12 Amazing Musicals Like Dear Evan Hansen

Have you been low-key obsessing over Dear Evan Hansen since you first listened to the cast recording or saw the musical? Are you a so-called, “Fansen”? Well join the club! It can be exciting to find that new musical that gets your blood pumping and turns bad days into good ones. But what do you do when you’ve listened to the songs one too many times? Find some new and wonderful musicals like Dear Evan Hansen to fill the void! And that’s exactly why we’ve put together this list of 12 of our favorite musicals like Dear Evan Hansen. 


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Next to Normal

Music: Tom Kitt  Lyrics/Book: Brian Yorkey

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

There are many similarities between Dear Evan Hansen and Next to Normal. Most notably, there are a couple of big overlapping themes such as mental health and teenage struggles. And if you love the music from Dear Evan Hansen, you’ll probably love the music from Next to Normal too.


Be More Chill

Music/Lyrics: Joe Iconis  Book: Joe Tracz

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

If you’re looking to get into another musical that focuses on relatable teenage struggles, Be More Chill might be your best bet! Be More Chill also deals with high school social status, awkwardness, and the idea of not fitting in.


Spring Awakening

Music: Duncan Sheik  Lyrics/Book: Steven Sater

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Continuing on with teenage themes, Spring Awakening is a must for all “Fansens”! The music is a pop-rock score, emotionally heavy, and filled with touching moments, just like the music of Dear Evan Hansen. 


Dogfight

Music/Lyrics: Benj Pasek, Justin Paul  Book: Peter Duchan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

This musical is not similar to DEH in terms of story or themes. However, it is written by Pasek and Paul – the duo who wrote Dear Evan Hansen. Because of that, you’ll find a good number of similarities in the music itself. So if you’re just looking for something similar in terms of musicality, give this one a whirl!


A Christmas Story

Music/Lyrics: Benj Pasek, Justin Paul  Book: Joseph Robinette

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

A Christmas Story has made the list for the same reasons as above (mainly because it’s written by Pasek and Paul). So again, this is not a musical like Dear Evan Hansen in terms of story. But if you like the music in DEH, you’ll probably like the music in A Christmas Story. 


13

Music/Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown  Book: Dan Elish, Robert Horn

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Flipping things around, 13 is not really that similar to Dear Evan Hansen in terms of musicality. But it is similar in that it also deals with teenage themes, coming of age, and young relationships. Also, the lead’s name is Evan, so they have that in common too!


The Last Five Years

Music/Lyrics/Book: Jason Robert Brown

Musical Type: Contemporary (2001)

If you love Dear Evan Hansen for the emotionally gorgeous songs throughout, chances are pretty high that you’re going to like The Last Five Years as well. Although the story is in no way similar, there is a vibe in the music that parallels the one in DEH.


Bring It On

Music/Lyrics: Tom Kitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Amanda Green  Book: Jeff Whitty

Musical Type: Contemporary (2011)

Here’s a great musical that also deals with teenage perspectives and high school moments. It also has a super energetic pop score, which you’ll probably like as well!


Waitress

Music/Lyrics: Sara Bareilles  Book: Jessie Nelson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

There is something about the music in Dear Evan Hansen that’s just gentle, genuine, and buttery. Well, the music in Waitress has that same tone to it – buttery, sugary, floury, goodness. Does that make sense, or am I just hungry? Either way, you might just love Waitress if you’re a “Fansen”.


If/Then

Music: Tom Kitt  Lyrics/Book: Brian Yorkey

Musical Type: Contemporary (2014)

And speaking of musical similarities, If/Then has quite a few of them too! The songs are just beautiful, and there are lots of emotional moments you can relish in as well.


Bare

Music/Book: Damon Intrabartolo  Lyrics/Book: Jon Hartmere

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)

Moving back into the category of musicals that have similar themes to Dear Evan Hansen, Bare is a good one! There are overlapping themes in terms of youth, relationships, and a finding a sense of belonging. And although some of the songs are a bit more rock and roll, others also have that soft musicality that’s more in the style of DEH. 


Newsies

Music: Alan Menken  Lyrics: Jack Feldman  Book: Harvey Fierstein

Musical Type: 1992 Film/Contemporary Musical (2011)

To end on a high note, if you’re simply looking for a musical that has a youthful vibe to it, you can always give Newsies a go! There are even a few moments that might remind you of Dear Evan Hansen as far as the music itself goes. But there’s not much similarity in the story itself.


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Which of these musicals like Dear Evan Hansen is your favorite?

If you’re a “Fansen”, we’d love to hear all about your own personal favorite musicals in the comments below!


Stacy Karyn, author of Musicals Like Dear Evan Hansen.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


 

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