If you consider getting theatre tickets as a holiday gift for family and friends, think early, perhaps think now, for opening tonight at the Music Center’s Ahmanson , and running for a month through November 25th, is the smash hit musical “Dear Evans Hansen.”
Or as I suggest on my arts and entertainment commentary for public radio, 99.1 KBUU, and select websites, maybe you just want to treat yourself and a companion.
For there is no question that this Tony, Grammy, and just-about-every other stage-award winner, promises to be a mega hit, a simple heartbreaking, deeply personal story about a lonely teenager sent soaring.
If you go, be sure to bring some tissues, for this from all reports and reviews, is a tear jerker, very much in the present now, a contemporary tale to tug at the heart.
And yes, there is humor, too, making seeing “Dear Evans Hansen” a very welcomed experience these depressing days in which our democracy is under insidious attack. It is sucrose for the soul to on occasion be uplifted and feel good.
The production certainly wowed the critics. The New York Times called “Dear Evan Hansen” “a gut-punching, breathtaking knockout of a musical.” “An inspiring anthem resonating on Broadway.” said NBC News, and for an over-the-top rave, the Washington Post’s Peter Marks declared it “One of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history.”
What makes it so involving and riveting is that the Evans Hansen character has been described as a believable somebody, to whom you at least in part can identify; a high school kid enduring the trials, tribulations of everyday life, and then an unforeseen triumph, and its challenges.
But enough said; one does not want to give away the plot,
Complementing the sensitive book by Steven Levenson is a haunting score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, home grown talents who not incidentally collaborated on the acclaimed movie “La La Land.” In keeping with the ambience of the story, most of the songs are reflective ballads, not the usual show-stopping numbers.
As such, it is a rare musical, one that is to be savored. You just might want to see it a second time.
But for the moment I suggest you might want to get a ticket before it sells out, or enter the rolling lottery to score a discounted ticket. Check out the details on the internet by logging into “dearevanhunter.” Whatever, don’t miss this.