A Resounding Mais Oui! for the Beloved Les Miserables at The Kennedy Center

A Resounding Mais Oui! for the Beloved Les Miserables at The Kennedy Center

Les Miserables
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Jordan Wright
April 16, 2022
Special to The Zebra

Nick Cartell as Jean Valjean (Photo/Matthew Murphy & Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)

The year was 1985 when Les Miserables hit London’s West End. It wowed critics then – Patti Lupone won the Laurence Olivier Award (Britain’s equivalent of an Oscar) for “Best Actress in a Musical” in her role as Fantine – and the musical was further nominated for two awards for “Best Actor in a Musical” (Colm Armstrong for Jean Valjean and Alun Armstrong for Thénardier). Through all its reincarnations, the operatic sing-through, based on the novel by Victor Hugo and backdropped by the French Revolution, still fills theaters around the world.

The spirit of this musical is as relevant as if Hugo had just set pen to paper. Let’s reflect on Louis XVI’s Ancien Régime’s agenda, shall we? Alienate the lower classes through starvation, then ignore science and reason. Keep monarchical rule in place amid mass resistance and cut taxes on the privileged nobles thus keeping the peasants and rising middle class at bay. Hmmm. Sound familiar? Didn’t work out so well for old Louis who was guillotined for his Draconian policies. Ah, well, he did help us out financially during the American Revolution.

“One Day More” from (Photo/Matthew Murphy & Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)

At its very soul is the heartbreaking love story of the abandoned prostitute Fantine (Haley Dortch) and the reformed thief Valjean (Nick Cartell) and Valjean’s death bed promise to adopt Fantine’s daughter Cosette (Cora Jane Messer as Cosette as a child and Addie Morales as Cosette all grown up). The story fans out with the heartwarming love story of the innocent Cosette and the idealistic Marius (Gregory Lee Rodriguez) with the tragic Éponine (Christine Heesun Hwang) and her unrequited love for her compatriot Marius. Set amid the glory and desperation of a revolution led by Enjolras (Devin Archer) that arose from social and economic inequality, there hasn’t been a story with as much 18th century history, nor as much inspirational music, till Hamilton arrived on the scene. And you know how that’s turned out.

Bawdier, rougher and lustier than I remember when I last saw it six years ago, this national touring company staging with its three-story sets has the fiery intensity of both the battle and escape scenes greatly realized with projections by Finn Ross and Fifty-Nine Productions who have drawn inspiration from the apocryphal paintings of Victor Hugo. And as grim as the story may be, the drama of Valjean’s misery is lightened up decidedly by the characters of Madame Thénardier (Christina Rose Hall) and her husband Thénardier (Matt Crowle) a hilariously dastardly duo who are the innkeepers of the iniquitous Au Sergent de Waterloo in Montfermeil where Cosette is raised in the cruelest of indentured servitude. Yet always chasing his past, Valjean repeatedly comes up against Javert (Preston Truman Boyd) who is determined to arrest him for his past crimes.

“Fall of Rain” – Christine Heesun Hwang as Éponine and Gregory Lee Rodriguez as Marius (Photo/Matthew Murphy & Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)

Whether you’ve seen it once or a dozen times, as I suspect many in the enthusiastic opening night audience had, Co-directors Laurence Connor and James Powell give us an awe-inducing production so magnificently staged, so brilliantly performed and so powerfully sung. Kudos too, for the evocative golden-hued scenes by Lighting Designer Paule Constable who conjures up street scenes reminiscent of Dutch artist Petrus van Schendel’s firelit paintings. Edge-of-your-seat new orchestrations by Christopher JahnkeStephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker are gloriously conducted by Music Director Jay Crowder’s Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra along with the show’s Traveling Orchestra led by Brian Eads.

On the night I saw it the magnificent voice of Nick Cartell received a well-deserved standing ovation and rousing cheers for his performance of Jean Valjean. I clung on his every note. Let me die right here! On his solos “Who Am I” and “Bring Him Home” wanting to run up to the stage and thank him personally. Also Gregory Lee Rodriguez’s tremendous solo “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables” which is a powerful ballad about survivor’s guilt. In an eyebrow-raising surprise, the audience stayed through all the bows and not one person fled before the lights went up. A rare sight in today’s theaters.

