Dear Evan Hansen: A Musical in the Age Of Cyberbullying and Suicide

For years, people have looked to media and pop culture, including musicals to help them feel less alone and deal with their problems. From Oklahoma! to Hamilton here comes another blockbuster pushing the limits of what musicals can be: Dear Evan Hansen. Dear Evan Hansen is nominated for 9 Tony awards, including Best Musical. Read more to find out why.


After a long run of previews, Dear Evan Hansen officially opened on Broadway on December 4th, 2016. The show stars Ben Platt, as Evan Hansen, Laura Dreyfuss as Zoe Murphy, and Rachael Bay Jones as Heidi Hansen, along with many other supporting actors and roles. The music is written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and the book is  by Steven Levenson.

The story is based around a teen with social anxiety, named Evan Hansen. His therapist suggests writing letters to himself, so in the first song, Anybody Have A Map? this is brought up as Evan’s mother asks him saying, quote: “Have you started writing those letters to yourself? / ‘Dear Evan Hansen, today is going to be a good day and here’s why-‘”.

After a student, named Connor’s passing, Evan makes it his mission to help the student’s family not worsen their grieving, but in doing so he entraps himself in a lie, and a very complicated one, while finding his voice to speak out in the mean time.

The Corner interviewed an anonymous person. Here is what they had to say.

Q: What is one thing left out of the soundtrack that you can only get seeing the show (for example a visual, prop, funny spoken line, etc.)

A: There is A LOT of dialog during the show, even some songs are repeated in the show and are not in the soundtrack.  For me, before I saw the show, I had to search what Dear Evan Hanson was about, because I did not know from the sound track.  Also, the set adds a whole other perspective to the show, it shows how social media effects people’s lifestyles and also helps you relate to the show.  It plays into the show as well, the set has screens that show the characters texting each other or face timing each other so you can understand the dialog and what going on in the scene. Also, the characters emotions and actions add to the whole thing, you need to know their role to really understand whats going on in the play.
Q: If there was one scene that you could show everybody else, what would it be?
A:  In the scene where they play the song “Sincerely Me” was a scene I will always remember.  It was absolutely hilarious and it was really cool how they made you see into Evan’s mind imagining his and Connor’s relationship.  Also, the scene with the song “So Big/So Small”, I found it incredibly moving, my dad was even crying.  I can’t give away to much, but Evan and his mom reflect on when Evan’s dad left.  You could see how Evan was going back to his little-kid self connecting with how vulnerable he was at that moment.
Q: Do you recommend listening to the soundtrack before going or after? What is your experience? Did you listen before or after?
A: DO NOT GET THE SOUNDTRACK BEFORE.  For me, I had to look up what Dear Evan Hanson was about listening to the soundtrack before and then I knew what was going to happen.  I highly recommend the sound track after though.  The actors and actresses are such good singers and there are such good songs.  I love listening to the soundtrack and I listen to it ALL THE TIME.
Q: Who would you recommend the show to? If you had the chance, would you go and see it again?
A: Please go see Dear Evan Hanson.  It is the best musical I have ever seen (besides the fact that I have not seen Hamilton).  The cast is amazing and I would see it a million times over again.  I recommend this show to everyone, kids, teenagers, adults, parents, grand-parents, great- grandparents, elders, it fits everyone!  In someway, the show will relate to you.  The show is mostly taking place with a high-school theme, but when it came to the parents talking to their kids, my dad was wreck.


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