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Dear Evan Hansen, Today’s Going to Be a Great Day and Here’s Why…


Trigger Warning: there is mention of suicidal thoughts and actions in this article and musical.

“Dear Evan Hansen” is probably one of the best musicals I have seen at the Hippodrome with “Lion King” being a close second. However, “Dear Evan Hansen” takes the cake because of how deeply emotional it is. That being said, because of how emotional the topic is, it makes the already intense message regarding mental health, trauma, and coping that much more important to the audience. Through music, but also the topic of the musical, the audience is immersed in the mentality of someone with mental illness.

In this particular cast, Stephen Anthony as Evan Hansen was the perfect choice. He brought a certain sense of humor to the character that many would not have thought to add. Not only that, but his humor seemed to have developed to a very “Gen-Z” quality, which is why I think it was so relatable to a younger audience and even entertaining for adults. Nonetheless, I think the play was casted perfectly as they each made the characters special in their own way. Each actor seemed to bring their own experience with mental health and mix it into the experience of their character throughout the plot.

Overall, I think the purpose of the musical was not only for characters Evan Hansen and Connor Murphy to find a way to explore their own feelings, but also for the crowd to understand the toll emotions and mental health can take on their own lives. In a way, it felt as if Evan Hansen’s life paralleled that of Connor Murphy’s, but showed the double edged sword that is mental health. While Connor had committed suicide, it seemed to be a window into how Evan Hansen’s life would have been if he was Connor. The musical uses Connor as an example of what could have been Evan Hansen’s devastating fate, which makes it all the more emotional. He explored the way society and the Murphy family reacted to Connor’s suicide without ever actually having to follow through with his own attempt. Although the circumstances were still much more terrible, Evan was able to use the fake letters between Connor and him to explore his own suicidal thoughts and actions that came as a result of his mental health.

The musical seems to try and prove that no one is ever truly alone, especially with the song “You Will Be Found.” The song is meant to be Evan Hansen’s way to speak about Connor Murphy through The Connor Project and how Hansen’s own story could be applied to others. Evan provided a way to make sure everyone knows how their choice can affect not only themselves, but the world around them as well; they are loved, they are worth it, and they are heard.

Deep down, I think the whole musical was Evan Hansen’s way of exploring his own mental health through someone else. Although the line between friendship and strangers is very thin for him and Connor, Evan used the “letters” he wrote to and from Connor to put into words his own thoughts and feelings while also somewhat detached from them. In a sense, he was truly able to sit down and think about his own suicide attempt that he had made earlier in the summer. Was it worth it? Did he regret it?

“Dear Evan Hansen” is a must see as it will truly pull a few heart strings. So, if you are able to attend one of their future tour dates, bring some tissues and your own emotions and be ready to experience the world of Evan and Connor head on!

On one last note, the Hippodrome Theater was immaculate. With their regulations regarding masks and also phone use, I, along with many of the audience members and even the cast, was able to enjoy the musical as it was meant to be. In addition, the cast was able to put on their best performance because they felt safer with the Hippodrome environment and the participation of the audience in the musical. I think that is truly what the Hippodrome wants to promote with any of their shows, I am glad they were able to do that with this audience and show.

Featured Image courtesy of Pexels

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Dear Evan Hansen, Today’s Going to Be a Great Day and Here’s Why…