This was completely on a whim, which is unnatural for a careful-planner Candace. I was stalking Miss Saigon music because I had recently found out someone from my high school was casted in it when I saw an ad for Dear Evan Hansen. “Waving through a Window” started playing and I immediately had to find the song. I also remembered during a set I worked on, one of the actors had told me her favorite show as of recent, so the name was familiar. The cast album is does not come out for another two weeks (CAN IT BE FEBRUARY 3) and the Wikipedia page gives the most vague synopsis, so I was intrigued – I’ve never gone into a show not knowing the entire plot and most of the music. Moreover, this is a relatively new show, as its technically just opened on Broadway about a month ago, and I have never caught a show this early on, so I had my heart set on at least trying to go. Naturally, tickets were sold out until March and in March, the only dates I could afford were matinees which were still quadruple my budget range. Thus, I stalked out StubHub, and it dropped to $90, which was the lowest I’d ever seen it.
At 6:55pm, I bought the tickets for pickup for the 8pm show. There was an adrenaline rush that came with doing something so spontaneously (despite the big hole I thought was in my wallet) and doing something on completely your own. Usually during shows, I always feel like I am 200% more invested than the people I go with, so I am often looking for reactions similar to mine. However, this time I focused completely on me, and that resulted in crying a total of seven times.
As someone with many anxious tendencies, it was refreshing to see a character that I could see a lot of myself in. Especially in the past few months, I have felt an utter sense of loneliness and insignificance, and this musical captures that feeling perfectly. Evan’s word vomit reminds me a frighteningly amount of myself, and I love the authentic incorporation of social media. The songs are also absolutely incredible, I love “Waving through a Window” of course, “Requiem,” “For Forever,” “So Big/So Small.” Honestly, there was not a song that I did not really enjoy, but those are the ones that I for sure cried during.
Each character had their own complexities and since the cast was so small, each character felt well explored. The idea of guilt and grieving in “Requiem” is also a theme I have been thinking about a lot since a family member recently passed, and everything just seemed so relatable. Ben Platt’s performance was absolutely incredible. The amount of raw emotion, tears, and energy that he puts into really nailing the mannerisms and inflections of Evan is completely transformative and so admirable. I have no clue how he does it eight times a week so I really hope he gets more acclaim for this. I can’t.
Also – side note – the idolization of Zoe from Evan even though he did not know her was TOO REAL. That opening sequence was word vomit to a tee.
After the first act, I was so upset that it was already half way over and once it finished, I was in an absolute daze. I really hope that this show continues playing for a long time to come because I think it is something that someone at every age can relate to, and deals with mental health in a very validating and not too stigmatizing manner. Basically, I am in love and I want as many people to feel like they matter too, which is a theme that runs through the show.
I waited at stage door by myself, and since I am somewhat of an amateur at this, I was awkward af. Almost the entire cast came out, which was awesome, but I wish I could have said something more than just “thank you” but that seemed most genuine and least awkward at the moment. I don’t know, who am I? The entire cast was extremely friendly and talented and smiley, it was great.
Tears “for forever.” If I had enough money, I would definitely go many more times, it was an absolute gem.