Words fail to encapsulate the beauty, heart, and resonance of Dear Evan Hansen. This is a contemporary musical; it was written for right now. It unabashedly confronts issues facing countless teenagers–anxiety, depression, loneliness–with such truth and grace.
The first time I saw Dear Evan Hansen was its first weekend of previews in D.C. Going in, I knew nothing about it–and I was floored. Because of this experience, I firmly believe that you shouldn’t know too much about the show before you see it for the first time, because the story is so masterfully crafted by Steven Levenson and unfolds in a way no reviewer could ever fully capture.
This time around, I saw Dear Evan Hansen during its Broadway previews, and it’s come a long way from what it was in D.C. While some of my favorite lines and lyrics were cut, the final product is truly a masterpiece. From the immersive, intoxicating projections of scrolling newsfeeds and timelines to the haunting reprises of “Waving Through a Window,” the creative team has carefully transformed this show into its best possible form.
In addition to a more nuanced and intricate book, the score by Pasek and Paul grew more complex, with intense, evocative orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire and chilling harmonies performed by the cast. One of the many standout numbers is the tear-jerking Act One finale “You Will Be Found,” which is sure to be an anthem of my generation.
Dear Evan Hansen is a true ensemble show, and the cast is spectacular. I’ve been lucky enough to see each actor’s performance grow over the show’s various productions, and each and every one of them is giving the performance of a lifetime. I am stunned by just how moved I am, scene after scene after scene, even though I know the plot by heart.
One of the best parts of any Broadway experience is getting to meet the people who make it all happen. When Jake and I saw Dear Evan Hansen, we spoke with Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Steven Levenson (the composers and book writer), Michael Greif (the director), Stacey Mindich (one of the producers), and of course, the cast. We also got to meet Sydney Lucas of Fun Home and her lovely mother. Everyone was gracious, engaging, and incredibly kind.
Later on, I was also fortunate enough to be taken backstage by Michael Park, who plays Larry Murphy. It was the most incredible experience to both see the set up close and see what the performers see every night!
Dear Evan Hansen is running at the Music Box Theatre in New York, 239 W 45th St. Tickets and more information can be found at dearevanhansen.com.
Like this post? Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter below so you can stay up-to-date with my latest content, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram and like my Facebook page for more of my theatre adventures.