‘Dear Evan Hansen’ headlines Broadway in Fresno’s upcoming 2023 season

‘Dear Evan Hansen,” the critical and box-office musical hit about a troubled high-schooler who gets swept up in a wave of social-media fame, will play Jan. 10-15 at Fresno’s Saroyan Theatre as part of the Broadway in Fresno series.

The show opened on Broadway in 2016 and won six Tony awards, including best musical. It’s played in New York ever since (except for the Covid shutdown) and will close on Sept. 18. The Fresno engagement is part of a 60-city Equity tour.

The remainder of the Broadway in Fresno series:

“Hairspray,” March 21-22, 2023.

• “Fiddler on the Roof,” May 16-17, 2023.

“Les Misérables,” July 25-30, 2023.



(Updated 11 a.m. June 21)

So, um, I was going to make a joke, something along the lines that your grandma’s collection of Playbills called and wants its old favorites back. But, hey, if nabbing “Dear Evan Hansen” also means welcoming the other three older titles, I guess that life can be about tradeoffs. I don’t have anything against “Hairspray,” “Fiddler” or “Les Miz,” but they’ve played many times in Fresno, both at the professional and community/school level. I also realize there is a younger generation of theatergoers that hasn’t seen the spectacle of a live, professional “Les Miserables,” say, and it makes me happy that the touring version we’ll get is an Equity production (which usually means more experienced cast, bigger budget for sets and costumes, etc.). It appears that “Hairspray” and “Fiddler” are non-Equity companies.

As for “Evan Hansen,” it was a remarkable show when I saw it in New York it in 2016, smoothly fitting into the zeitgeist of these Wild West Internet times, and though its technical wow factor has probably diminished in the last five years — I think our over-Zoomed brains have been reprogrammed to resist any digital presentation that includes multiple faces on a screen — the emotional punch of the show likely remains.

What are your thoughts? I know most people will be jazzed to see “Dear Evan Hansen,” especially if they didn’t catch it in New York or San Francisco/Los Angeles. What about the others?

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Comments (8)

  • Mary

    My sentiments echo yours exactly. Evan Hansen on Broadway was nothing short of spectacular. Hairspray (hohum). I do love Les Miz.

  • Liz

    NGL, I’m more excited about Hairspray and Les Miserables. 💗

  • Oscar Speace

    Janice and I saw Evan Hansen the movie version on British TV when we were in London last month. I’m sure it was an excellent adaptation.

  • Nancy

    Going to be interesting as it follows a couple of blockbuster seasons, with a COVID intermission.

  • Emily A

    Yet again I’m ahead of the game by seeing Dear Evan Hansen in NYC the summer before it comes to Fresno. (Happened for me with Lion King and Waitress too).
    Ah well!

  • Archie L

    I’m probably the only person that didn’t like Evan Hansen but for Les Mis, I would see it over and over again.

  • James Ward

    I will be interested to see “Hansen” on stage after seeing the semi-car crash film adaptation. Both “Fiddler” and “Les Miz” are favorites that I haven’t seen on stage for many years, so I’m looking forward to both. “Hairspray” is a fun show, but I’ve seen it so many times locally, professionally and on film, I don’t need to see it again.

    The question I have for you Donald, oh wise one of all things Broadway, what touting productions would you rather have seen?

    • James

      My picks “Come From Away,” “1776” and “The Band’s Visit.” I’m assuming “Hadestown” and “Six” weren’t available for smaller markets yet.


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