Producers have announced changes to the current cast of Dear Evan Hansen as well as the new cast for Once On This Island for the upcoming touring season.
Dear Evan Hansen
Producer Stacey Mindich announced several casting changes for the Broadway and North American touring productions of the Tony Award-winning musical, Dear Evan Hansen. Stars of the First National Tour, including stage and screen favorite Jessica Phillips (‘Heidi Hansen’), Tony Award-nominee Christiane Noll (‘Cynthia Murphy’), Jared Goldsmith (‘Jared Kleinman’) and Phoebe Koyabe (‘Alana Beck’) will reprise their critically acclaimed roles on Broadway this fall; Toronto company members Jessica Sherman (‘Heidi Hansen’), Claire Rankin (‘Cynthia Murphy’), Stephanie La Rochelle (‘Zoe Murphy’) and Alessandro Costantini (‘Jared Kleinman’) will hit the road for the second year of Dear Evan Hansen’s recording-breaking North American Tour.
“Dear Evan Hansen is so fortunate to attract some of the best talent on Broadway and beyond for each of our productions,” Mindich said. “We are grateful to feature some stunning Broadway debuts, as well as revered theater actors in these authentic portrayals of very complex characters. I’m thrilled we’re able to maintain the excellence of this show as we continue our third year on Broadway and head into our second year on a national tour.”
As previously announced, Ivan Hernandez and Ann Sanders assumed the roles of Larry and Cynthia Murphy on Broadway beginning August 6. Noll (taking over from Sanders), Goldsmith and Koyabe will join the Broadway company on October 22, the latter two making their Broadway debuts at the Music Box Theater; Jessica Phillips will join the Broadway company on November 26, 2019, succeeding Lisa Brescia in the role of Heidi Hansen. Jane Pfitsch also joins the Broadway company from the tour as a Heidi/Cynthia understudy, beginning November 5.
In addition to Sherman, Rankin, La Rochelle and Costantini, the full cast for the second year of the Dear Evan Hansen national tour includes Stephen Christopher Anthony as Evan (who begins September 17), Noah Kieserman as Connor, John Hemphill as Larry, Ciara Alyse Harris as Alana (through November 3) and Samantha Williams as Alana (beginning Nov 5), Sam Primack as the Evan Alternate, and understudies David Jeffery, Matthew Kemp, Asher Muldoon, Coleen Sexton, Daniel Robert Sullivan, Kelsey Venter and Maria Wirries. The new company begins performances in Milwaukee on September 24. See the current tour route for the 2019/2020 season here.
Once On This Island
Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold and NETworks Presentations announced today the North American tour and casting of the Tony Award®–winning revival of Once On This Island. The tour will launch at The Carson Center for Performing Arts in Paducah, KY on October 12, 2019, followed by its official opening in Nashville, TN at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) on October 15, 2019. See the current tour route here.
Cast members from the 2017 Broadway revival of Once On This Island will lead the touring company, including “American Idol” Alum Tamyra Gray as Papa Ge, Cassondra James as Erzulie, Tony Nominee Phillip Boykin as Tonton Julian, Courtnee Carter as Ti Moune and Tyler Hardwick as Daniel Beauxhomme. Completing the gods of the island are Jahmaul Bakare as Agwe and Kyle Ramar Freeman as Asaka.
Casting also includes Briana Brooks as Andrea, George L. Brown as Armand and Danielle Lee Greaves as Mama Euralie, along with Mckynleigh Alden Abraham, Michael Ivan Carrier, Jay Donnell, Phyre Hawkins, Savannah Jackson-Page, Alex Joseph Grayson, Tatiana Lofton and Robert Zelaya. Additional casting to be announced at a later date.
“This company of Once On This Island is truly an embarrassment of riches for me as a director. I cannot wait for audiences across the country to witness this group of incredible actors transport them to our island,” says Tony Award Nominated director Michael Arden.
Producers have also announced that seating for Once On This Island will be available on stage. Inspired by the revival’s immersive set design on Broadway, this touring production will feature a unique set, welcoming audiences to be a part of the storytelling and magic of the show with the opportunity to sit onstage.
“At each performance, there will be onstage seating, creating a unique experience within the footprint of every theater we play,” says Arden. “Audiences will be invited to put their feet in the sand and surround our company, becoming part of the show. It’s our goal to give all audiences a unique perspective of the communal nature of what theater can be in hopes that Once On This Island‘s story of love, hope and forgiveness might inspire young minds and hearts all across the United States to lead their lives with compassion and empathy.”
Winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, Once On This Island is the sweeping, universal tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world, and ready to risk it all for love. Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.The groundbreaking vision of two-time Tony Award nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live) conjures up “a place where magic is possible and beauty is apparent for all to see!” (The Huffington Post). With a score that bursts with life from Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the Tony Award-winning songwriters of Anastasia and Ragtime, Once On This Island is a timeless testament to theater’s unlimited possibilities.