Cinema of the Week: Dear Evan Hansen

Kristen Hines, Columnist •

Almost every season, every Tony Awards has one show that sweeps the competition right off its feet. And this year, that Tony sweeper was Dear Evan Hansen.

The story has a main focus on high school characters who are insecure and have anxiety, putting a spotlight on kids who are having trouble with family and friends, discussing heavy themes, such as depression and suicide. While this musical certainly isn’t the first to focus on these themes, audiences seem to be captivated by the music above all else, as they’re written by Alex Lacramore, aka the man who wrote the music for Hamilton.

The story centers around Evan Hansen, a teenage boy with anxiety who eventually finds himself in a whirl of activity circling around one of his former classmates, and all centered around a lie. I won’t say much more so as not to spoil it, but it’s definitely a tearjerker. While the music has a pop-style, the acoustics allow for some amazing swells of emotional moments for when the musical has to slow down for more serious or tragic moments. It’s an emotional ride that leaves a good amount of people in tears by the end.

Unfortunately, while Dear Evan Hansen has its share of fans, it has its share of haters too. They range from not liking the portrayal of those with mental illness to simply being mad that this musical won all the Tony’s while an equally amazing musical such as ‘Great Comet of 1812’ was left completely in the dust.

While it’s impossible for me to argue against these as I’m sure some of these people had valid points, the musical isn’t as bad as they say. Sure, it may not be for everyone, and the flaws are definitely there, Dear Evan Hansen is still a good musical with some very heartfelt music. If you have nothing to do, then give it a listen and judge it for yourself.

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