songs from the musical and they’ve messaged me back saying thank you for helping them. I’m thankful that you guys have made this musical because it gives everyone that thought that “I’m worth it and that I’m not alone”

  • Mafalda

    DEH is such a powerful show. From the message it conveys, the emotions, the realism… Every character is important and nuanced, no matter how small their lines might be. Who hasn’t felt at one point that they were invisible? DEH is the show that tells us that we will be found, that even when everything seems hopeless, there is someone there for us.
    What’s not to love about a show like this?

  • Emily Hacker

    I recently saw the show and love how honest everything is. I love how every actor puts their all into the show, particularly Ben Platt. No show has ever had this much of an effect on me like DEH. The music is fantastic, and I’m singing it all the time or it’s running through my head. I love how it shows that even though people make mistakes, that it doesn’t mean that they are a horrible person. The emotion in the show is so raw and real. This show has changed my life forever. After seeing this show and seeing how much everyone puts into it every night has inspired me to pursue a career in musical theatre.

  • ayushi

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because I found it at a time when I was crushingly alone. My only friends either lived six states away or saw me once a week and crippling isolation had become the norm for me– and I found this musical, a week after the cast recording was released. I was BLOWN AWAY with the amazing combination of heartfelt emotion and gorgeous orchestrations, so much so that I first started drawing art for DEH and this Friday I’ll be singing a Waving Through A Window cover at a talent show! Not only that, but people I knew online and in real life with anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses wrote and posted about how they related to the characters, how they felt that kind of loneliness and found people at kin with them through the fanbase. And I connected with some of the best people I’ve ever known through this show, talking about the characters and having lengthy discussions about the complexities and significance behind each word in each song (I’m a sucker of overanalysis). There’s much more than meets the eye– Jared’s insecurity, Connor’s bipolar disorder, Alana’s high-functioning anxiety, Zoe’s attitude as a victim of abuse, Larry and Cynthia’s struggles with connecting and parenting, Heidi’s role as an overworked single mother, and, of course, Evan. A main character with anxiety and depression and a habit for panic lying and one that we see twisting and hurting and, eventually, healing. We feel these characters– we are these characters– trying to live and find solace and good and I could write several more paragraphs about but, overall, characters that you feel and hate and fall in love with.

    When I first finished listening to the album I just. Wow. This is the kind of musical that makes you cry those gut-punchingly harsh emotions out, that can wrap around your heart and bring you hope at times where static is screaming in your ears and only the worst thoughts to ground you. I can say with no exaggeration that Dear Evan Hansen has saved me and countless others, because LOOK at these imperfect, flawed, human characters that we see suffer and laugh and live and grow, how these actors pour their hearts into developing and making them vulnerable, how the lights and sound and movements all come together in this earth-shatteringly magnificent piece that kids and teens and adults can all see and feel and love.

    yikes this turned out Long, but I’ll leave it here. In conclusion:

    Thank you, Dear Evan Hansen.

  • Beth Doyle Tate

    I love this musical bc of the impact it is having on anyone going through a battle with mental illness today. It is incredible how giving permission to talk about something so taboo is so valuable.

  • Sara Casalengua

    I love Dear Evan Hansen. And the reasons are many and some of them I cannot even put into words (because you know, sometimes words fail).
    It’s a very difficult time to be a teen. To be a mother. A sister, a son, a friend. It’s hard to be a person. But we still need to try our best. We will make mistakes, but we have to learn to live with them and, eventually, to forgive not only others but ourselves.
    Even if, like Heidi, we can’t figure out how to do the right thing or how to do it. Mothers are usually portrayed as people who know everything and lead the family, but this is not real. You don’t get a map in life to tell you where to go and what to do. We, as teenagers and young people are expected to be lost but have the hope that we will be found. Mothers cannot allow themselves to be in this position, but they can’t help it. It is beautiful to see adults struggling and failing as much as young people do. Because in the end, we are all humans.
    Lies are not the best, even if it seems like the easier path. However, we cannot help to try doing our best to escape from the worst feelings we can feel: loneliness, depression, oblivion in life. The message of the show is as beautiful and rich as its characters. A brand new original musical that speaks to every single person.
    I love Dear Evan Hansen because it makes the world a better place. A place where we can feel a little more understood and even loved.

