Dear Evan Hansen’s Andrew Barth Feldman is in the middle of a very rigorous warm-up routine. Sitting in his dressing room at the Music Box Theatre on a warm fall afternoon, the actor is focused and determined; before joining the company of the Tony Award-winning production, Feldman was just a fan of the show. Now, as the hit musical's leading man, he is tasked with brining it to life nightly.
The 17-year-old Jimmy Award winner finishes his steaming routine and begins to do vocalize. Tackling Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s buoyant pop score is no easy feat. “I warm up extraneously so that my voice is the last thing that I need to worry about. Then, I can just focus on telling the story.”
While the role requires a demanding dive into the show's emotional depths, right now as he wakes up his body and voice, Feldman's biggest pre-show challenge is the high Bb at the end of "Waving Through a Window." He continues his process, his voice reaching a crescendo as he hits a high note at the top of his range. Then, with a grin, he looks up and mutters, “Yeah, I think we’ll be OK.”
The high school senior prepares with a sense of skill and craft rare for a performer of his age. But then again, starring alongside both Broadway veterans and newcomers nightly, guided by Michael Greif, has been a masterclass for Feldman, one he doesn’t take for granted.
“The fact that I get to tell this story, sing this music that I love, and play this role that I love is a gift. I feel like I'm in the best conservatory in the world. I'm getting the best education I could possible get from the most amazing teachers,” he reflects. “And this show inspires so much empathy, forgiveness, and love at the end of the day. I feel that it is my duty to give that gift back to everyone that sees the show, so that's what I try to do.”
Flip through photos of Feldman's pre-show process below: