BY: PHEOBE HORIBE
Universal’s film adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen has been making announcements all summer long about which cast members would be joining the project. It was announced Thursday that Broadway star Isaac Powell will join the cast.
Powell is currently starring as Tony in Ivo van Hove’s revival of West Side Story on Broadway. The revival opened on Feb. 20 and was not even a full month into performances when COVID-19 shut down all New York theaters.
Powell won an Outer Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical and also received a Drama League nomination for Distinguished Performance. Unfortunately, West Side Story was not eligible for the Tony Awards this year since it was not open long enough for Tony voters to attend a performance. The show will be eligible for the following ceremony.
Powell graduated from the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts, and just two months later, he made his Broadway debut as the leading role of Daniel in the 2017 revival of Once On This Island. The revival was directed by Broadway veteran Michael Arden and won the Tony for Best Revival. He also performed on the Grammy-nominated cast album.
Dear Evan Hansen is about a high school boy with social anxiety who writes letters to himself to help with his anxiety. After a fellow classmate commits suicide, the family mistakes one of Evan’s letters for their son’s suicide note.
Powell will be playing the role of high school jock Rhys in the upcoming film adaptation and this will be his feature film debut. He will appear alongside Ben Platt who will be reprising his role as Evan Hansen, and will also join Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Amandla Stenberg, Danny Pino, Nik Dodani, Colton Ryan, DeMarius Copes and Gerald Caesar.
Stephen Chbosky (Wonder) will direct. Steven Levenson (Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen) will write the screenplay and music and lyrics written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen, The Greatest Showman).