Absolutely brilliant in every way. Highly recommended!!!

“Red and Black” – Devin Archer as Enjolras and company

Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer; Original French Text by Alain Boubil and Jean-Marc Natel; Costumes by Andreane Neofitou.

Through April 29th at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20566. For tickets and information call the box office at 202 467-4600 or visit www.Kennedy-Center.org.

Blue is a Must See All Black Cast Opera at the Kennedy Center

Blue is a Must See All Black Cast Opera at the Kennedy Center

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Jordan Wright
March 15, 2023
Special to The Zebra

Left to right: tenor Jonathan Pierce Rhodes (Police Officer Buddy 2/Male Congregant 2); bass-baritone Christian Simmons (Police Officer Buddy 3/Male Congregant 3); bass Kenneth Kellogg (The Father); Tenor Camron Gray (Police Officer Buddy 1/Male Congregant 1) (Photo/Scott Suchman)

On the nightly news a camera pans in for a tight closeup of a Black mother surrounded by her family and her community. She is grieving the loss of her son at the hands of the police. In this contemporary opera Blue takes us on a journey from the cradle to the grave.

Three years to the day the Washington National Opera’s Blue was scheduled to debut at the Kennedy Center. On March 13th 2020 everything shut down, the building went silent and the only sounds heard in the storied theater complex were the security guards roaming the vast structure. This March 13th marked the opera’s premiere and what a triumphant moment it was – a historic night for Librettist, Tazewell Thompson, he as director of a host of operas, and Composer Jeanine Tesori, she of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals Shrek The Musical, Fun Home, and Caroline, or Change. Blue features an all-Black cast including Black conductors, Joseph Young and Jonathan Taylor Rush.

– Bass Kenneth Kellogg (left) plays The Father; mezzo-soprano Briana Hunter (right) plays The Mother (Photo/Scott Suchman)

To say Blue is the most exquisitely honed modern opera I have ever seen, is an understatement. It is modern Shakespearean tragedy at its finest with a story as relevant and relatable as if it popped out of today’s headlines. Thompson’s words express pure poetry in the urgent reality of a family whose personal experiences seesaw between both sides of the most polarizing issues of our day – the continuing shroud of racism and the demand for Black justice.

Blue, as in men in blue, signifies the color of a policeman’s uniform and The Father (Kenneth Kellogg) in this story is a cop working the beat as a rookie in New York’s Harlem neighborhood. His wife, The Mother (Briana Hunter), is a local restaurant owner. The couple joyfully awaits the birth of their baby. While pregnant The Mother’s three close friends warn her, “We talked, argued and debated. Thou shalt not bring forth no Black boys into this world.” Each woman knows the dangers that lie ahead for Black boys. Conversely, The Father’s friends express their envy that he’s having a son and ask how he feels. “I feel like the first man on the moon,” he replies. Later we hear him voicing the words of “the talk” every Black parent gives to their sons.

Bass Kenneth Kellogg (left) plays The Father; tenor Aaron Crouch (right) plays The Son (Photo/Scott Suchman)

There are tender and even funny moments of The Father learning to hold his baby and of the relationship between The Mother and her stalwart trio of “sistahs”. We see his parents believing the future immeasurable for their child and later meet The Son (Aaron Crouch) as a teenager rebellious and disdainful of his father’s profession. On the surface it appears to be the eternal generational conflict, but to the son, his life has so much more meaning when he becomes an activist – protesting injustice in the Black community and the brutality of law enforcement. There are harsh words between his policeman father and son and the music swells to reflect the tension.

Left to right: soprano Katerina Burton (Girlfriend 2/Congregant 2); mezzo-soprano Briana Hunter (The Mother); soprano Ariana Wehr (Girlfriend 1/Congregant 1/Nurse); mezzo-soprano Rehanna Thelwell (Girlfriend 3/Congregant 3) (Photo/Scott Suchman)

Blue is not only a showcase for African American talent but features several impressive singers who are either alumni or current members of the Cafritz Young Artist Program. Outstanding and indelible is Aaron Crouch, whose performance was brilliant. I plan to follow him on social media and go to the ends of the earth to witness his next performance.

