“Dear Evan Hansen lodges in your head long after you’ve seen it or heard it or read it. It feels like a pure expression from young writers at a crossroad of coming to terms with who they are and what they want to say about the world. Its honesty and truths haunt and ultimately open us up to ask the same question, no matter what our age or crossroad: What are the lies we tell ourselves?” –James Lapine (from the Foreword)
A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed could be his. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to belong. Deeply personal and profoundly universal, Dear Evan Hansen is a groundbreaking American musical about truth, fiction, and the price we’re willing to pay for the possibility to connect.
*This publication includes the book and lyrics to the musical, as well as a foreword by James Lapine. Please note that it does not include the musical score.*
Steven Levenson is the book writer for Dear Evan Hansen. His plays include If I Forget, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin, Core Values, The Language of Trees, and Seven Minutes in Heaven. A graduate of Brown University, he served for three seasons as a writer and producer on Showtime’s Master of Sex.
Benj Pasek & Justin Paul are the song-writing team behind Dear Evan Hansen. Previous musicals include A Christmas Story: The Musical, Dogfight, James and the Giant Peach, and Edges. Their film projects include La La Land (for which they won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “City of Stars,” with composer Justin Hurwitz), Trolls, Snow White, and The Greatest Showman. Their television credits include The Flash, Smash, and Johnny and the Sprites. Both are graduates of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Program and members of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.
“Rock is alive and rolling like thunder in Next to Normal. It’s the best musical of the season by a mile...an emotional powerhouse with a fire in its soul and a wicked wit that burns just as fiercely.”—Rolling Stone
“No show on Broadway right now makes as a direct grab for the heart—or wrings it as thoroughly—as Next to Normal does. . . . [It] focuses squarely on the pain that cripples the members of a suburban family, and never for a minute does it let you escape the anguish at the core of their lives. Next to Normal does not, in other words, qualify as your standard feel-good musical. Instead this portrait of a manic-depressive mother and the people she loves and damages is something much more: a feel-everything musical, which asks you, with operatic force, to discover the liberation in knowing where it hurts.”—Ben Brantley, The New York Times
Winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, Next to Normal is also available in an original cast recording. It was named Best Musical of the Season by Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times.
Brian Yorkey received the 2009 Tony Award for Best Original Score for his work on Next to Normal and was also nominated for Best Book of a Musical. His other credits include Making Tracks and Time After Time.
Tom Kitt received two 2009 Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations for Next to Normal. He also composed the music for High Fidelity and From Up Here. His string arrangements appear on the new Green Day album 21st Century Breakdown, and he is the leader of the Tom Kitt Band.
“Guettel’s music and lyrics take nothing from the razzle-dazzle bargain basement of feeling; they represent, instead, a genuine expense of spirit. . . . The Light in the Piazza doesn’t want to make theatre-goers feel good; it wants to make them feel deeply.”—The New Yorker
“With Adam Guettel’s gorgeous melodies, a compelling narrative hook from Craig Lucas, and moving themes about happiness and risk, there’s no question that The Light in the Piazza is Broadway worthy.”—Daily Variety
Composer Adam Guettel, best known for his Floyd Collins, has teamed with Prelude to a Kiss playwright Craig Lucas to create a passionate and soaring new musical based on Elizabeth Spencer’s 1960 novella, which was first published as an entire issue of The New Yorker. It is the story of an American ingénue abroad, whose chance meeting of a charming young Italian in a Florentine piazza sets off a whirlwind romance—with an unsettling revelation. The Light in the Piazza opens on Broadway at the Lincoln Center Theater this spring after major productions already in Seattle and Chicago.
Adam Guettel wrote music and lyrics for Floyd Collins, produced across the country and in London. His other works include Love’s Fire, a collaboration with John Guare, and Saturn Returns, a concert at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival that was recorded by Nonesuch Records under the title Myths and Hymns.
Craig Lucas won this year’s Obie Award for Best American Play for Small Tragedy and the New York Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay for The Secret Lives of Dentists. His other plays include Reckless, Blue Window, Prelude to a Kiss, God’s Heart, The Dying Gaul, Missing Persons, Stranger, and Singing Forest.