"He's Got Real, Crippling Social Anxiety," Says Ben Platt On His Next Role By Dogfight Creators

News   "He's Got Real, Crippling Social Anxiety," Says Ben Platt On His Next Role By Dogfight Creators
 
Ben Platt, who wrapped up his year-long run in Broadway's Book of Mormon earlier this year, will headline the world premiere of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's newest project, Dear Evan Hansen. Here's what he told us.

"It's an incredibly beautiful show," Platt shared with Playbill.com at this year's Miscast gala. "And, it's just so new and accessible in a way that a lot of modern musicals I don't think are for a wider range. Of course, the young people are going to love it, but I think there is something for everyone because it's really about parents and children."

The new project by the Dogfight songwriters and book writer Steven Levenson, which will premiere this summer at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., centers around a miscast of sorts: high schooler Evan Hansen.

Ben Platt
Ben Platt Photo by Monica Simoes

What could Platt tell us about Evan? "He's got real, crippling social anxiety," he said. "He's definitely a misfit in ways — not so much a nerd as [The Book of Mormon's Elder] Cunningham or Benji [from 'Pitch Perfect'], but more of a misunderstood kid. He's in high school, and it's sort of about him finding the line between where honesty is always the best policy or if you can forgo that if it's going to help you belong and help people to feel comfortable. It's very cool."

Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal) will direct the musical that runs July 10-Aug. 23 — following the May 15 premiere of "Pitch Perfect 2," in which Platt revisits the character of Benji Applebaum.

Listen to him sing "Waving Through a Window" from the musical:

Danny Mefford choreographs Dear Evan Hansen, with musical direction by Alex Lacamoire.

Broadway producer Stacey Mindich is attached to the musical, which is simply described as "a contemporary, intimate story of hope, heartache and the things in life we all need — friends, family and a place to call home."

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