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'Dear Evan Hansen' heading to the big screen

Ben Platt, the lead of "Dear Evan Hansen,"

Ben Platt, the lead of "Dear Evan Hansen," performs during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. Credit: Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions/Theo Wargo

With so many Broadway musicals coming from the big screen, it’s great to see one going in the other direction. We’re talking “Dear Evan Hansen,” the Tony-winning musical for which Universal just acquired film rights.

It’s early on, so no word yet on who will star. But Ben Platt, the original Evan Hansen, who won a Tony for the part, is the obvious choice. He's been in Los Angeles lately, doing TV guest shots, making an album and starring in the movie “Run This Town." Stephen Chbosky (“Wonder”) is said to be in talks to direct the show, which has music by “The Greatest Showman” and “La La Land” team, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.   

The musical, running at the Music Box Theatre since December 2016, has a devoted following among teens and young adults. It addresses issues of bullying and mental illness, telling the story of an anxious high school student after the suicide of one of his classmates. Long Island high school student Andrew Barth Feldman, a junior at the Lawrence Woodmere Academy, takes over as Broadway’s Evan Hansen on Jan. 30. 

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