Dear Evan Hansen is a relatively new musical. It started out by premiering in 2015 in D.C., and last year was in an Off-Broadway theater. It then proceeded to open on Broadway in December 2016. The music is composed by none other than Pasek and Paul, who have composed music for masterpieces such as A Christmas Story: The Musical, Dogfight, and La La Land. The original cast stars actors like Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect, anyone?), Mike Faist, and Rachel Bay Jones.
Dear Evan Hansen follows the story of teen Evan Hansen (shocker!), a high school senior struggling with a social anxiety disorder. The show revolves around a letter never intended to be discovered, a lie never intended to be exposed, and an experience Evan never imagined he could live through. The plot addresses issues such as drug abuse, teen suicide, social anxiety, depression, and family problems. (If you want to know the plot bit by bit, Wikipedia has a pretty spot-on synopsis. I was originally going to go through the entire show scene by scene, but that was creating a whole separate blog post in itself, so I ditched the idea.)
Why This Show is Important
Dear Evan Hansen talks about the topics that hardly anyone else in the media will. It talks about the dangers of drug usage. It talks about what it’s like for someone to have crippling social anxiety, something that many people in this generation can relate to. It talks about feeling invisible, feeling like an outcast. It talks about the important things.
At one point in the finale of Act I, the entire company is simultaneously singing the phrase “you are not alone.” This show turns normally spirit-crushing ideas into a series of hopeful thoughts.
Something (kind of random) that I really admire about this musical is that the lyrics continually talk about the sky. Anyone that knows me knows that the sky is one of my all time favorite things EVER. I’m always looking up at it, whether the sun is rising, or it’s storming, or it’s cloudless and blue. I’m obsessed with the sky. Below is a list of some of my favorite lyrics from the musical, beginning with those mentioning the sky or some aspect of it.
•”Step out of the sun if you keep getting burned.”
•”We start with stars in our eyes.”
•”All we see is sky for forever.”
•”I climb ’til the entire sun shines on my face.”
•”All I ever do is run, so how do I… step into the sun?”
•”Out of the shadows, the morning is breaking and all is new.”
•”I’ve learned to slam on the brake before I even turn the key.”
•”Will I ever be more than I’ve always been?”
•”Feels like we could go on for forever this way.”
•”It’s easy to change if you give it your attention.”
•”When the villains fall, the kingdoms never weep.”
•”There’s nothing like your smile: sort of subtle, and perfect, and real.”
•”But we’re a million worlds apart and I don’t know how I would even start.”
•”He wondered how you learned to dance like all the rest of the world isn’t there.”
•”No one deserves to be forgotten. No one deserves to fade away. No one should come and go and have no one know he was ever even here.”
•”You still matter.”
•”From across the silence, your voice is heard.”
•”It’s the hard way, but it’s the right way.”
•”You don’t have to be scared you’re not enough.”
•”We can just watch the whole world disappear ’til you’re the only one I still know how to see.”
•”I never let them see the worst of me. Cuz what if everyone saw?”
•”Today is going to be a good day. And here’s why: because today, today at least you’re you and—that’s enough.”
Dear Evan Hansen is one of the most beautiful musicals ever created. Not because the music is in your face… it’s not. Not because it has a crazy elaborate set, or jaw-dropping costumes, or a perfect love story. It’s a pretty simplistic show. Dear Evan Hansen is a tale of constant heartbreak, despair, and isolation.
It’s all set, however, with a hopeful undertone. It sends the crucial message that you are NEVER alone in what you’re going through, and that the best response to life’s hardships is to appreciate the little things and to let yourself love and be loved. This musical is going to do great things, so long as people listen to the (slightly hidden) message that it’s relaying.
⛅️ ⛅️ ⛅️
I really needed to talk to someone about this show, so I just decided to make an entire blog post about it! If there’s any musical that is going to take the world by storm this year (last year, that musical was Hamilton), I’m pretty confident that this is the one. It sends out the truth that so many people forget: you matter.
Blessings! Lauren Joy