Dear Evan Hansen is a musical that has taken the world by storm. With its powerful exploration of mental health, friendship, and family. It is a story of hope and resilience, and it speaks to the struggles that many young people face today. In recent years, people have become more honest about their mental health, and this musical is a showcase of such acceptance. It tugs at your heartstrings, reminding you of your value and worth. In Chicago, the touring cast of the musical is performing at the James M. Nederlander Theatre. If you watch this musical, tears are sure to flow. Prepare tissues because you will need them.
“For anyone who ever sat alone at lunch, Dear Evan Hansen has an enduring message: You will be found.” – The Hollywood Reporter
“Dear Evan Hansen beautifully explores the search for love, dealing with grief, loneliness, and self-exploration while being surrounded by digital noise.” – Nicola Quinn
“One of the most remarkable shows in musical history.” – The Washington Post
Dear Evan Hansen, or DEH, is the result of collaborative efforts between Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Steven Levenson, and Michael Greiff. Despite never having written a musical before, Pasek and Paul approached Levenson in 2011 about people’s “obsession with personalizing tragedy,” inspired by Pasek’s own high school experience. “We wanted to create a show that felt poetic but also fresh and relevant,” says Paul in an interview. In the following five years, they worked together to develop the story of DEH. The show was developed through a series of workshops and readings, and the creators worked closely with the show’s director, Michael Greif, to refine the story and characters.
The musical tells the story of a high school student, Evan Hansen, who is struggling with social anxiety and depression. He is desperate to make a connection with someone, but his attempts to do so often fail. When a classmate commits suicide, Evan finds himself in the middle of a web of lies that he must unravel to find the truth. His deception spiraled downward from there. The question is, how long does it take for him to realize that using others for his own gain and gratifying his need for validation is wrong? Although the musical contains many positive messages about mental health, it is also a cautionary tale.
The power of this musical is in its reminder that people are not alone in their struggles, that they can find strength in each other and that they can find hope in the darkest of times.
“A brilliant message of hope and humanity.” – CBS News
This is greatly expressed by the music and lyrics of Pasek and Paul. The music of DEH is incredibly powerful and emotional. It captures the struggles of Evan. The music conveys the emotions of the characters in a way that is both heartbreaking and uplifting. The lyrics are incredibly meaningful and powerful, and they often reflect the struggles of the characters. The themes of the show are also evident, such as the importance of friendship and the power of hope. Furthermore, the music flourishes in its diversity. It ranges from upbeat pop songs to more somber ballads.
Also, the masterpiece is completed by the choreography and staging, which is truly remarkable. From the opening number, “Anybody Have a Map?” to the finale, “You Will Be Found,” the show is filled with dynamic and powerful movement that helps to tell the story and bring the characters to life. The choreography is a mix of contemporary and modern dance styles, with a focus on storytelling and emotion. The movement is often used to express the inner turmoil of the characters, and to show the relationships between them. The choreography is also used to create a sense of tension and suspense, as well as to provide comic relief. The staging of Dear Evan Hansen is also impressive. The set is designed to be both realistic and abstract, with a focus on the characters and their relationships. The set pieces are often used to create a sense of movement and to help tell the story. The lighting design is also used to great effect, creating a mood and atmosphere that helps to bring the story to life. It is a perfect blend of movement, storytelling, and emotion that helps the show pop off. This musical is a testament to the power of theatre, and it is sure to be remembered for years to come.
“A breathtaking knockout of a musical.” – The New York Times
When DEH premiered at the Arena Stage in Washington, DC, it was an unexpected critical hit. As a result, it was transferred off-Broadway to the Second Stage Theater in 2016, where it remained for seven months. As a result of its excellent popularity, the musical was transferred to Broadway in November 2016 at Music Box Theatre. During its run on Broadway, the musical was praised by critics and sold out every time. It became one of those musicals which made Broadway become more popular with young people.
Because of its high demand, other productions came out after; included in this is the national US touring production, which started in 2018. Its first international production is the Canadian sit-down production at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, Canada, which premiered in 2019. West End followed suit, as their Noël Coward Theatre production opened in November of that same year. Other overseas productions are also being announced.
On the other hand, the movie adaptation came out in 2021. It was directed by Stephen Chbosky, who is best known for directing the hit movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The screenplay was written by Steven Levenson, who also wrote the book for the musical. The movie stars Ben Platt as Evan Hansen, the titular character, reprising his award-winning role. The movie also stars Kaitlyn Dever as Zoe Murphy, Evan’s love interest. The movie also features a talented supporting cast, including Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, and Amandla Stenberg.
In its run on Broadway, the musical won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book, Best Score, Best Orchestration, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for Rachel Bay Jones’ performance as Heidi Hansen, Evan’s mother and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Ben Platt. Meanwhile, during the 2020 Laurence Olivier Awards, the musical bagged the awards for Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Sam Tutty as Evan, and Best Original Score or New Orchestrations.