I know that the world has had its eyes on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s superpowered and unstoppable hit Hamilton for the past year or so, and will be for quite sometime as it begins to take even more of the country and world by storm. Heck, I am seeing the Chicago production in just a few short weeks and I am so excited I can barely contain myself. However, I have recently stumbled upon a new musical obsession: Dear Evan Hansen.
Dear Evan Hansen is a musical that took the Off-Broadway world by storm, just like Hamilton did, as it moved to Broadway’s Music Box Theatre and officially opened on December 4th. Winning the Obie, Helen Hayes, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical, this musical follows a teenager who finds himself involved in “a tragedy he did not earn”. The show’s creators, Tony and Emmy nominated Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, are already responsible for critically acclaimed shows like Dogfight and A Christmas Story: The Musical, but this incredible duo may just have their best work yet.
The official website states the synopsis as:
All his life Evan Hansen has felt invisible. To his peers, to the girl he loves, sometimes even to his own mother. But that was before he wrote the letter – that led to the incident – that started the lie – that ignited a movement – that inspired a community – and changed Evan's status from the ultimate outsider into the somebody everyone wants to know. But how long can Evan keep his secret? And at what price?
However, even people who aren’t able to get to the Big Apple to see the show (aka me) are finding that the music, preview clips and reviews are enough to make us fall in love with a character we haven’t completely met yet. Evan Hansen is truly a character that can resonate with masses of people who feel like they can’t say the right things, do the right things, or feel like they’re invisible. A character that makes a questionable choice to finally be on the inside and who deals with the bumps in the road as he continues forging a path ahead to just make it through the day to day.
A socially awkward and anxious kid on his first day of senior year who finds himself going from an invisible nobody “waving through a window” to someone who is thrust into a role that changes a community, two families, and most importantly himself. When Connor Murphy takes his own life and his parents find the titular letter to Evan Hansen, they assume that this is his final words to his best friend. After all, Connor’s antisocial and abrasive behavior made his family question if he even had friends, so who is to say it couldn’t have been Evan? Little do they know that the letter was one that Evan wrote to himself as a therapy exercise to just make it through. Make it through the day, make it through the week, the year, and maybe make it through his life. However, with Connor’s death comes new opportunity for Evan. Opportunity to finally be noticed by the girl he loves, Zoe. Zoe is none other than Connor’s younger sister who wonders how her abrasive bully of an older brother could be the sensitive and caring best friend of the likes of Evan. That is just scratching the surface of this incredible and dynamic musical that is drawing critics and audiences in and leaving them with nothing but praise for Evan Hansen’s journey.
Now, who could portray such an anxious and awkward character while still being a powerhouse of talent? None other than everyone’s favorite Pitch Perfect weirdo; Ben Platt. Awkward and comedic, Platt tells this story brilliantly with every awkward movement as Evan finds his way in the world. A dynamic story, book, music, set and cast, this musical is bound to decimate the 2017 Tony awards and leave people begging for more. Tickets are available at dearevanhansen.com/#tickets for people lucky enough to be close to NYC. For those who aren’t as lucky the album is currently on Pre-Order on iTunes and will be released on February 4th, however you can find the incredible track “Waving Through a Window” on iTunes and Spotify right now. (Trust me, you’ll be listening to it on repeat for days) Keep your eye on this show as it is sure to take the world by storm.
(P.S. Pasek and Paul if you by chance read this, I wouldn’t say no to playing Evan when there’s a National Tour, so call me.)
(P.P.S Also, if we can’t make that happen, I would settle for tickets and a trip to NYC… thanks!)