DEAR EVAN HANSEN Has a New Evan, and a New Balance

March 01, 2018

'Dear Evan Hansen' Has a New Evan, and a New Balance

By Jesse Green
March 1, 2018

Everything is the same. And everything is different.

And then again, everything is the same.

Yes, “Dear Evan Hansen,” which officially introduced Taylor Trensch as its new Evan on Thursday, is still a gut-punching, breathtaking knockout of a musical. But it is differently gut-punching and breathtaking now than it was during the year that Ben Platt led the cast.

Mr. Trensch — who recently finished a 10-month run as a zany Barnaby Tucker in “Hello, Dolly!” — is not playing his illustrious predecessor. (Noah Galvin took over the role during a two-month interregnum.) He has pruned Mr. Platt’s armamentarium of tics and twitches to just a few blinks, a stammer and some wringings of the right hand. He is more naturalistically and intermittently troubled than Mr. Platt was, more apprehensible as an actual 17-year-old.