While my parents and sister were in town last month, I was trying to come up with fun things to do. We had plans one day/night, and that left one other full free day/night. Sometimes we go into the city when they’re here and sometimes we don’t. We decided to make a trip to NYC for dinner and a Broadway show. My entire family loves Broadway musicals.
My sister and I grew up swimming in our pool all summer with various Broadway soundtracks blasting through the backyard. There was a lot of RENT, Evita, and (of course) Broadway Kids. We made almost yearly trips to New York City from when we lived in Boston and even Tampa, with at least one Broadway show on the itinerary.
We’ve seen, as a family, Lion King, Sound of Music, Annie, RENT, Cats, Kinky Boots, Newsies, Jersey Boys, Matilda, and I’m sure more that I can’t remember. (With touring shows, we’ve seen even more and my sister and I have quite a number of shows under our belts.) One year we went to see Hairspray and Wicked back to back, and it was the best trip ever. I see musicals every chance I get.
I had been dying to see Dear Evan Hansen but I also knew my family wants to see Hamilton. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get tickets for Hamilton with our turnaround time*. (We didn’t know what night we’d have free until that week.)
FYI I’ve already seen it twice and have gotten reasonably priced tickets on the resale market from StubHub. I’ve gotten emails about how I get tickets to shows that are sold out and that is how. Yes, there’s a premium, but if you want to see a show and can afford it, I’ve found that it’s worth it. I always select the option that allows me to print the tickets right at home and I’ve never had a problem! As an example, the face value of the seats I got for Dear Evan Hansen was $199 and I got each ticket for $260… four days before the sold-out show.
So Dear Evan Hansen for us! Now, I had wanted to see this show for ages. I try not to listen to the music before seeing any Broadway show (anyone else do that?!), but I had read one article about Ben Platt and heard a couple of the songs when I went to the Tony Awards viewing party. Other than that, I only had a vague idea about the show.
I don’t want to give away too much about the plot in case you’re like me. So I’m actually not going to say a lot about the specifics… and I’m not even sure how to write this post other than to tell you that I think everyone needs to see it. I wish every high school could watch it performed live– the message is SO IMPORTANT.
I have to say, it’s definitely in my top five favorite musicals now. Just, wow. It’s an emotional journey, while still funny and entertaining. My poor dad cried the entire time. My sister, mom, and I cried a couple of times. I’ve since purchased the soundtrack and every time I listen to it, I get even more emotional about it. Sometimes I have to sit in my car for a few minutes to collect myself before getting out.
The set design is perfectly limited, nothing over the top at all, including wardrobe. It’s simple and raw and perfectly incorporates the technology part of teens’ lives (Gchat, documents, Facebook posts, hashtags, live video streaming, etc.). At times it feels more like a play than a full-blown musical.
Ben Platt was the original Evan Hansen and so he’s on the soundtrack, but we saw it with Noah Galvin. As much as I love Ben Platt (and his performances for the show were truly incredible), I think Noah Galvin was made for the role. My sister and I keep referring to him as “Our Evan,” and we have been searching for every Youtube video of him performing. If you watch videos of Ben and then a video of Noah, you can see how they each interpreted the role a little differently. He’s only playing Evan until the end of the month when Taylor Trensch (he’s from Tampa and went to the performing art school where I did my dance recitals!) will take over.
If you get the chance to see it, GO!!!!