DEAR EVAN HANSEN
- Peter King, Sports Illustrated
"Player of the Week: Colton Ryan, understudy, “Dear Evan Hansen.” There’s a play on Broadway called “Dear Evan Hansen” that just won the Tony for best musical of the year. My wife and I went to see it last week—and were chagrined to find a little piece of paper inserted into our Playbill program. The actor named this year’s best actor in a musical, Ben Platt (playing Evan Hansen) would be replaced by his understudy, Colton Ryan. In fact, I notice one playgoer, a high-school or college-aged boy, get visibly upset across the aisle when he discovered Platt was sitting out the evening’s performance. I looked up Colton Ryan in the little bios in the Playbill. The only one listed was The Idaho Shakespeare Festival. He was a 2017 graduate of Baldwin Wallace University. This is the guy, with the only experience on his résumé in Idaho (outside of a small college in Ohio) playing the lead in the hottest play on Broadway? It’s like the Yankees calling up a shortstop from the Rookie League to play when Jeter needs a night off. How wrong I was. Colton Ryan made us laugh (a little), cry (a little more) and emote (a lot) for almost three hours. Great play—one of the best I’ve seen. Ryan’s voice, gold. Now I’m glad I got to see this play with a guy whose dreams, I’m sure, are being made every night he takes the stage in a Tony-winning musical."
"The entire cast is excellent from top to bottom, but I must make special mention of Colton Ryan as Evan Hansen. Being a standby for such a huge and popular character can’t be easy, but Ryan makes it seem effortless. His portrayal is complete—both vocally, physically and emotionally. It was hard to believe that he’s making his Broadway debut straight out of college (he began the run before graduation, earning internship credits with his time in “Dear Evan Hansen”). Audiences should not be disappointed when Ben Platt happens to be out, as they’ll get a wonderful treat in watching Ryan step in."
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My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
"And then there is Colton Ryan's solo as Eliza's hapless suitor, Freddy Eynsford-Hill.
Ryan, a senior in the Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre program that Bussert heads, has a once-in-a-generation voice. But that's not the aspect of his dazzling performance that I'll carry with me.
As he sang 'On the Street Where You Live', cheeks flushed, peering up at Eliza's unseen window, knowing she'd likely never open it, at least not to him, he was young, hopeless love personified. Ryan is that rare actor who can bridge time, instantly transporting us to our own first stirrings of that all-consuming emotion." - Andrea Simakis, Plain Dealer