dear evan hansen

Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway3 min read

Dear Evan Hansen: Third Time’s the Charm


Dear Evan Hansen: Third Time’s the Charm

Well I got my wish. It has arrived. Finally. After seeing Dear Evan Hansen at Arena Stage, Washington, DC in August of 2015, I wrote a review asking the theatre gods to bring this fantastic show to Broadway.

The review is simply titled ‘Dear Evan Hansen, Please Come to Broadway‘. And finally, after an acclaimed run at Second Stage off Broadway, the show that I fell in love with that summer has made it; opening tonight at the Music Box Theater.

The musical is as devastatingly beautiful as when I first encountered it. With music and lyrics by Ben J Pasek & Justin Paul, and a book by Steven Levenson, Dear Evan Hansen has not lost any of its power and tension. It soars with an intense beauty that still captures our hearts and plays havoc with it all at the same time, even on third viewing. Tearing it into pieces and than stitching it back together.

deh-ben-platt-jennifer-laura-thompson-michael-park-0480-photo-credit-matthew-murphyBen Platt, who originated the part in DC, is just plain pitch perfect and award worthy as the overly anxious and uncomfortable teen at the center of this story. In my first review of the show in 2015, I wrote that whenever I watch a television show or film in which the lead character tells a lie, for even the best of reasons, and that lie becomes the driving force behind the action, I always get extremely anxious as we watch the lie become so large and out of control that we know that disaster is eminent.
We want to yell “NO” as we watch him begin, and we also know that Evan must eventually come clean or risk exposure. The feeling is so uncomfortable that we want to look away. But we can’t. We watch with the knowledge that the lie, growing in meaning and power, will bring shame and judgment by those affected.
We see this on Platt’s face, see it in his body, and hear it in his voice; the desperation, the fear, the desire for love, and the discomfort in just being him. It’s a very affecting performance, one that feels irreplicable, and devastatingly memorable. And will most likely net him a Tony nomination this coming spring.
Joining him in that category is Laura Dreyfuss.  Giving us a beautiful and fresh look at the complicated Zoe Murphy, the object of Evan’s love. Her voice is subtle, quivering with truth, hope, and pain, and feels like something outside of the norm on Broadway.
Don’t take this the wrong way, but in both Platt and Dreyfuss’s performance, there is a perfect layer of trembling emotional weakness and fragility, fear and anxiety, balanced with a power and a range that is majestic.
Review: Come From Away on Broadway
(for the full review, click here)
Posted on December 4, 2016

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