Glenn's Really Honest Theater Review Of Dear Evan Hansen

June 13, 2019

Photo courtesy of Glenn Anderson Entercom Radio

Photo Credit: Ben Levi Ross as 'Evan Hansen' and the Company of the First North American Tour of Dear Evan Hansen. Photo by Matthew Murphy. 2018.

I saw Dear Evan Hansen last night with my 11 year old daughter Madelyn, my wife, and mother-In-law.  You've probably heard about it, and your pre-teens and actual teens are probably quite familiar with the music.  What's it all about?

Dear Evan Hansen tells the story of a young man with a social anxiety disorder who wants to make a connection with his peers..So much so, that he fabricates a relationship with a deceased student named Connor to become closer to the boy’s family. It's a misguided attempt at popularity, but it ends up culminating in a viral video that Evan produces about lonliness and friendship.  Will it all come crashing down?  Will Connor's parents find out that Evan and their troubled son were never friends? 

I wanted to see this show because as the father of a pre-teen, I know the lengths that children will go to seek popularity.  Isn't it sad how social media has created the expectation that none of us can just live our lives and be normal?  We have to be happy, have many friends, expensive clothes, and be a leader on our sports teams.  If not, then our children become withdrawn. As parents, we often don't see to what extent.  This show offered many avenues at conversation, and for that, I am grateful.

There were many times that I wondered who exactly this show was geared towards. As I glanced at the audience during certain scenes, I saw many teary-eyed adults.  The topic of popularity and self esteem might have parents dealing with their own unresolved issues in this area .  Watching the story unfold provides a glimpse into the struggles we all deal with on a daily basis  My suggestion?  Go see it with them. Talk to them, engage with them, but most importantly?  Be there for them.

As a show for the ages, the language is very colorful, so you've been warned.  Honestly, it doesn't detract from the amazing soundtrack and even more amazing life lessons. One of the main songs is titled "You Will Be Found". 

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?

Yes Evan, yes we have.  Thanks for giving us all a reason to think, and more importantly, a reason to persevere.  

If your child is younger than 11, I would maybe hold off going.  That's if you can even get tickets.  It's only here for 3 weeks, but there are LIMITED tickets available. There is also a nightly lottery for tickets. Get more info HERE