Ben Platt – Actor/Singer
Benjamin Schiff Platt b-September 24, 1993  is an American actor, singer, and songwriter. He began his career in theatre as a child and has appeared in Broadway productions of The Music Man (2002), The Book of Mormon (2012–2013), and Dear Evan Hansen (2015–2017), receiving multiple accolades for his performance as the title character in the latter, including the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Platt’s film credits include roles in Pitch Perfect (2012), Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), and Ricki and the Flash (2015). In 2017, Platt signed with Atlantic Records and is scheduled to release his debut studio album, Sing to Me Instead, in March 2019
Ben Platt was born in Los Angeles, the fourth of five children of Julie (née Beren) and Marc Platt. His father is a film, television and theater producer whose credits include the musical Wicked. He and his family are Jewish.
He attended the Adderley School for Performing Arts in Pacific Palisades, performing in productions like Bye Bye Birdie and Into the Woods. Platt attended Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, graduating in 2011. He attended Columbia University in New York, but dropped out after six weeks to fulfill his contract with The Book of Mormon. During his time at Columbia, he was a member of the campus a cappella musical group Nonsequitur.
2002–2014: Early stage work and The Book of Mormon
At 9 years old, Platt played Winthrop Paroo in The Music Man at the Hollywood Bowl alongside Kristin Chenoweth. At 11, he appeared in a brief national tour of Caroline, or Change, by Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner. At 17, he played Jean Valjean in Kidz Theater’s production of Les Misérables. His other early roles include the role of Claude Bukowski in Columbia University’s production of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. He has also collaborated on a workshop of Alice by Heart, by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, a new take on Alice in Wonderland.
In 2012, Platt was cast as Elder Arnold Cunningham in the Chicago production of The Book of Mormon. The show premiered at the Bank of America Theatre on December 19, 2012, after a week of previews. The production was well received and closed on October 6, 2013. Critics lauded Platt’s performance, calling him a “true revelation in this brand new Chicago production…He really leans into this part, throwing himself out there with the abandonment of youth”. Platt later reprised his role as Elder Cunningham on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre from January 7, 2014 to January 6, 2015.
2015–2017: Film career and Dear Evan Hansen
In 2012, Platt had a supporting role in the musical comedy Pitch Perfect, loosely based on the non-fiction book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory. Platt played the magic-obsessed Benji Applebaum, alongside an ensemble cast including Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, Anna Camp and Brittany Snow. The film emerged as a major commercial success and received mostly positive reviews from critics. He was subsequently nominated at a Teen Choice Awards in the category Choice Movie: Male Scene Stealer for his work. In 2015, Platt reprised his role as Benji Applebaum in the sequel, Pitch Perfect 2. He has since made film appearances in Ricki and the Flash and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
Platt became attached to Pasek and Paul’s then Untitled P&P Project in 2014, participating in early read-throughs and workshops. By 2015, the musical, titled Dear Evan Hansen, had begun production in Washington, D.C. at the Arena Stage with Platt originating the titular role. The show premiered on July 9, 2015 and closed August 23, 2015. The overwhelming positive reception toward the production and Platt’s performance resulted in the show being transferred to Off-Broadway.
In 2016, Platt, again, originated the role of Evan Hansen at Second Stage Theatre. Platt and the cast played a month of previews, beginning on March 26, 2016, before premiering on May 1, 2016. The limited engagement sold out its entire run with Platt playing his last performance on May 26, 2016.
In December 2016, Platt originated the title role in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre. Critics hailed his work, calling it “historic” and “one of the greatest leading male performances ever seen in a musical”. For his performance, Platt won numerous awards including the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Platt played his final performance on November 19, 2017.
On November 29, 2018, it was announced that Universal Pictures and Platt’s father, Marc Platt, secured the film rights to the musical. It is unconfirmed if Platt will reprise his Tony Award-winning role in the film, but is reported to be in “early talks” to do so.
2017–present: Music and Sing to Me Instead
In 2017, Platt signed a record deal with Atlantic Records. On January 28, 2018, Platt performed Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” live at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards accompanied by Justin Goldner and Adele Stein and arranged by Alex Lacamoire
On March 19, 2018, Platt and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda released “Found/Tonight”, a mashup of the Hamilton song “The Story of Tonight” and the Dear Evan Hansen song “You Will Be Found”. Platt donated a portion of the proceeds to support the March for Our Lives anti-gun violence initiative, and also performed on stage with Miranda at the rally in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2018. Platt is set to star opposite Damian Lewis, Nina Dobrev, and Mena Massoud in the Rob Ford historical fiction thriller Run This Town. The casting of Platt caused minor controversy, over allegations that the filmmakers were appropriating the story of female reporter Robyn Doolittle.
