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Casting Set for "Dear Evan Hansen" at the Ahmanson

TONY AWARD-WINNING MUSICAL “DEAR EVAN HANSEN”ANNOUNCES CASTING FOR FIRST NATIONAL TOUR

MAGGIE MCKENNA, JESSICA PHILLIPS, CHRISTIANE NOLL, MARRICK SMITH, AARON LAZAR, JARED GOLDSMITH AND PHOEBE KOYABE JOIN BEN LEVI ROSS

TOUR TO LAUNCH SEPTEMBER 2018 IN DENVER AND PLAY MORE THAN 50 U.S. CITIES

“Dear Evan Hansen” producer Stacey Mindich is pleased to announce complete casting for the Tony Award-winning musical’s First National Tour, beginning performances this September in Denver. 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), while Jared Goldsmith as Jared Kleinman and Phoebe Koyabe as Alana Beck complete the on-stage company. 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. Maggie McKenna is appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association. The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

“Dear Evan Hansen” will begin performances in September 2018 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (September 25 – October 13, 2018), followed by engagements in Los Angeles (October 17 – November 25, 2018) and San Francisco (December 5 – December 30, 2018). Tickets for these three cities go on sale tomorrow, June 8 (10:00 a.m. PT / 11:00 a.m. MT). For ticketing information, please go to www.dearevanhansen.com.

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

Denver, CO Denver Center for the Performing Arts 9/25/18-10/13/18 Los Angeles, CA Ahmanson Theatre 10/17/18-11/25/18 Tempe, AZ ASU Gammage 11/27/18-12/2/18 San Francisco, CA The Curran 12/5/18-12/30/18 Costa Mesa, CA Segerstrom Center 1/1/19-1/13/19 Las Vegas, NV The Smith Center 1/15/19-1/20/19 Seattle, WA Paramount Theatre 1/23/19-2/2/19 Des Moines, IA Des Moines Civic Center 2/5/19-2/10/19 Chicago, IL Oriental Theatre 2/12/19-3/10/19 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center 3/12/19-3/17/19 Charlotte, NC Belk Theatre 3/19/19-3/24/19 Blumenthal Performing Arts Ft. Lauderdale, FL Broward Center for the Arts 3/26/19-4/7/19 Tampa, FL Straz Center 4/9/19-4/14/19 Orlando, FL Dr. Phillips Center 4/16/19-4/21/19 Atlanta, GA The Fox Theatre 4/23/19-4/28/19 Cincinnati, OH Aronoff Center 4/30/19-5/12/19 Buffalo, NY Shea’s Performing Arts Center 5/14/19-5/19/19 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh Cultural Trust – Heinz Hall 5/21/19-5/26/19 Minneapolis, MN The Orpheum 5/28/19-6/9/19 Cleveland, OH Playhouse Square – Connor Palace 6/11/19-6/30/19 Greenville, SC Peace Center 7/2/19-7/7/19 Boston, MA Boston Opera House 7/10/19-8/4/19 Washington, D.C. The Kennedy Center 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.

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, 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 #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.
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. 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, 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.

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.

“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.

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.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Tickets for “Dear Evan Hansen” begin at $75 (ticket prices are subject to change). Subscriptions for the 2018 – 2019 Season at the Ahmanson Theatre, are available by phone at (213) 972-4400 and online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/Ahmanson.

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. Maggie McKenna is appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association. The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

Jessica Phillips (Heidi Hansen). 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.” She also starred in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Michael Friedman’s “Unknown Soldier” in 2015. On television, she has appeared as recurring guest star ADA Pippa Cox on “Law and Order: SVU” for the past four seasons. Other TV credits include "Royal Pains," "Bronx Warrants" (pilot), “Elementary” and “Unforgettable.” In addition to stage and screen, Jessica's voice can be heard as one half of the country duo, 10th & Carlisle.

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’s “American Songbook Series” – Frank Loesser. Guest soloist with over 100 symphony orchestras around the world. Opera with Plácido 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 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 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 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.” @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 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 theatre 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.

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, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Alley Theater, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Capital Repertory Theatre, Virginia Stage Company. Film/TV: “27 Dresses” and "Elementary." Member of Ensemble Studio Theatre. 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 National Tour), “Rent” National 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 theatre program at Penn State. She most recently was seen in the Broadway revival workshop of “Once on This Island.” Other theatre 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 theatre 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.

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June 7, 2018