By Sally Johnson
The newest musical to hit Broadway, “Dear Evan Hansen”, tells the story of Evan, a senior in high school with social anxiety disorder and how he gains popularity by faking a friendship.
The musical came out in December 2016 after an off-Broadway production tour was on during 2015. It has been a massive hit and tickets are virtually sold out for the next three months until more become available.
The musical has been featured on talk shows and television shows such as “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and the “Today” show. The soundtrack landed at number 8 on Billboard’s 200 above Hamilton at number 12. It is the fourth cast recording to make the top ten other than The Book of Mormon (2011) and Hair (1969).
The musical itself talks about Evan Hansen and his problem with social anxiety disorder (SAD). As a project from his therapist he writes letters to himself about how great his upcoming day is going to be. In town is another family consisting of Zoe, Evan’s crush, her brother Connor and their parent. After a family tragedy Evan’s letters unite the two families, bringing Evan closer to popularity and Zoe.
The songs are extremely catchy and the lyrics are surprisingly moving. After a few listens they’ll have you bawling in your bedroom after you realise what they really mean. They’re a mix of happiness, struggle, sadness and even romance.
The show stars Ben Platt as Evan. He is mainly known for his role in Pitch Perfect 1 and 2 and was the youngest person to play Elder Cunningham in the musical “The Book of Mormon” at only 19 years old. His performance is outstanding and was described by Washington Post critic Peter Marks as “An achievement bordering on heroic”.
Overall, from a musical theatre nerds perspective, it seems like the new “must see” Broadway musical and it looks like Ben Platt has been a hit with audiences and critics alike.
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