'Stranger Things' Star Gaten Matarazzo Sets Broadway Return in 'Dear Evan Hansen'

"Words could never express how truly honored I am to be a part of this company," Gaten Matarazzo said

Gaten Matarazzo
Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Gaten Matarazzo is heading from the Upside Down to the Great White Way this summer.

The Stranger Things star, 19, will join the Broadway cast of the Tony-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen, playing Evan's best friend Jared Kleinman for a limited run beginning July 19, 2022.

It's a long-awaited return to the stage for Matarazzo, who made his Broadway debut at the age of 9 in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. He went on to appear in Godspell in 2013 for a one-night-only performance, and was last seen as Gavroche in the 2014 revival of Les Misérables — a role he also played on the 25th Anniversary North American tour.

"I'm so stoked," he said on Tuesday's Live with Kelly and Ryan. "I got the news a little while ago, which is so mean because I want to tell everyone in my entire life and I haven't been able to until now. Now I can, and I'm so excited!"

"Words could never express how truly honored I am to be a part of this company," he added, in a statement. "This show has taught me so much about myself and to be able to participate in any capacity, let alone on Broadway, makes me want to melt. I am ecstatic to be back on stage and eternally grateful for the opportunity."

Gaten Matarazzo Stranger Things
Gaten Matarazzo. Courtesy of Netflix

Matarazzo — an advocate for cleidocranial dysplasia, a condition that affects the development of bones and teeth — is known to television audiences for his breakout role as Dustin on Stranger Things. The first half of its fourth season begins streaming on Netflix this Friday.

Dear Evan Hansen reopened its Broadway production in December 2020.

Written by the Tony-winning composing team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul with a book from Steven Levenson, Dear Evan Hansen tells the story of an anxiety-plagued high school loner named Evan who is paralyzed by the hyper-connectivity of social media and forced to watch the world from the outside looking in. Trying to improve his self-image, Evan writes himself a letter that is mistaken for a classmate's suicide note and rides that error to popularity. (The story is loosely based on an experience Pasek witnessed in high school).

Since first opening on Broadway in December 2016, the Stacey Mindich-produced show has become a sold-out smash, its message of teenage isolation and the importance of inclusiveness resonating with audiences of all ages. The show won six Tonys, the Grammy for best musical theater album, and the Oliver for its London production.

The musical now has three productions running across the globe, with its Broadway, North American Tour and West End companies once again playing in tandem.

Photo credit Matthew Murphy https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vp8uaqd5r8fk6m4/AAAXmJ3FVrnlXcEAUBReUvGga?dl=0 HED: Zachary Noah Piser Becomes First Asian American Actor to Play Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway
Matthew Murphy

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Dear Evan Hansen's current Broadway company includes Zachary Noah Piser, Talia Simone Robinson, Jessica Phillips, Christiane Noll, David Jeffery, Manoel Felciano, Jared Goldsmith, and Phoebe Koyabe, and Linedy Genao, Nathan Levy, Mateo Lizcano, Dan Macke, Jane Pfitsch, D'Kaylah Unique Whitley, Asa Somers, Josh Strobl, and Nicole Van Giesen.

Piser is making history as the first Asian American actor to play the role full-time.

Also returning to the show on July 19 are Ann Sanders (Cynthia Murphy) and from the show's North American tour, Noah Kieserman (Connor Murphy) and Ciara Alyse Harris (Alana Beck).

Matarazzo's role will provide a sweet reunion for the actor and Phillips, who starred together in Priscilla a decade ago.

For tickets, visit www.dearevanhansen.com.

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