  • Melissa

    I haven’t seen it yet, but I love the music and can’t get the songs out of my head. My older son and I bond by singing the songs together. I know he would especially love it if I won the book and poster. (He’d probably take them both for himself. 😉 )
    🙂 Tweeted the above message as @eema2emma.

  • Paul J. Hernandez

    I love how this show gives voice to the thoughts I would never have the courage to use in real life. As the lyric says, “If I Could Tell Her.”

  • Zoë Chavez

    I love DEH because it sheds light on mental illness and shows such real emotion and passion on stage and is relatable to so many people out there, especially teens.

  • Seamus

    I love how this show literally has every relatable problem. There’s isn’t a single person on this planet that cannot relate to DEH. This show literally changed my perspective on a lot of stuff including family and personal problem. My life has literally ben changed because of this musical

  • Georgia Coward-Smith

    I love how with DEH there is something that tears each of the characters apart. Whether it’s something to do with Connor or it’s just their own perception of their personal inadequacies it’s so great to finally have a show that explores our personal beliefs of our failures within such a relatable time period as well. As someone who suffers from severe overthinking and anxiety I find Dear Evan Hansen to be incredible.

  • Lesly Nunez

    What I love most about Dear Evan Hansen is the music, and pure explosion of vulnerable emotion on stage. Not only does the music make you feel deeply within a few chords, and gut busting lyrics but also the acting by the phenomenal actors portray vulnerability during a strange stage in the Murphy’s and Hansen’s life. Watching Evan pour tears during “Words Fail” keeps me breathless at the amount of heart an actor can take to summon a deep connection to his character. Generally, this musical is one that strikes the soul and touches at the heart strings especially in the world we live in today. The message of “Nobody is Alone” and “You Will be found” and so important are evident in this beautiful piece of work.

  • Hannah Manclark

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because of the emotions it extracts from everyone who sees or listens to it. I saw the show back in April and have never experienced a show quite like this. I have never left a theatre with so many tears rolling down my face. The soundtrack is phenomenal. Pasek and Paul are truly some of the most incredible songwriters of this time. The show would be so different if it was just a straight play. The music adds so much and it is a truly beautiful score. So Big/So Small destroyed me in the best way a musical theatre song can. The actors are astounding. Each actor commits 120% to their roles. I could go on FOR FOREVER about how incredible each actor is. Those Tony Nominations/ Wins were all extremely deserved. The story itself is so interesting and inspiring. No one deserves to be forgotten. I really want to write more but if I keep going, it will spiral out of control (like Evan’s lies)!

  • Kiley

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because so many of the topics hit close to home. I’ve faced social anxiety and suicidal thoughts before. When I saw the show, I was sobbing at the end. Seeing those issues I’ve dealt with on a stage in a beautiful way overwhelmed me. It was incredible.

  • MattBullions

    This is a show that gives a voice to so many who don’t feel like their voice matters. It’s so important that in a world where we’re supposed to feel more connected, that there are people who feel more alone than ever. This is a show that bridged the gap between generations and really gives people something to talk about…a common experience to share. Something so rare and precious these days. That’s why it’s important to me.

  • Manda Chan

    How can I choose one thing? I LOVE ALL OF IT!! I love the characters, the story, the songs, and all the actors did such an amazing job! <3 <3 <3 And even though it's about a serious topic, it can still be funny. (Aka Sincerely me.)

  • Kristen

    I love DEH because of how relatable the characters Evan and Connor are for me. I have been in very dark mental states at times and this show reminds me that I’m not alone. I adore the music and I love how the characters are portrayed. Everyone including the understudies are absolutely fantastic. The cast has a close bond and that makes a huge difference when performing. The show touches a lot of important subjects and has helped people understand a bit more about mental health issues and for that, I’m very grateful.

  • Samantha Melvin

    First, i love all the actors playing the characters. They give their all every show and it was such an incredible thing to see and i am beyond blessed to have seen it. Secondly, the show means so much to me because I understand the pain that Evan feels throughout the show of being alone and feeling on the outside looking in. I truly recommend it to anyone, no matter if you think you can relate or not because I think everyone can relate to every character and that is so powerful.

