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'Dear Evan Hansen' national tour will come to L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre in fall 2018

'Dear Evan Hansen' national tour will come to L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre in fall 2018
"Dear Evan Hansen," which won six Tonys including best musical, is launching a national tour that will reach L.A., Charlotte, Chicago and beyond. (Matthew Murphy)

"Dear Evan Hansen," the heart-wrenching Broadway hit that dominated this year's Tony Awards with six wins including best musical, will come to Los Angeles as part of Center Theatre Group's 2018-19 season, company Artistic Director Michael Ritchie and Broadway producer Stacey Mindich announced Thursday.

The tour, scheduled to arrive at CTG's Ahmanson Theatre in fall 2018, will start in Denver and stop in 50 other cities, including Buffalo, N.Y.; Charlotte, N.C., and Chicago.

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There is no word on whether Broadway's original Evan Hansen, Ben Platt, who took home a Tony for lead actor in a musical, will be part of the tour. Casting will be announced later.

"Dear Evan Hansen" staged its world premiere in 2015 at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., and opened at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway in December 2016. It immediately won rave reviews for its powerful performances, original music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and its daring subject matter, which explores the life of a teen suffering from social anxiety disorder while struggling with the suicide of a fellow student.

"It's a fresh take on a very current story, but what struck me about the work is that the young people putting this show together — the authors — showed a real understanding and skill as to how to make musical theater work," said Center Theatre Group Producing Director Douglas C. Baker of Pasek, Paul and book writer Steven Levenson, all of whom are in their early 30s. "The story starts and off you go."

Baker also praised the Broadway production's director, who will helm the touring show.

"Then, of course, there's the genius of Michael Greif, who attaches himself and helps develop these unique and creative works by younger people," Baker said. "Look at his track record: He was the original director of 'Rent' and 'Next to Normal,' both of which played the Ahmanson."

Baker first saw "Dear Evan Hansen" off-Broadway and immediately approached the producers and executive producers to ask how CTG could support its rise to a broader audience.

"We couldn't wait to get involved," he said.

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