‘Dear Evan Hansen’ shatters an L.A. theater’s box office record — and plans a return engagement

Ben Levi Ross as the title character and Jessica Phillips as his mom in "Dear Evan Hansen" at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.
Ben Levi Ross as the title character and Jessica Phillips as his mom in “Dear Evan Hansen” at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

“Dear Evan Hansen,” the musical whose national tour shattered ticket sales records during an Ahmanson Theatre run that ended Saturday, will return to L.A. as part of Center Theatre Group’s 2020-21 season.

The touring production of the six-time Tony Award winner opened in Los Angeles in October to a glowing review from Times theater critic Charles McNulty, who described the show as “one of the most evocative portraits of the inner turmoil of adolescence ever put on stage.” The L.A. opening, he wrote, was “glorious.”

The production became the first show in Ahmanson history with a weekly gross of more than $2 million, surpassing the previous record holder: “Les Miserables” in its 25th anniversary run in 2011. During the last week of “Dear Evan Hansen” in L.A., it earned more than $2.5 million.


Dates and ticket information for the L.A. return engagement have not been announced. In the meantime, fans who cannot wait do have options. The national tour, which began in Denver in October starring Ben Levi Ross, plays at the Curran in San Francisco from Dec. 5 to 30. Then it travels back south to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, where it will be staged from Jan. 1 to Jan. 13.

And there’s always Broadway. “Dear Evan Hansen” opened at the Music Box Theatre in December 2016 with Ben Platt originating the Tony-winning title role. With a book by Steven Levenson and music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the show delves into the tumultuous life of a socially awkward teenager who gets caught in a lie after a classmate’s suicide.

The show was a critical darling and an audience favorite, earning nine Tony nominations and winning six awards, including best musical and best score.





10:50 p.m. This article was updated with more historical details about the Ahmanson’s weekly box office record.

This article was originally published at 12:55 p.m.