Blue expresses an aching poignancy in every note and line – one that sent my heart fairly leaping out of my chest in concert with the emotion of the music. Many in the audience were moved to tears at the beauty of the words and music blending mellifluously. I promise you there is a hopeful ending, one you will long for and hold fast.

Highly recommended whether you are an opera aficionado or never cared a fig for opera.

Bass Kenneth Kellogg (back) plays The Father; mezzo-soprano Briana Hunter (front) plays The Mother (Photo/Scott Suchman)

Additional Cast Members – Joshua Conyers as The Reverend; Ariana Wehr as Girlfriend/Congregant/Nurse; Katerina Burton as Girlfriend/Congregant; Rehanna Thelwell as Girlfriend/Congregant; Camron Gray as Policeman/Male Congregant; Christian Simmons as Policeman/Male Congregant.

Costume Designer Jessica Jahn; Set Designer Donald Eastman; Sound Designers Kai Harada and Haley Parcher; Lighting Designer Robert Wierzel.

With the Washington National Opera Orchestra.

Performance dates – March 11th, 13th, 19th, 22nd, and 25th.  In the Eisenhower Theatre at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC. For tickets and information visit www.Kennedy-Center.org or call the box office at 202 467-4600.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard Glows with Hollywood Glamour Starring Broadway Royalty Stephanie J. Block

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard Glows with Hollywood Glamour Starring Broadway Royalty Stephanie J. Block

Sunset Boulevard
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Jordan Wright
February 4, 2023
Special to The Zebra

Derek Klena and Company (Photo/Jeremy Daniel)

The Kennedy Center’s Broadway Center Stage productions differ from a Broadway production in that the orchestra here is smack dab on stage with the performers who are major Broadway luminaries. These performances rely neither on complex set designs nor a wealth of props (although creamy white velvet fainting couches feature prominently here) but on the talents of the performers, the plot, the music, the powerful strains of the full Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, and the thrill of these hot-ticket shows. That said, this short run features no less a luminary than Stephanie J. Block in the lead role of the glamourous Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s multi-Tony winning Sunset Boulevard. Ms. Block is so beloved a performer that a standing ovation with accompanying hoots and whistles follows her every number.

If you’re unfamiliar with the plot it’s set in Hollywood in the 1940’s and based on Billy Wilder’s 1950 film noir classic starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden. Here a backdrop of black & white movie stills and old clips sets the mood of the period and a pair of grand staircases leading up to the rafters fill opposite sides of the stage.

Stephanie J Block and Company

The big draw is Stephanie Block who won her most recent Tony Award for her role in The Cher Show for “Best Leading Actress in a Musical”. Block has garnered innumerable awards and the playbill features a bio as long as my arm. Audiences show their adoration with standing O’s after each number she belts out with her powerful voice and commanding stage presence. Block could sing the phone book, if we still had them, and fans would rush to witness it. Here she is bracketed by other leading B’way stars and the whole equals the sum of its supporting actors’ parts. What you can expect to hear is stunning voices with a notable Webber score.

Sunset Boulevard is a sordid story of ageism, sexism and raw power in Hollywood – former leading ladies are put out to pasture; young, movie star-handsome, aspiring actors who long to hang out with the Hollywood elite to further their careers and fill their pockets; and the cruelty of studio heads wielding excessive power over their stable of impressionable actors. Is it relevant? You betcha. Refer to the recent Harvey Weinstein incident and the #MeToo movement for background.

Auli’i Cravalho and Derek Klena (Photo/Jeremy Daniel)

Norma is kept in the dark by her butler, Max Von Mayerling (Nathan Gunn) who fake-writes her fan mail and encourages her desire to play Salome in a script she has written and that her boytoy, Joe Gillis (Derek Klena), is revising while being held hostage in her Beverly Hills mansion. Joe plays her game, reluctantly at first, “I’m touched by her folly.”, later fulfilling her every desire while enjoying the perks of the luxe life. His alternate love story is his business relationship with Betty Schaefer (Aul‘i Cravalho), a wannabe screenwriter who eventually becomes his main squeeze. Just so you know, if you didn’t already, there is a happy ending.