  • Chelsey Scott

    I absolutely love the writing for the show and how the actors take the dialogue and make it feel very natural. Each character has a very distinct voice, and it is clear in the play book that each character utilizes words and phrasing differently. The actors also make the characters feel real by how they take the writing and use it to their benefit to mold the character to how they think they should be. It is truly memorable.

  • Kennedy Avati

    Honestly, I love Dear Evan Hanson because it makes me feel important. It helped me to realize that people really do care and that nobody deserves to disappear and if you feel like you have, you will be found. Life always works out somehow. I have the quote “Today is going to be a good day and here’s why; Because today, at least you’re you, and that’s enough” right by the door of my room so I can see it every day and remind myself of that.

  • Nicole Muriel

    I love DEH because it’s just such an amazing message being portrayed that mostly everyone can relate to. The cast is absolutely amazing and incredibly talented, the soundtrack is also amazing, and the characters are real, they’re real people with flaws just like any other human being. This show makes me feel special and helps remind me that we’re never alone.

  • Sarah Bruni

    There is so much to love about Dear Evan Hansen. This show conveys such a strong powerful message that reaches audiences of all ages. The way each actor devotes themselves to their character is incredible. They are all so dedicated to telling a story that is true for those watching. It’s so relatable and opens up a conversation among communities and families. Not to mention how incredibly kind and caring this cast is in general, just remarkable.

  • Cassidy Beed

    i love how i finally found a story to relate to. something that i can look at and say “i know these characters, i understand them.” so you actually feel this huge connection. everything is real and raw.

  • TheRulerOfRavenclaw

    I love DEH because it has such an unconventional plot arc and main charachters, male leads often aren’t nearly as insecure about themselves and don’t have nearly as much anxiety. Evan shows us that it’s okay to be vulnerable. At the end of the day we all just want to be accepted and loved. Evan just shows us what we shouldn’t do in order to get that attention.

  • Symone Ciencin

    I love the family dynamics and the music.

  • Symone Ciencin

    For my daughter Sydney: I love the songs and how they tell the story of what it feels like to feel different for everyone around you. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e8217f838ebdf3f6873e81f9b63d9aa2745b1840b58f6ede0020bf44bafd50e2.jpg

  • Emily Elizabeth

    I love DEH because it’s something I’ve never seen on Broadway before. There has never been a show like this and the purity and reality of the show is what everyone falls in love with. It shot me right in the heart when I first heard the album and I haven’t stopped listening to it since. Thank you for the opportunity 💙

  • Sara T.

    I love how the show handles the serious topic of suicide and mental illness. I know what it’s like to be falling in a forest, and it’s comforting having a show with characters that you can look at and think, “oh—they’re just like me.” If there’s one show on Broadway that has helped me the most in my life, it’s Dear Evan Hansen.

  • Cora

    Why do I love DEH? Well, that’s a tricky question because there are many reasons. Like the cast is amazing, the music, and the message too is so beautiful. I relate to this musical so much and many others can too, which makes the amazingly beautiful musical a hit. So many of the songs hit so many different emotions it’s honestly quite soothing. For example when I feel lonely I listen to ‘For Forever’ when I’m angry I can listen to ‘Good For You’ and when I’m happy and upbeat I can listen to ‘Sincerely, Me” This show makes me feel like I belong to something it inspires me to work hard and no never judge someone based on how they look or even just meeting them once. We all have our own story and listening to this musical brings me so much joy and happiness.

    The reason why I really want this is because I’ll never end up seeing DEH. We live kinda far away from New York and don’t have the money to see it. Winning this would be so amazing and it will be something I will cherish the rest of my life.

    * Tbh This is the third different way I’ve entered (three different times on Twitter, two times on Instagram, and now here) using all of my different accounts. You’ll probably reconize the name haha 🙂

  • Helen

    What I love about Dear Evan Hansen is how it is so incredibly relevant in the world right now, and how it connects people by telling people you are not alone; you are not the only one who feels this way and there is hope in the world.

  • Caroline S.

    What I love about DEH is its amazing ability to change lives and inspire people. I love how it teaches us to always be ourselves, that we are not alone and that we will be found! The incredible emotion they create on stage is truly magical. They let us all see parts of ourselves in Evan, and I think that’s another reason we all can connect to it so deeply.

