A Breathtaking Performance by the “Dear Evan Hansen” Lead
Social anxiety, friendship, loneliness, grief, suicidal thoughts, and lies are part of an average teenager’s life – and Broadway’s “Dear Evan Hansen” captures this reality in a poetic manner. The narrative aims to send a message of hope to every troubled person (#YouWillBeFound).
It has been quoted as one of the most inspirational plays to hit the stage – and 6 Tony Awards are a testament to its influence. Just see Dear Evan Hansen with your won eyes, buy ticket on National tour!
“Dear Evan Hansen” takes a personal approach by walking in the shoes of a typical teenager. The creative crew of Peter Nigrini (projection designer) and David Korins (scenic designer) put together one of the most eye-catching sets you’ll see in a Broadway musical. This includes different orientations of projected screens that literary fill the stage as they play videos, show photos, Facebook entries, Tweets, and text messages. It has a modern 21st century feel that seems to highlight the future of Broadway musicals.
What Makes Evan Hansen a Beloved Character?
As you can tell from the name, “Dear Evan Hansen” revolves around the life of Evan Hansen (Stephen Christopher Anthony) – a 17-year-old guy who struggles to fit in. Hansen features an iconic blue polo shirt and a cast on his left arm.
The musical starts as the isolated Evan gets ready to start his life in a new school. Aside from the broken arm, the character is under therapy – and he is required to write a letter every morning to encourage a positive outlook on the day ahead.
As he heads off to his new school, his mother (played by Jessica E. Sherman) advises him to get other students to sign his cast. Despite his best attempts, the only student who agrees to sign Hansen’s cast is a troubled drug user named Connor (played by Noah Kieserman). Even this seemingly positive action turns tragic when Conner commits suicide a few days after meeting Hansen.
Connor’s family is left distraught and grieving from the unexpected turn of events. When Evans meets Connor’s family, he feels cornered and ends up lying that he was a friend to the late son – a lie that compounds until it affects the entire nation.
Evan is tasked with the responsibility of giving a speech during Connor’s memorial service. The speech goes viral and ultimately leads to the launch of a GoFundMe site to honor the memory of Connor. But as the saying goes, “the truth always comes out.” The lies perpetuated by Evan, his cousin Jared, and friend Alana gradually come to light – affecting everyone involved.
Anthony’s Outstanding Performance
Stephen Christopher Anthony takes the bull by the horns as he leads the show in an award-worthy performance. In particular, his solos including “You Will Be Found” and “Words Fail” are sure to touch your heart or even drop some tears. Anthony’s performance along with the ingenious plot of “Dear Evan Hansen,” makes the show a must-see musical!
Supporting Anthony, John Hemphill (Conner’s father, Larry), Colleen Sexton (Conner, mother, Cynthia), Stephanie La Rochelle (Conner’s sister, Zoe) put in a convincing performance of a grieving family – with emotions flying everywhere. It’s also worth appreciating the rib-cracking performance of Alessandro Costantini (Evan’s cousin, Jared).