Also starring Paul Schoeffler as Cecil B. DeMille; Michael Maliakel as Artie Green; Kevin Pariseau as Sheldrake; Tyley Ross as Manfred; and Lance Roberts as Sammy. A fifteen-person ensemble gifts us with even more dancing and singing.

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; Book and Lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton; Directed by Jeffrey Finn; Scenic and Production Design by Paul Tate dePoo III, Costume Design by Alejo Vietti; Lighting Design by Cory Pattak; Music Direction by Ben Cohn; Choreography by Emily Maltby.

Derek Klena and Michael Maliakel

Through February 8th at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC. For tickets and information call the box office at 202 467-4600 or visit www.Kennedy-Center.org.

For Block fans: Block will be starring in Kennedy Center’s upcoming Into the Woods. The show runs from February 23rd through the 28th. Check the website for dates and times.

At KenCen the Tony Award-Winning “A Soldier’s Play” Stars Broadway Greats Norm Lewis and Eugene Lee

At KenCen the Tony Award-Winning “A Soldier’s Play” Stars Broadway Greats Norm Lewis and Eugene Lee

A Soldier’s Play
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Jordan Wright
December 17, 2023
Special to The Zebra

Norm Lewis as ‘Captain Richard Davenport’ (Photo/ Joan Marcus)

Originally premiering in 1981 and winning a Tony Award for Best Revival in 2020, Charles Fuller’s A Soldier’s Play is as powerful and insightful today as it ever was. Set on a fictional Army base in Louisiana amid the Jim Crow era of 1944 it reflects a time when Negro soldiers were training on U. S. bases before being shipped overseas. Called up to fight the Nazis, the men were insulted, brutally attacked and often murdered by Klansmen and White Supremacists when they returned to their hometowns. In many instances the racism began on base sometimes meted out by Black commanders. In this story the men are living and training on a Southern Army base that had never seen a high-ranking Black officer – that is until Captain (and lawyer) Richard Davenport (Norm Lewis) arrives on base to investigate the murder of Sergeant Vernon C. Waters (Eugene Lee) and a power struggle ensues between Davenport and Captain Charles Taylor (William Connell), the White base commander.

The mystery of a suspicious death on the racially segregated Fort Neal base opens with the men singing in the monotonal work chants of early prison chain gangs and drumming against the wooden floorboards. It’s as haunting as it is mournful with shades of things to come.

The Company of the National Tour of A Soldier’s Play. (Photo/ Joan Marcus)

Sergeant Waters is a reverse racist – angry at the military for refusing to respect him and degrading to his “Colored” troops for not trying hard enough to elevate themselves in society – he demeans his young recruits with racist insults then flatters them to ingratiate himself. Deep inside he is tormented by his own fear and self-loathing. One of his men, Private C. J. Memphis, is a sensitive young man given to playing the Blues on his guitar. Waters tells him, “You bring us down, boy.” And when C.J. hangs himself after being falsely accused of murder by Waters (who scapegoats him), Waters announces, “One less fool for the race to be ashamed of.”

Norm Lewis is of course the main draw. His name features prominently on the cover of the Playbill. So commanding is his presence and stature that the audience simultaneously gasped and burst into applause as he made his entrance on opening night. Lewis is well bracketed by another veteran actor and award-winning playwright, Eugene Lee, whose portrayal of Sgt. Waters is indelible. And, as so often happens when veteran Broadway actors rule the stage, the rest of the cast rises up brilliantly alongside them.

(From L) Sheldon D. Brown, Branden Davon Lindsay, Will Adams (Photo/ Joan Marcus)

It’s a snapshot of the worst of America and the best of men who strive for justice regardless of the outcome. And though it’s painful and visceral to witness, we need to revisit our history in order to not repeat it. In some places throughout the country, race relations haven’t changed much since the play received numerous accolades over forty years ago. A Soldier’s Play teaches us the importance of “seeing” each other and continuing the conversation to seek the truth.

Highly recommended.

