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(Playbill for Dear Evan Hansen ©Playbill Inc.)

Dear Evan Hansen Debuts in Chattanooga


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. ( The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium in downtown Chattanooga is home to many traveling Broadway shows and musicals, including its most recent show, Dear Evan Hansen.

Each year, the Memorial Auditorium houses a variety of traveling Broadway shows such as Book of Mormon, To Kill a Mockingbird and Hairspray. Justin McArthur attended one of the three nights that Dear Evan Hansen the musical took the stage.

(Broadway actor Anthony Norman playing the role of Evan Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen, photo by Matthew Murphy)

Dear Evan Hansen is about a high school senior dealing with social anxiety, depression and bullies. It is suggested by his therapist that he write letters to himself explaining how each day will be better, and when one of the letters is found on the deceased body of a high school bully who committed suicide, Hansen takes advantage of this unfortunate situation. Hansen manipulates the community by pretending he and the bully were best friends, bringing popularity and sympathy to Hansen, only to eventually backfire on his actions. “I liked the message about how you are never alone and suicide isn’t the answer,” said McArthur.

Having performed in musicals himself, McArthur highly encourages audiences everywhere to attend the musical so they can experience “the costumes and the flash of it all”.

The musical opened on Broadway in December 2016 and a motion picture was later nationally released on Sep. 24, 2021.

This was the first time that Dear Evan Hansen the musical has taken the stage in Chattanooga and after a successful three night run of the show, the community welcomes the musical back in the future.  

(The cast of Dear Evan Hansen. Photo by Matthew Murphy)

The next stop for the musical will be in Toledo, Ohio running from June 13 through June 18.

McArthur likes the idea of seeing a live person tell a story and explains that a theatrical act can “transport you somewhere else, it’s just so magical” and hopes to see an extensive collection of traveling Broadways make a stop in the city.

Showtimes and tickets for upcoming traveling Broadway events are available through the auditorium’s Broadway website.

To find a showing of Dear Evan Hansen closest to you, you can see the full schedule on the musical’s webpage.

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