'Dear Evan Hansen' stars on why the show moves audiences

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The national tour of 'Dear Evan Hansen' - which won six Tony awards, including Best Musical - has been a sell out during its run at the Nederlander Theater.

Before they leave town, ABC7's Janet Davies sat down to chat with two of the show's stars about the impact is has on audiences.

All his life, Evan Hansen felt invisible. A tragedy changes that and he suddenly gets the attention he craves, but is trapped in a lie. The theme has resonated with audiences, and its star has found his own Evan connection.

"Evan tries to find the positive in other people's situations, he tries to spin other people's situations to feel more at ease in life, and I think I try to do that with my friends and family," said Ben Levi Ross, who plays Evan Hansen.

The production is visually savvy with social media imagery. It's an interactive experience with audiences who are known to do a lot of cry.

"It's great when we can hear an emotional response because we're having an emotional response most of the time, and that becomes a shared experience then," said Jessica Phillips, who plays Evan's mother.

And there is a new arm cast - an oh-so-important prop - each night.

"It takes about eight minutes now, we've pared it down," Ross said. "Our hair supervisor does the cast every night; saws it off with a tool with a real blade. An electric saw."

Tickets have been hot for this show, but if you didn't see it or want to see it again, don't worry - it will be back in Chicago in July 2020.
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