  • alexis

    dear evan hansen by far my favorite broadway show. it shows the importance of human connection, and more importantly, that we’re not alone. im sure most people say this, but i truly do see myself in evan. as someone who suffers from anxiety, i understand his perspective and feelings. to see the show play out the way it did, it gave me so much hope that maybe, one day i’ll be comfortable in my own skin and be able to say “it’s okay, because i’m me, and thats enough”. this show has made me feel a lot less alone and im so grateful for it. its amazing to see a show like this on a broadway stage, on a platform, to showcase taboo subjects such as mental illness in a respectful and informative manner. its a very positive step in the right direction in killing the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide. so thank you, deh.

  • Jenny

    I love dear Evan Hansen because it is a musical that inspires so many people in so little words. It’s relatable, it’s fun, it’s a way to feel that you are not alone. The characters are all so different and unique that they go so well together like chocolate and bacon! The cast is like one big family adoring eachother on and off set. The music and musical itself and its storyline is a phenomenal piece of art. I enjoy all the songs because you never get sick of it! Each song is so different and unique! I could stay here and write an essay on why I love DEH but I have to go listen to the soundtrack, dance along, sing along, and even cry. (This is the cheesiest thing I’ve said haha)

  • Alexys O’Donnell

    I love how relatable the character

  • Gabriela

    I love everything about Dear Evan Hansen. As someone who has social anxiety I can definitely relate to Evan.

  • Lora K.

    In most shows and movies, characters like Evan Hansen (nerdy, intensely socially anxious, stuttering, fidgety, etc.) are always one-dimensional and are generally the butt of some joke. And that’s destructive because there are so many people (including myself) that see themselves in these characters. And it’s always been difficult to see someone like me constantly made fun of not just in the real world, but in the media too. I love that Dear Evan Hansen not only normalizes Evan’s character, but makes him a complex and lovable one. People can relate to him without being ashamed of it. I also love that anyone that sees the show or listens to the cast recording can get something out of it. I listened to it with my mom and we had a genuine crying/hugging/bonding moment, which doesn’t happen too often. Also the music is beautiful and captures social anxiety so well. Everything about this musical is amazing!

  • Christine Poeske

    I love DEH as it takes a hard look at the after effects of suicide. It also takes a look into the complexity that mental illness such as depression and anxiety can bring within a family dynamic. I have never had a musical that I related to more than DEH. This musical hits on such a personal level and I will forever be grateful for all involved.

  • Anna Christie

    I love how Dear Evan Hansen shows us all that no one deserves to disappear and no one is as alone as they feel

  • danielle pasekoff

    I love how Dear Evan Hansen’s plot, music, and characters all have specific attributes that everyone can relate to in some way or another. The story unites everyone and shares the message that truly, no one is alone in their experiences. The performance is so inspiring and has moved me in so many ways since I discovered DEH.

  • 樹莉悦都

    Dear Evan Hansen is a true wonder. The music are marvellously written, pure gold to my ears and my soul. The lyrics just resonate into my heart in a truthful way. I feel connected to the songs, they speak to me, as if Pasek and Paul had written about my little existence.
    Then the character. At last, normal, average people, no super heroes or anything, as Evan that suffer from anxiety like I am. I cherish them so deeply.
    The show itself is a wonder. The decors, everything.
    And the community behind. I found a true home, a place with heartful and understanding, open-minded people. There is no barriers. Just love.
    Thank you Dear Evan Hansen for this. You changed my life.

  • Raymond Rapada

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because of its ability to appeal to such a wide audience and how people can identify with the characters in the smallest of ways.

  • Janelle

    What I love most about DEH is that for the first time in my many years of theater going, I actually saw myself on that stage. So many of the lyrics have been my inner monologue throughout my life. It is comforting to know that Evan is like me, and I will be found.

  • Bailey Moore

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because of its relatable characters paired with phenomenal music. I instantly connected with Evan, and this musical gives me hope when I’m struggling.

  • Kelly

    I haven’t seen Dear Evan Hansen yet, but I’ve listened to the cd on repeat since I got it. I can’t play Waving Through a Window or You Will Be Found when I’m driving, since I can’t see through my tears. The message of acceptance and self-acceptance throughout is overwhelming. I’m obsessed!

