Dear Evan Hansen


Jacob Gibbs

Proceeding the colossal success of the Broadway original musical Hamilton, Ben Platt stunned the performing arts community with his performance in Dear Evan Hansen. Some even argue that Dear Evan Hansen led up to the current hype of Broadway musicals, as their assimilation into mainstream media and culture has shown prevalence. However, many wondered if the success of the musical regarding the controversial topics of teenage suicide and mental health was simply because of leading actor Ben Platt in the original Broadway execution. Nearly four years after the show’s debut in Broadway on July 9, 2015, it is fair to argue that Dear Evan Hansen has stunned audiences worldwide with shows selling out instantly, regardless of Ben Platt’s participation. The success of this musical has many wondering- why has this show had such great success with breaking into mainstream culture and moving audiences globally.

It is evident that in order for the performing arts to attract audiences in the 21st Century, they must delve into current issues and hot topics that concern the public. “Dear Evan Hansen” did exactly that by telling the stories of teenage depression, social anxiety, and even suicide. The show empowers implores audiences to extend their understanding of depression and treat mental illness like any other physical one. Senior Paige Langdale details the relevance of the musical and why it is so important to her.

“The play opened my eyes to how fragile teenagers can be and how we need to raise awareness for mental illness. It honestly inspired me to do more research regarding depression and the current rates of suicides that are occuring in our generation. It’s scary and needs to be addressed,” said Langdale.

After watching it twice on Broadway and once at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, California, she affirms that the Orange County adaptation successfully repeated the success of the Broadway hit. She urges everybody to buy tickets and watch the musical in their leisure time.

“After watching it three times, it’s definitely safe to say it was worth my time…I would watch it five more times again if I could,” said Langdale.

While the musical captivated audiences globally, the soundtrack also attained momentum through both moving ballads and face-paced anthems. Despite having not watched the show, senior Hannah Herin expressed her enjoyment for the soundtrack.

“Even though I haven’t actually seen the show, the soundtrack is one of the best albums I’ve heard before … it evokes practically every emotion in me all at once,” said Herin.

Herin is not alone, as the hit song “Waving Through A Window” even peaked at #1 on the “Billboard Hot 100” on December 9, 2017.