In January 2019, Platt announced that his debut studio album Sing to Me Instead is scheduled for release on March 29, 2019, and was made available for pre-order along with the songs “Bad Habit” and “Ease My Mind” a few days later.
|2002||The Music Man||Winthrop Paroo||Hollywood Bowl||Los Angeles|
|2004||Caroline, or Change||Noah Gellman||Ahmanson Theatre||National tour|
|2005||Dead End||Philip Griswald||Ahmanson Theatre||Regional|
|2012||The Power of Duff||Ricky Duff||Powerhouse Theatre||Regional|
|The Black Suits||Chris Thurser||Center Theatre Group||Regional|
|2012–2013||The Book of Mormon||Elder Arnold Cunningham||PrivateBank Theatre||Chicago|
|2014–2015||Eugene O’Neill Theatre||Broadway|
|2015||Dear Evan Hansen||Evan Hansen||Arena Stage||Washington, D.C.|
|2016||The Secret Garden||Dickon||David Geffen Hall||25th anniversary concert|
|Dear Evan Hansen||Evan Hansen||Second Stage Theatre||Off-Broadway|
|2016–2017||Music Box Theatre||Broadway|
|2006||Red Riding Hood||Boy Scout #1|
|2012||Pitch Perfect||Benji Applebaum|
|2015||Pitch Perfect 2|
|Ricki and the Flash||Daniel|
|2016||Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk||Josh|
|2017||The Female Brain||Joel|
|Love & Oatmeal||Scott||Post-production|
|TBA||Run This Town||Post-production[41|
|2017||Will & Grace||Blake||Episode: “Who’s Your Daddy”|
|2019||The Politician||Payton||Upcoming Netflix series; also executive producer|
Sing to Me Instead (2019)
The winner of the 2017 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance as Evan Hansen in the smash hit, Dear Evan Hansen, Platt is one of today’s most extraordinary talents, a truly multi-faceted actor, singer, and all-around performer. Sing To Me Instead sees him making a remarkable arrival as recording artist and songwriter, co-writing all of the album’s songs. Tracks like Bad Habit and Ease My Mind reveal a striking, deeply emotive amalgam of classic popcraft with sweeping vocals and Platt’s own undeniable charm and versatility.
Sing To Me Instead marks Platt’s first recorded output since his stunning duet with Lin-Manuel Miranda in March 2018 on Found/Tonight. The track, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Digital Song Sales chart, was an installment in Miranda’s Hamildrop series, and featured vocals from both men in an original medley of The Story of Tonight from Hamilton and You Will Be Found from Dear Evan Hansen.
Awards and Nominations
Platt was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama League Distinguished Performance Award, and won  the Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actor and Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Dear Evan Hansen’s Off-Broadway run in 2016.
On May 19, 2017, at the 83rd annual Drama League Awards, it was announced that Platt had won the organization’s Distinguished Performance Award. This award, which recognizes a performance on the New York stage in the past year, can only be won once in a performer’s career. In winning, at the age of 23, for his work in Dear Evan Hansen, Platt became the youngest winner in the award’s history. On June 11, at the 71st Tony Awards, Platt won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical being the youngest actor to win this award solo.
|2013||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Male Scene Stealer||Pitch Perfect||Nominated|
|2016||Drama League Awards||Distinguished Performance||Dear Evan Hansen||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Awards||Best Leading Actor in a Musical||Nominated|
|Obie Awards||Distinguished Performance by an Actor||Won|
|2017||Tony Awards||Best Actor in a Musical||Won|
|Drama League Awards||Distinguished Performance||Won|
|Lucille Lortel Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical||Won|
|Broadway.com Audience Awards||Favorite Leading Actor in a Musical||Won|
|Favorite Onstage Pair||Won|
|2018||Grammy Awards||Best Musical Theater Album[a]||Won|
|Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program
(with the cast of Dear Evan Hansen)
|“You Will Be Found” (performed on The Today Show)||Won|
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- “Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Platt release ‘Hamilton’/’Dear Evan Hansen’ mash-up ‘Found/Tonight‘“. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
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- “Damian Lewis to Play Controversial Ex-Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in Drama”. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
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