On the outside, always looking in
Will I ever be more than I’ve always been?
Dear Evan Hansen is breaking ground in the most tender and creative way: instead of dazzling costumes and fairy tale twists, or murder mysteries and your standard multi-love-story plot lines, it is a musical about social media, deception and social anxiety.
It’s a story about outsiders, but not your stock figure self-pitying outsiders. The main character, Evan Hansen (Ben Platt), is a high-schooler who has social anxiety, and finds motivation by writing letters to himself. However, things change when one of his letters is stolen by Connor, an angry misfit. After Connor commits suicide, his parents mistake it for a letter from Connor to Evan, so they go to Evan for help. Out of kindness, Evan doesn’t correct them and joins the Connor project.
A speech made by Evan goes viral, and he becomes a social media sensation. Meanwhile, he falls in love with Connor’s sister, Zoe (Laura Dreyfuss).
The story discusses how social media platforms can be both a place of inspiring movements, and a sea of good-intentioned mirages. It’s like a contemporary novel made into a musical.
The soundtrack is just… hoo boy, it’s mindblowing. The score is written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who also wrote the lyrics of the Oscar forerunner La La Land. And better still, the music supervisor is Alex Lacamoire, who was the music director of Hamilton. The songs are not your usual show numbers- they are heart-wrenching and sobering pieces. Very few of them have ensemble parts. They are, however, in no way sad and angsty.
Here are my fav songs:
Waving Through a Window
Ben Platt, who plays Evan Hansen, does an amazing job playing the character. I haven’t even watched the show 💸💸, but I know from the soundtrack that his interpretation of Evan is in-depth, funny, endearing and inspiring. And perhaps you still remember the nerdy roommate Benji from Pitch Perfect… yep, that’s him.
And of course, being the theatre nerd that I am, I stayed up until 12am for the album to drop on Feb 3. I’ve been listening to it non-stop ever since…and y’all should jump on the bandwagon.
It has such a poignant story with a message that couldn’t have been more relevant, and aghhhhh. It’s so pure. It’s not only a show for those who have felt stuck and felt like an outsider; it is also a story for all of our lil’ human hearts, which, at the end of the day, just wants to soar a little.
What are your favourite musicals or plays? Lemme know and we can freak out together.