Sincerely, Amazing: Discovering the Magic in Dear Evan Hansen
Musicals are an escapists’ Achilles heel and an artist’s wildest dream.
They’re the ultimate transporter into another world, and one of the most challenging art forms to excel at. When you really think about, though, no matter how much musicals allow you to escape the life you live, many also allow us to introspectively analyze ourselves. Our day-to-day choices and what they mean, since there’s no map telling us what to do in life (ha). Sometimes, the best musicals allow you to leave, while also hitting close to home. The Tony-nominated musical, Dear Evan Hansen, has proven itself to be one of the most hard-hitting Broadway shows dealing with mental illness. The show, centering around high school student, Evan Hansen, who suffers from crippling anxiety, touches on the feeling of struggling with these mental illnesses and tries to remind viewers “you are not alone.” However, it’s not just the heartbreaking story, or the beautiful score written by Pasek and Paul that truly make this show the spectacle that it is, but it is, in my opinion Ben Platt’s amazing acting.
Throughout the entire show, on stage, we see Ben make strategic choices to allow us to actually see Evan as a character. Whether it was him picking at his sleeve anxiously or something as little as the way he sits on his bed, Ben is always in character and always conscious of the decisions he makes. There’s also the climax of the show during “Word’s Fail,” where somehow Ben makes himself completely vulnerable and raw, as he sobs the heart-rending lyrics. Being able to achieve that on stage is amazing in itself but being able to do that night after night? Truly talent. (More about that here.)
If you ever get the chance. I’d highly advise you to look into this show. Whether you’re able to see it, or simply listen to the soundtrack. I believe the show’s message resonates with many of us, especially those who do feel alone or lost at times, and it is extremely uplifting. Escapism AND therapy awaits.