Dear Evan Hansen Is A Must Watch Social Media Musical

I have been a huge fan of musical theatre composing duo Pasek & Paul since they premiered “Dogfight” at Second Stage Theater a few years back. When I first heard that they were working on “Dear Evan Hansen”, I knew that it was going to be nothing short of being spectacular. Directed by Michael Grief and based on Steven Levenson’s script, “Dear Evan Hansen” tells the story of a high school senior, Evan Hansen – played by Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect, Book of Mormon) – who possesses social anxiety. Hansen writes a letter to himself for an assignment one day but finds the letter in the hands of another troubled student, Connor Murphy (Mike Faist), and soon, the web of lies begin. At first, Hansen sees this as a way for him to finally fit in. However, as the story unfolds, a devastating accident occurs and affects Hansen’s and Murphy’s s families and the entire community.

Last December, I had the privilege of watching the musical and was transported into its magical world for two and a half hours. As I sat in my seat on the right side of the Music Box Theater, I looked at the stage in front of me. It was so minimalistic but also so detailed that I can still picture it in my head: panels that projected a Twitter feed to represent the important role of technology in the story, and a bed - center stage, on top of a moving turntable. If there was one word I would use to describe this musical, it would be phenomenal because the cast, particularly Ben Platt and the crew gave the world a story that is able to speak to everyone. At only 23 years old, lead actor Platt has shown that he is a true force of nature. His portrayal of Evan Hansen is raw and genuine and his voice makes it seem as if he is wrapped up in silk. Platt makes you want to watch him perform. As someone who pays particular attention to details, I couldn't help but notice all the specific mannerisms that Platt used to characterize Evan Hansen. It was all impeccably detailed and so naturally performed. I already smell a Tony coming for him. What's even more remarkable is that the entire cast is filled with stars. From Laura Dreyfuss as Zoe Murphy, the sister of Connor Murphy who Hansen is in love with, to Will Roland as Jared Kleinman, Evan Hansen's friend who helps him create the lies that turn everything upside down, the 8 person cast is infectious and inspiring. But the cast isn’t the only incredible quality behind this play. The storyline is also powerful.

This musical’s plotline of wanting to fit in and not wanting to feel alone and isolated is something that I - and a lot of other people - can relate to. Seeing this show was an emotional experience for me. I cried more than I have ever had during a show, even more than the likes of “Hamilton.” The story makes you think about what it means to feel alone and the lengths some people go to in order to feel wanted - even if it is just by one person.

 

Last but not least, the music is also equally electrifying and breathtaking as the cast, crew and script. From "Anybody Have a Map?" at the beginning of Act 1 to the "Finale" song at the end of Act 2, the show flowed smoothly and effortlessly. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul know exactly how to keep you humming each and every tune in the show even three days after you have seen the show and left Music Box Theater. “Dear Evan Hansen” is the type of musical that will captivate your heart and make you want to hug all the people you care about just a little tighter. I 10/10 recommend this show because we have all got a little bit of an Evan Hansen inside of us and it is nice to know that we are never alone and that we, indeed, "Will be Found.”