Co-starring Will Adams as Corporal Bernard Cobb; Tarik Lowe as Private First Class Melvin Peterson; Alex Michael Givens as Corporal Ellis; Branden Davon Lindsay as Private Louis Henson; Howard Overshown as Private James Wilkie; Malik Esoj Childs as Private Tony Smalls; Sheldon D. Brown as Private C. J. Memphis; Chattan Mayes Johnson as Lieutenant Byrd; and Matthew Goodrich as Captain Wilcox.

Directed by Kenny Leon; Set Design by Derek McLane; Costume Design by Dede Ayite; Lighting Design by Allen Lee Hughes; Sound Design by Dan Moses Schreier.

Through January 8, 2023 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 2700 F Street, NW, Washington DC. For tickets and information call the box office at 202 467-4600 or visit www.Kennedy-Center.org.

Flashy and Fabulous Guys and Dolls Blows the Roof Off at the Kennedy Center

Flashy And Fabulous Guys and Dolls Blows the Roof Off at The Kennedy Center

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Jordan Wright
October 18, 2022
Special to The Zebra

Steven Pasquale and Company (Photo/Jeremy Daniel)

A short run of this classic has left town already, but there’s a lingering thrill that can still be felt. The buzz had started as soon as the full cast had been announced – Kevin Chamberlain as Nicely-Nicely Johnson, Jessie Mueller as Miss Adelaide, James Monroe Iglehart as Nathan Detroit, Phillipa Soo as Sarah Brown, Steven Pasquale as Sky Masterson, Allison Blackwell as Agatha, and Rachel Dratch of SNL fame as Big Jule. Broadway royalty such as we rarely see in a traveling production would be starring and the tickets were as scarce as hen’s teeth. From the get-go, major out-of-town papers were clamoring for seats and the thought that this would be the caliber of shows presented by Kennedy Center’s “Broadway Center Stage” series sent theatregoers into overdrive.

From racetrack handicappers in zoot suits to gangstas in loud plaids, pinstripes and spats, the colorful characters of Frank Loesser and Abe Burrows 1950 musical Guys and Dolls invite us into the underworld of horse racing, hoochie-coochie joints and floating crap games. And the funny thing is, we want in. Why? Because their bigger-than-life caricatures and pratfall personalities are hilarious. Hanging out with these street corner gamblers and their flashy dolls is flat-out fun.

Jessie Mueller and Phillipa Soo (Photo/Jeremy Daniel)

Back in the day the Salvation Army and its memorable band would march along Times Square seeking converts to attend their religious meetings. The Save-a-Soul Mission, led by the beautiful Sarah Brown and her avuncular grandfather form the spiritual grounding and counterpoint to the fast life of the lowlifes while the romance between Sky and Sarah provides the counterbalance to Adelaide’s show-stopping performances at the racy Hot Box cabaret.

On a stage set backdropped by rotating scenes of a neon-lit Broadway with tracer lights ablaze on both sides of the stage and two large onstage “dice” showcasing the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra on the big stage, this marvelous show captures New York’s underworld in exhilarating style. The Kennedy Center even managed to obtain and use the 1992 orchestrations from the show’s Broadway revival – an extraordinary coup and no mean feat.

Matthew Saldivar, Kevin Chamberlin, and Akron Watson (Photo/Jeremy Daniel)

Loesser wrote lyrics as catchy as “the sheep’s eye and licorice tooth” to paint a vivid picture of gritty writer Damon Runyon’s reflections on the 1950’s. Punctuating the show’s colorful characters are a bevy of male and female dancers who elicited gasps and spontaneous applause from the audience while performing flawless leaps and flips as though attached by wires. They weren’t.

Lady Luck showed up in the Eisenhower Theater that night and we witnessed Washington theatre history.

Jessie Mueller and the Hot Box Girls (Photo/Jeremy Daniel)

With Jacqueline Antaramian as General Cartwright, Fred Applegate as Arvide Abernathy, Eden Marryshow as Lt. Brannigan, Matthew Saldivar as Benny Southstreet, Jimmy Smagula as Harry the Horse, and Akron Watson as Rusty Charlie/Hot Box MC.

Directed by the great Marc Bruni; choreographed spectacularly by Denis Jones; Scenic and Projection Design by Paul Tate Depoo III; Music Director Kevin Stites; Book by Jo Swerling; Costume Design by Mara Blumenfeld; Lighting Design by Cory Pattak; Sound Design by Kai Harad.

