The only bummer about this musical is that the cast album drops in February– far too long from now! Other than that, “Dear Evan Hansen” shines as an incredible, contemporary, coming-of-age tale. I imagine the musical’s release and reception is similar to that of A Separate Peace in 1959. (Do you remember that great bildungsroman book about Gene and Finny?) A moving statement, with heart, on the emotional intelligence of young adults, and the sacrifices one makes to establish some semblance of an identity.
The musical masterminds behind “La La Land” wrote the music and lyrics for “Dear Evan Hansen,” and their poppy, fresh style is sure to appeal to anyone “with a beating heart.” The musical follows Evan Hansen, a socially awkward boy who finds himself in the midst of a high school tragedy. Ben Platt (“Pitch Perfect”), the star of the show, is my age, and he makes me feel almost as inadequate as Simone Biles. His voice…the ideal tonal balance of sweet, edgy and strong. Platt is also an exceptional comedic actor, with great timing and true sincerity to his work.
“Waving Through a Window,” the musical’s first blow-your-mind number, feels like what someone cheesy might describe as a revelation. I’m cheesy too, so here: It’s a revelation! I am a musical theater nerd, but my sister is not, and to see her bobbing her head made me realize how universal the song’s message is. (Give it a listen!)
If you’ve already scored a ticket to “Hamilton,” this is Broadway’s next, must-see musical. The supporting cast is just as talented and winning as Platt, executing equally expert comedic timing, and making each song their own.