  • Natalia

    I love that it addresses a relatable topic, I think the songs are funny and when needed emotional and I can’t get tired of them!

  • Dana De Castro

    I love how real it is, how original it is, how it’s speaking on a topic that we as a society struggle to communicate about.

  • marissa

    I love the reality of dear evan hansen and how real the characters are. You can find parts of yourself in the characters and I love that the show displays their flaws instead of making them out to be perfect people.

  • Lance Wein

    To simply put it, everything.
    From the way all of the characters are completely different than how they show themselves to the world, to the way every song is built with such care.
    I grew up without a dad and a mother who was never home because of work. I grew up being alone, so I was always afraid of the public. When getting into school, I was called a freak by over 400 people. I tried to take my own life by falling off a tree a few years ago.
    But my story didn’t end there, like I thought. Unlike Evan, someone came to get me. I was saved, by the only person who didn’t see me as a freak. The only friend I’ve had for the past 9 years.
    Dear Evan Hansen just connected me to my own story that I’ve been trying so hard to forget. But now it doesn’t seem as horrible anymore, because the musical proved that there is always hope. There is always a little bit of light, and I decided to hold onto it.

  • Stacy Burns

    I love the fantastic acting by all, especially the amazing performance by Ben. I also feel for Evans mom, just trying so hard to connect and raise her son the best way she knows how. There’s no map, we’re all driving blind and hoping for the best!

  • Kristina Dwyer

    I love dear evan hansen. Because of the storyline,the book ,the costumes,the set designs,and most importantly the music

  • Grace r

    What I absolutelyabout Dear Evan Hansen is how much of an impact it has created with audiences. Especially with such a strong topic. Personally I’ve never seen the show, but what I keep seeing online from people who have gotten the opportunity to go once, twice or even more is just enough to show just how impactful this show can be. I always see how many people keep noticing certain things after seeing the show more than once or how it has changed their lives and want to go see it again. This musical, like any other musical, has created a community in which people can come together and not be afraid to be who they are. It helps people know that they really are not alone, that none of us are alone and that everyone matters. Not only is the cast amazing but so is the fandom, and that’s really what I love about this musical. I may never be able to actually go to New York and watch a performance, but what I hear from fan groups and even just random posts online really demonstrates what this show is about.

  • Siobhan

    It shows “weakness” is okay so little is portrayed with anxiety as it effects everyone differently and there are very little physical signs. The music is beautiful and speaks to so many young and older people making a community with four words. You are not alone.

  • Paul Aguirre

    The Music! The Acting!! the Direction!!! He shows a true triple threat

  • mary🌞

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because it made me feel like I’m not alone. I can relate to so many of the characters in so many ways and it means so much to me. The message is so inspirational and uplifting.

  • Kyra

    There are so many things to love about Dear Evan Hansen. So many. The music, the acting, the raw emotion are all phenomenal. But, what I loved most was how the audience got the opportunity to see Evan develop into a better, happier version of himself (despite that it was through some fabricated stories). It sends a great message to all who ever feel lonely, to be strong, and that it’s okay to be you.

    Bonus: Ben Platt. What a gem.

  • Allie 🌺

    I love Dear Evan Hansen because it carries such a strong message that “you are not alone” that there is someone there for you, someone who can help you. I also see myself a lot in the characters and can relate to them for many reasons. The show has helped me so much to feel more comfortable with myself and has brought me to know so many amazing people who I love with all of my heart
    It truly unifies us

  • StageSLP

    This is one of my favorite actors speaking on one of the shows that hit me closest to home. Wonderful to hear his perspective.

  • Megan Laydon

    I love everything about Dear Evan Hansen but what I like most is how much the show portrays what it’s like to be alone. To be so consumed by your anxiety you feel like you don’t have a voice and you’ll never make a sound. But light will always shine and someone will always be there for you even when it seems hopeless.

  • Diana H

    I love that the story is so relatable – all the emotions that on might feel, anger, betrayal, indifference, confusion, as we grow up in life. Everyone has felt these things to some degree xx and that’s why it’s so emotional for people seeing the show.

  • Diana Villarroel

    Something I love about the show is the ability to see yourself in these characters and feel like you aren’t alone. The emotion of words fail hits home with me very often and makes me feel like I belong