Next up on Kennedy Center’s Broadway Center Stage will be Wicked opening December 8th and going through January 22, 2023. I wouldn’t miss it if I were you. For tickets and information visit www.Kennedy-Center.org or call the box office at 202 416-8000.

Dear Evan Hansen – A Glorious and Deeply Moving Score Calls Out to Parents and Teens with Truth, Humanity and Humor

Dear Evan Hansen
A Glorious and Deeply Moving Score Calls Out to Parents and Teens with Truth, Humanity and Humor

John F. Kennedy Theatre for the Performing Arts
Jordan Wright
September 7, 2022
Special to the Zebra

Anthony Norman, John Hemphill, Lili Thomas, Alaina Anderson (Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)

In this multi-Tony Award winning, coming-of-age musical written by Steven Levenson and directed by Michael Greif with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, we meet high school senior Evan Hansen (Anthony Norman) whose angst-ridden teen life has him downing anti-anxiety meds. Fearful of social interaction and his inability to make friends, he finds himself in a complicated position when school bully and fellow outcast Connor Murphy (Nikhil Saboo) signs his cast one day before committing suicide. Evan’s mother, Heidi (Coleen Sexton), encourages him to make friends, but it is that chance run-in with Connor that gives Evan a made-up story for his broken arm and a series of unconnected events gives Evan purpose and recognition from his entire school.

Anthony Norman (Evan Hansen), Alaina Anderson (Zoe Murphy) (Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)

To back up the lies, super-techie Jared (Pablo David Laucerica) organizes a fake, back dated email account with friendly messages purporting to be from Connor to Evan. Using those as proof of their friendship Jared and Alana (Micaela Lamas) concoct a social media scheme to capitalize on Connor’s suicide. Enjoying the notoriety and encouraged by Ilona and Jared, Evan goes along with the scheme. Texts, Emails and Facebook posts soon fill in the blanks and Evan’s popularity soars.

When Ilona starts a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for “The Connor Project”, things quickly get out of hand. Texts, some kindly, some nasty, flood the internet and Evan is forced to keep up the lie to Connor’s parents, Cynthia (Lili Thomas) and Larry Murphy (John Hemphill), and his love interest, Connor’s sister Zoe (Alaina Anderson).

Anthony Norman as Evan Hansen

Unfortunately, the result proves how devastating Twitter and Facebook can be when used to promote a false narrative. In the fraught age of social media, it’s a warning to all parents and their children about the dangers and falsehoods within social media. On a larger scale it can be socially and politically devastating as we have witnessed in our national political system.

Fans will thrill to Anthony Norman’s beautiful voice in hits like “Waving Though a Window”, “For Forever”, “You Will be Found” and “Words Fail” which brings the house down. Another high point is the beautiful and lyrical intensity actor Coleen Sexton brings to the number, “So Big/So Small” which is when you wish you’d brought a handkerchief. Veteran actor John Hemphill brings sincerity and humanity to the role of Larry Murphy as does relative newcomer Nikhil Saboo, a gifted performer.

Anthony Norman (Evan Hansen), Coleen Sexton (Heidi Hansen) (Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)

I was recently asked by a mother if she should bring her 11-year-old daughter to see the show. And because I had just seen an in-depth piece in the news about how doctors are asking very young children if they’ve ever had suicidal thoughts, I said yes, emphatically yes. This is a serious and recognized issue affecting young children as well as teens. So, although this musical made its debut seven years ago it continues to be relatable in today’s climate of bullying, social pressure and an increase in teen suicides.

Highly recommended with a memorable score both glorious and deeply moving. Dear Evan Hansen calls out to both parents and teens with truth, humanity and humor.

Music Supervision, Orchestrations & Additional Arrangements by Alex Lacamoire; Choreography by Danny Mefford; Scenic Design by David Korins; Projection Design by Peter Nigrini; Costumes by Emily Rebholz; Lighting Design by Japhy Weideman; and Sound Design by Nevin Steinberg; with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.

Through September 25th at The John F. Kennedy Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20566. For tickets and information call 202 467-4600 or visit www.Kennedy-Center.org.