Tony Award-winning ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ cast announced for Segerstrom Center

The Tony Award-winning “DEAR EVAN HANSEN” and its producer Stacey Mindich is pleased to announce complete casting for the musical’s First National Tour, which comes to Segerstrom Center for the Arts January 1 -13, 2019.

Stage and TV star Jessica Phillips will play ‘Heidi Hansen’, Tony Award nominee Christiane Noll will play ‘Cynthia Murphy’, and Broadway veteran Aaron Lazarwill 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’completing the on-stage company. They join Ben Levi Ross in the title role.

The cast also includes Stephen Christopher Anthony (as the Evan alternate) along with understudiesCiara Alyse Harris, John Hemphill, Noah Kieserman, Jane Pfitsch, Coleen Sexton and Maria Wirries. Maggie McKenna is appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association. The Producersgratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

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 Grammy®, Tony® and Academy Award® winners Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman), and direction by 4-time Tony Award®nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal).

4-Ben-Levi-Ross-as-Evan-Hansen-and-Jessica-Phillips-as-Heidi-Hansen-in-the-First-North-American-Tour-of-Dear-Evan-Hansen-Photo-by-Matthew-Murphy-2018
Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Dear Evan Hansen – Ben Levi Ross as ‘Evan Hansen’ and Jessica Phillips as ‘Heidi Hansen’ in the First North American Tour of Dear Evan Hansen – Photo by Matthew Murphy, 2018

Declared “One of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history” by The Washington Post’s PeterMarks, 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.

In addition to winning six Tony Awards®, Dear Evan Hansen has won numerous other awards, including the 2017 Drama League Award for Outstanding Musical Production and for the off-Broadway production, two Obie Awards, a Drama Desk Award, and two Outer Critics Circle Awards and two Helen Hayes Awards. The show’s original cast recently won a Daytime Emmy Award for “Best Musical Performance on a Daytime Talk Show” for their April 2017 performance of “You Will Be Found” on NBC’s “Today Show,”only the second Broadway show in history to win that category. The Broadway production recently celebrated its two-year anniversary with a special donation to the Smithsonian, where the show’s iconicblue polo and arm cast will now be part of the permanent collection at the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.

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 #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.

A special edition coffee table book authored by Levenson, Pasek and Paul, Dear Evan Hansen: through the window (Grand Central Publishing / Melcher) is now available, offering an in-depth, all-access look at the musical, including never-before-seen production photos and cast portraits, behind-the-scenes stories, and a fully annotated script by the authors.

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

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 byAlex 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.

The touring production of Dear Evan Hansen is produced by Stacey Mindich. The co-producers are Mickey Liddell, Hunter Arnold, Caiola Productions, Double Gemini Productions, Fakston Productions, Roy Furman, Harris Karma Productions, On Your Marks Group, Darren Bagert, Roger & William Berlind, Bob Boyett, Colin Callender, Caitlin Clements, Freddy DeMann, Dante Di Loreto, Bonnie & Kenneth Feld, FickStern Productions, Eric & Marsi Gardiner, Robert Greenblatt, Jere Harris and Darren DeVerna, The John Gore Organization, Mike Kriak, David Mirvish, Eva Price, Zeilinger Productions, Adam Zotovich, Ambassador Theatre Group, Independent Presenters Network, and the Shubert Organization, in association with Arena Stage, Molly Smith and Edgar Dobie, and Second Stage Theatre, Carole Rothman, and Casey Reitz. Wendy Orshan and Jeffrey M. Wilson are Executive Producers.

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Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Dear Evan Hansen – Christiane Noll as ‘Cynthia Murphy’ and Jessica Phillips as ‘Heidi Hansen’ in the first North American Tour of Dear Evan Hansen – Photo by Matthew Murphy, 2018

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. Ben studied at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Hewould like to thank his team at Abrams Artists Agency, his mom, dad, and sister, and every teacher he’sever had. Hold on tightly, let go lightly.

Maggie McKenna (Zoe Murphy) made her professional theatre debut in 2017 as Muriel Heslop in theSydney 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) andgraduated in 2016. Maggie’s television work includes the ABC TV drama series “The Doctor BlakeMysteries” 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. Maggie McKenna is appearingwith the permission of Actors’ Equity Association. The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ EquityAssociation for its assistance of this production.

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’sUnknown 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 100thAnniversary Celebration of New Music at The Kennedy Centerhonoring, among others, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. In addition to stage and screen, Jessica’s voice canbe 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).

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 Cities, Impressionism, and The Last Ship; starred in the revivals of A Little Night Music and Les Misérables; 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 Bloods, The Good Wife, and Bull; and FOX’s The Following. In addition, Aaron has recurred on Disney’s Girl 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.

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 ElonUniversity 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. @jaredbgoldsmith

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 toMormon, 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.

Ciara Alyse Harris is OVERJOYED to be making her First National Tour Debut! Ciara is a recent graduate of the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM). She thanks HCKR, her family and friends for their never-ending love and support, and God for reminding her to believe in the impossible!

John Hemphill. Broadway: School of Rock, Mamma Mia!. National Tour: Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time. Mamma Mia!, Off Broadway Admissions (Lincoln Center). Film: David Fincher’s Zodiac.TV: “Billions,” “House of Cards”, “Mr. Robot,” “The Blacklist,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Castle.” Special thanksto the Dear Evan Hansen Family, Tara Rubin, and especially to my parents and my beautiful wife Jenn.

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 forthe Arts). An avid writer as well, Noah’s musical theater compositions have been workshopped in AnnArbor, DC, San Francisco, New York, Calgary, and Charlotte. He is also a proud recipient of the Actors’ Equity Association’s Alan Eisenberg Award.

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.

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: TheArtist 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

Where: Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA

When: January 1 – 13, 2019. Tuesday – Friday at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at 1:00 and 6:30 p.m.

The 2:00 p.m. performance on Saturday, January 12, 2019 will include audio description, open captioning and sign-language interpretation.

 

For more info: Visit scfta.org 

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