Review Dear Evan Hansen…
Dear Evan Hansen is the story of a lonely teenager who becomes a social media mega-star via the tragedy of a bully.
In a world of trolls, he becomes the idol of empathy in a dark world of untruths.
It is not surprising this hugely timely story resonates so massively on Broadway.
It will now open in London in 2019 at the Noel Coward Theatre.
On Broadway, Ben Platt was magical in the title role. His tenderness and heart crossed generations to achieve a mesmerising unity within the theatre.
This show is devastatingly touching – that’s why it’s so brilliant. If you want to feel, be real and touched on every human level. This is the show for you.
Book tickets for Dear Evan Hansen HERE!
Enjoy our HD video review via YouTube:
This is not American guff with trite sentiment. It’s a tough ride with a crushing score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
The book has a tenderness and beauty rarely staged these days. The raw emotion brought to life by Steven Levenson is remarkable.
Don’t get me wrong, you’ll laugh…but you’ll cry. There are some very contemporary gags that bring much needed light and shade.
This show is totally original – that’s what’s most beautiful.
This show is wordy and casting will be key in London. Producers claim to want to find a British cast. I would be amazed if they don’t launch with Ben Platt.
His joy is that he portrays every ‘kid’ struggling to find themselves.
He just wants to be loved, accepted, relevant and liked – it’s like Twitter all over again! Like online, this normally only ends in negative attention.
The show gets heavy in the computer room at school. A stolen document leads to malicious bullying, again relatable for most watching.
As always, the bully is always the darkest and most screwed up. This ends in tragedy. The consequences on his family are infinite.
They seek solace in Evan and he delights in finally having a purpose….no matter how duplicitous.
This section of the show couldn’t be more timely with male suicide and mental illness being buzzwords in colleges and universities in 2018. The fact this show is so current and ‘now’ fully explains its incredible Broadway success.
Evan is forced to mourn the death of his bully but almost uses it as a PR opportunity for acceptance. Attention, any attention is better than being ignored.
“Dear Evan Hansen”, an open letter, reflects on how social media, in summary, may be more trouble than its worth.
The set, by David Korins, is contemporary and uses video screens to illustrate the show masterfully during this scene. It’s cleverly done and not distracting.
Ultimately Evan’s letter this leaves him a fraud, isolated, incapable of being ‘real’ and living a complete lie.
There’s a tenderness to this piece and true heart throughout.
As fake as Evan may be, his delivery is 100% authentic.
Ultimately this is also the timely story of a single mother losing her son to growing up.
The score, albeit simple (there ain’t a Defying Gravity moment in it) and book work beautifully together, unlike so many, where it becomes almost musical theatre parody.
This show is timeless and a must see for all ages. Asking the question ‘will you do anything to fit in?’ – most would.
Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 5th October 2018