Sudbury actor begins ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ run in Toronto
When David Mirvish saw the show Dear Evan Hansen in 2016, he knew he wanted to bring it to Toronto.
And three years later, the show has opened at the newly renovated and very blue Royal Alexandria Theatre with a Canadian cast.
The production includes actors from across the country and close to home, such as Sudbury's Alessandro Costantini.
"This is a total dream come true. It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of and have been pining for since I was a kid. To be here and be a part of this show specifically is something that I never really thought would happen.” said Costantini.
‘Dear Evan Hansen’ is the story of a teen who so badly wants to make a connection with his peers that he makes up a relationship with a dead student to become closer to the boy's family. The fictitious relationship goes viral.
Cast member Stephanie La Rochelle is from Ottawa. She plays the part of Zoe, who is the title character’s love interest.
“It is deeply emotional content, but in terms of dealing with that, we have a lot of fun back stage. We sort of lift each other up and it’s great.” said La Rochelle.
Stratford by way of Vancouver's Robert Marcus got the coveted lead role.
“It’s daunting, but at the same time, it’s like, roles like this don't come around a whole lot, especially a show where you get to use all the tools in your toolbox for two and half hours for the show. So, I think as an actor, it’s kind of a dream.” said Marcus.
Reaction to the show has been emotional and it has come from all around the world. Producers wanted to do something to give back to the fans, so they are producing the blue and white polo shirt seen in the show’s poster and making it available for sale. Money raised will go to mental health initiatives.
‘Dear Evan Hansen’ runs until June, but based on its Broadway success, the Royal Alexandria Theatre will be hosting the show for quite a while.
A well-known member of the Sudbury theatre community is realizing his dreams.
Alessandro Costantini grew up in the Garson community of Greater Sudbury and began doing theatre at 11.
The musical has won numerous awards including: six Tony Awards in 2017, including Best Musical, and won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album in 2018.
A St. Charles College graduate, Costantini co-founded Sudbury’s successful YES Theatre company, which is celebrating its 10th season, and went on to graduate from George Brown Theatre School.
Alessandro currently lives in Toronto where he works as an actor and director.
He frequently returns to Sudbury for YES Theatre events, most recently for the fundraising concert I Got Life.
He says rehearsals for Dear Evan Hansen begin next week and shows begin at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre on March 5th.
It runs until June 30th.
Dear Evan Hansen is about a boy that just wants to fit in, a story that has struck a chord with audiences and critics.
Costantini will play the part of Jared Kleinman, who is described as the closest thing Evan has to a friend and provides some comic relief to the storyline.