Everyone knows Pitch Perfect, right? We can all quote it, and probably do on a regular basis. We’ve all started impromptu a capella singalongs in post offices by randomly going “zoomzoomzoomzoomzoomzoomzoom” right? (That’s not just me, right?) It was a great movie, and became such a fan favorite that it’s inspired a sequel and an upcoming third movie. It’s one of those movies that made us fall in love with the characters so hard that each actor has amassed passionate fanbases of their own. I’ve been following Skylar Astin on all available forms of social media since the movie was first released, and after he posted a particularly adorable photo of himself and his BFF from the movie Ben Platt, I started following Ben as well. Ben is ADORABLE, and for the longest time he’s been talking about a project he’s been working on, a new musical called Dear Evan Hansen. Because I’d fallen in love with Ben on social media, I became obsessed with the musical. I didn’t know much about it, had barely heard any of the music, but I already considered myself a fan.
Then it moved to Broadway, which means an OBCR. Which was released on Friday.
I have literally not stopped listening to it (and crying) since.
The show’s blurb is vague, and I totally understand why. Trying to explain what the show is about in a few sentences is pretty difficult, and I haven’t even seen it, so I’m sure I don’t know the whole story.
A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in.
Ben’s been working on this show since it first opened in Washington, DC in 2015. With a creative team that includes Alex Lacamoire and Michael Greif, I kind of figured I would love the music, but even years of Instagram posts and song snippets couldn’t prepare me for listening to the full OBCR for the first time. I can’t remember exactly when I cried first, but I’m guessing it was the finale of Act I, You Will Be Found.
I’m so in love that I’m planning a trip to NYC in May to see this show (and Waitress, because apparently I need to be totally emotionally wrecked two nights in a row), savings account be damned. I need to see Ben Platt in this show. He – and the rest of the cast – have been getting RAVE reviews. A pal of mine who saw the show a few weeks ago said there’s no way Ben isn’t winning the Tony this year. Another friend called it a “$200 breakdown,” another “slightly less expensive therapy.” If you read more details about the story, you can see why those statements are true.
What I love about this show – just from listening to the music and seeing photos and descriptions of the set – is how it’s modernizing the musical. The songs are poppy and catchy, but still sound Broadway. Social media is featured heavily in the show, and the show features heavily on social media (the songwriters for the show are avid fans of YouTube). The story itself will resonate with a younger crowd, but so will the staging and promotion, and as we saw with Hamilton, the social media generation is what you need to hook nowadays.
One surprise I got while listening to the recording is how much the parents’ stories hit me. Maybe it’s just because I’m older than the teenagers at the heart of DEH, but the other song on the album that makes me sob is Evan’s mom’s So Big/So Small. I was raised by a single mom, so that might also be why her songs break my heart.
I encourage you to give the musical a listen. It’s available on iTunes, and on Spotify. If you want to see why Ben Platt’s Evan rips out my heart, watch him perform on Late Night With Seth Meyers. THE TEARS STREAM DOWN MY FACE.
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