Trying to Fully-Connect

I saw “Dear Evan Hansen” at a 2 pm matinee performance on Saturday, August 8, 2015 at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

The book and music are excellent.  It’s a very touching story, set in a contemporary world of today where young people engage primarily online.  I would describe it as a story about loneliness in the midst of our hyper-connected world of social media. The need to connect profoundly with another human being is what makes the show relatable to different generations — because teenagers aren’t the only ones today looking for love.

The main character is a high school student, Evan Hansen, who writes a letter to himself at the advice of his therapist.  The letter is discovered by another student, and becomes the source of the entire plot of the show and examines different shades of “truth”:  actual, fictional, authentic, disingenuous, intentionally or unintentionally deceptive.  Who are we in a virtual world — our true messy imperfect boring selves, or an ideal one we choose to project and ultimately want to become?

The run at Arena Stage is from July 10, 2015 to August 23, 2015.

Here are two good reviews:

Peter Marks, The Washington Post:

Charles Isherwood, The New York Times:

And the Area Stage show page (links to videos):

Will “Dear Evan Hansen” make it to Broadway in 2016 or 2017?



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