For its North American Tour launch, the musical Dear Evan Hansen came to Colorado for its first stop. It was here from later September till the 13th of October. I saw it on the 11th. It was life changing, to say the least.
The songs themselves were stunning. All of the actors had wonderful voices and provided a stunning performance. The orchestra sounded better than a studio record version, and the execution of the set added to the wow factor of the entire thing. I don’t have a single bad thing to say about it.
However, it wasn’t the singing, dancing and music that made the musical so impactful for me.
It was the message.
For those of you who don’t know, the preface of Dear Evan Hansen is about a high school senior, Evan Hansen, who has a crush on underclassman, Zoe Murphy. Evan is instructed by his therapist to write letters to himself every day. “Dear Evan Hansen, today’s going to be a great day, here’s why…” The first one he writes falls into a pessimistic rant about his crush on Zoe and how she’s never going to know who Evan is.
The beginning of the musical shows Zoe’s older brother, Connor Murphy, the schools “outcast,” in the computer lab with Evan. Evan is printing out his letter, Connor finds it and freaks out. Three days after the matter, it’s discovered that Connor has taken his own life. The rest of the musical follows the spiraling lie that Evan creates about Connor being his secret best friend, even though he wasn’t.
While the musical shows tear-jerking relationships from parent and kids to romantic relationships, it most importantly shows the relationship between teenagers and society.
As a senior in high school, especially in the Littleton district where we’ve lost so many young lives to suicide, this musical hit close to home. It showed the importance of not leaving people out.
No matter how “weird” you think someone is, there’s an importance in making an effort to try to get to know them. You never know what someone is going through, and if they need a friend to talk to. Dear Evan Hansen shows that, which is why it spoke to me on such a deep level.
Aside from the catchy music, Dear Evan Hansen has a true message to share that is beyond applicable to ALL high school students.
Almost every teacher I’ve had has something along the lines of “you need to see _____ before you graduate,” but I think that every student needs to see Dear Evan Hansen before they graduate because of how important it is for high schoolers to understand the idea of inclusivity.
In the words of the song “Disappear,” from the musical, “no one deserves to be forgotten.”