Dear Evan Hansen, Breaking Barriers


Rating: 4.5 Stars 

 The Broadway hit musical Dear Evan Hansen has been on the stage since July 10, 2015. The current cast consists of Roman Banks, Alex Boniello, and Jared Goldsmith. The original cast of the musical consisted of Mike Faist, Rachel Bay Jones, and Emmy Award-winning star Ben Platt. Platt had the opportunity to play Evan Hansen until his final show on November 19, 2017.

The music from the show was original and on point. The cast added dimension and depth to the original soundtrack and made it their own. The actor who plays Evan Hansen adds more emotion and even cries in one of the songs. The storyline was clear and precise, but it also made the audience think about what could happen next. This tear-jerking show had the audience at the edge of their seats with tissues in their hands; there wasn’t a dry eye in sight. 

The musical takes place in the present time and focuses on the main character, Evan Hansen. Hansen is a very shy senior in high school with several insecurities and mental health issues. Hansen’s therapist has him write letters to himself with the first sentence being, “Today is going to be a good day and here’s why…” 

His high school bully, Connor Murphy, takes one of Hansen’s letters and has it with him when he commits suicide. Connor’s parents find the letter and think Evan and him were friends. Evan doesn’t want to cause any issues, so he lies and says they were friends. Throughout the musical, Evan deals with issues from his mental health and the anxiety he develops from lying to so many people. 

The musical breaks through the barrier of talking about mental health, suicide, and bullying. Young adults and parents can relate to all characters throughout the musical. Evan and his mom deal with the struggles of Evan’s father leaving them, Evan’s mental health, and their overall relationship. The relationships between the parents and their children have every parent in the audience in tears. The parents sometimes struggle to understand their kids and work out their difficulties together.