Ben Platt is 26 years old, but the stellar sensation of Broadway seems to have already lived lifetimes on the stages of the Great White Way. The born performer appeared in stage classics like “Bye Bye Birdie” and the more recent “Into the Woods” while he was at Harvard Westlake School, and enrolled at Columbia, but lasted only weeks. Ben Platt's contract with “The Book of Mormon” became more pressing than academics for the singing star, and his life has truly never been sedate or the same since.

His Tony-winning title role in “Dear Evan Hansen” would transform the musical actor’s life, and the reach of Broadway, in countless ways.

Ben Platt will literally be everywhere this weekend, but somehow, the celebrated actor and singer-songwriter managed to squeeze in a morning visit on “Today” on September 25. The versatile talent couldn't contain his excitement over endless projects in his life, from those happening this weekend to one spanning almost 20 years.

He didn't leave the set or the stage before offering his song “Run Away,” a moving ballad that should make every parent who kissed a child goodbye this morning feel lifted through the day.

Never too much to do

The current phase of frenetic activity is nothing unusual for Ben Platt. Being born into a show business family as the son of Julie and Marc Platt, a film, television, and theater producer, Ben thrived on the example of juggling many projects in the air, and developing his love for music and acting as deeply as possible.

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This weekend, however, is more jam-packed with appearances and performances than most performers would think possible. Ben Platt is among the headliners at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in New York City on Saturday, joining others like Queen with Adam Lambert, H.E.R., OneRepublic, Carole King, Alicia Keys, and more. It's no wonder that the “Today” third-hour co-host, Craig Melvin, introduced Platt as “the hardest working man in all of show business.” The multitalented young artist is supporting his latest album, “Sing to Me Instead,” along with the socially-conscious mega-concert, and he has other irons in the fire.

He was drawn to his new Netflix series, “The Politician,” which focuses on a young man of privilege playing the system in his own way during a school election, because of its association with Ryan Murphy. Murphy has a proven golden touch with television in all formats, and Ben Platt was enticed by the possibility of having great input with the “creative ownership” as an executive producer, becoming a liaison between the cast and the “brilliant creators.” Platt also enjoys being around the sphere of accomplished, talented women.

He already has shared the Hollywood Bowl stage with Kristin Chenoweth, and his new venture brings in Gwyneth Paltrow, Judith Light, and Bette Midler to stir and spice the mix in the new series, which premieres this weekend.

Back to sweet memories

Ben Platt is looking forward-- way forward, and way back—in a new project as well. Acclaimed filmmaker, Richard Linklater, has enlisted Platt to be part of an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's “Merrily We Roll Along.” Rather than compacting the almost 2 decades portrayed between friends, the “long-term” production vision for Linklater's production is to follow actual actors in character across actual time.

“I'll take it,” Platt playfully jokes with the suggestion of job security. As he takes the piano to perform “Run Away,” he evokes a different kind of security. The eternal bond between parents and children is beautifully conveyed in the tender song. “Run Away” was the first song that Platt wrote for his first solo album, as a loving homage to his parents.

“I may not be wise, and I can't save the day,” each parent promises through the verses, “But look into my eyes and know I’ll always stay—I won’t run away.”

“To love is not to leave,” a later verse affirms.

Platt’s lilting voice floats above the lovely accompaniment of cello and violin, as the promise of the song continues.

The greatest gift any child receives is never talent, a trust fund, or having a trail already blazed for the future. A parent who cares enough to be present is the most lasting endowment of all. Ben Platt only lacks an Oscar to attain the coveted EGOT status, but his parents already granted the dearest reward of all.

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