Dear Evan Hansen,
Today’s going to be a good day, and here’s why: I laughed, I cried, and I watched in amazement as a truly remarkable cast brought this show to life.
For those who haven’t seen Dear Evan Hansen, let me first say, go see it, it’s phenomenal and amazing, and second, if you don’t want a summary of the show, stop reading now.
Alright, for those who have continued, be warned, I am about to unleash my inner theatre nerd.
Let’s start with the cast. I happened to see the touring cast when they rolled into a city near me, and it was remarkable. Our Evan was played by Noah Kieserman, and let me just say, this man’s voice, his acting chops, everything is phenomenal. The range he has and his ability to channel this character and all the little ticks, how his hands shook just right, and how much he gave to this show, well done, and thank you. To the rest of the cast, Jared Goldsmith, Phoebe Koyabe, Maggie McKenna, Jessica Phillips, Christiane Noll, and Aaron Lazar, you guys exemplified that less is more. With a very small cast, I was transported into this world and enthralled the entire time. Bravo to each and every one of you, to say it was a phenomenal show is an understatement.
The set, like the cast, was small, but had everything needed. We were all so focused on what was happening in Evan’s life and his little web of lies that you didn’t need a lot of extra props or different things taking away from the drama that was unfolding. At one point, a simple stage with a couch in the center was enough.
The story was poignant, addressing so many issues, and in such a wonderful way. We have troubled teens, teen suicide, anxiety, single parenting, financial struggles, relationship struggles, friendship dynamics, and so much more, and none of it felt overdone. It felt real, it felt raw, but more than that, it felt relatable. It felt like this could be happening all around us, if we only knew to look. Beyond that, the way it tied social media into it was even more resounding in this day and age where social media takes up so much of our lives, but especially the highlight reels, the things that we want to share, to the point where if you don’t feel like you have much to share, you may just be tap tap tapping on the glass, waving through a window hoping someone could see you.
The struggles that Evan goes through with his anxiety are handled beautifully, especially the point where he is no longer on his meds because he’s too busy out there living his life, he’s too busy to be worrying about all the things that could possibly go wrong. The struggle that his single mom goes through trying to do it all, and failing because we can’t all do everything, it’s relatable, and so is his side of wishing he had his mom there to just be a mom. Single parenting is never a simple thing, and I know from experience that moms will do their absolute best, but will struggle knowing they can’t provide their kids the world all the time. And the pain of seeing someone else be able to do that is never easy on any parent. Basically, this show takes on a lot of tough, but real situations that we are faced with daily, and could not have shown them any better, while always leaving you with this resounding knowledge that no one deserves to disappear, and that you will be found.
In this day and age, this message is more important than ever, and I spotted several mental health wins within this show. It was a beautiful performance, and I truly hope that if you are given the chance to see this show anywhere, that you take the opportunity. With wonderful music and just enough humor to counteract the darkness, you’ll never be left feeling sad, but always hopeful, always knowing that things change and go on.
So, go see the show if you can, it’s beyond worth it, and was absolutely wonderful.