23 Mar Dear Me,
This week’s entry is going to be another one about musical theatre. They say writers write about what they know, and that’s definitely true in my case, which is why, every now and again, I write about plays that I’ve been lucky enough to watch. The one that I’m going to focus on today is called Dear Evan Hansen.
Some plays and musicals are pretty obscure and are only on the radar of people who enjoy frequenting these types of events, but then there are others, like Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and Hamilton: An American Musical, that many people at least know by name (often times, they’ve probably even heard a song or two without realizing it). Dear Evan Hansen is one of those plays. It premiered on Broadway a few years ago, but it’s been around a little bit longer than its Broadway premiere. Around January of 2017, which was about five months before the Tony awards (the Oscars for theatre) came on, I started to hear a lot about this new play. I didn’t do any research on it before watching the Tony’s, which is why I was pleasantly surprised by Ben Platt’s performance of “Waving through a Window” that was done at that awards show. From the first moment that he opened his mouth, all the way to very last powerful note that radiated throughout all of Radio City Music Hall, I was captivated. It was that performance that made me an instant fan of the musical. I just knew that I needed to see it, so when I found out that it was coming to LA I happily bought my ticket for the play.
Now, some musicals out there are pretty light and airy, and while Dear Evan Hansen has funny moments, it’s very deep overall.
Dear Evan Hansen is about this high schooler who’s kind of awkward and doesn’t really have any friends. It centers on a lie that he tells that keeps growing and growing until it’s out of proportion.
When Evan breaks his arm after falling out of a tree, a boy in school named Connor, who’s also a loner, signs his cast. After he signs the cast he finds a note that Evan has written to himself by order of his therapist. When Connor finds the note, he thinks that Evan has written the note in order to make fun of him. Evan tries to explain that the note wasn’t about him, but Connor doesn’t believe him, so he storms off with the paper in hand and takes it back to his home. Later that night, Connor kills himself. His parents find the note, and think that Connor wrote it to Evan. Since the letter started off with the words “Dear Evan Hansen,” and since they found it in their son’s room, it was a logical leap to believe that Connor wrote it to Evan. After discovering the message they assumed that Evan and Connor were friends, but instead of telling the truth, Evan tells the grieving parents that he was friends with their son.
Eventually, the whole school ends up finding out that Evan and Connor were “friends,” which thrusts Evan into semi-popularity. After Connor’s death, everyone wants to pretend like they thought that Connor was a good guy who they loved, and since Evan was “friends” with him, he becomes popular by association. The lie gets even bigger when he makes a speech about Connor that gets broadcasted and disseminated across the nation by the means of social media. In time, he ends up coming clean to Connor’s family, but the road to that confession is definitely a doozy.
The part of the play that I would like to focus on today is the letters that Evan writes to himself. Evan’s therapist told him to write messages to himself because Evan needed to add more positive thinking into his life, and that’s something that everyone can use a bit more of. Each day Evan was supposed to write a note to himself saying why that day was going to be a good day. And even though this is just what a fictional character had to do, it’s definitely an act that we can all do in our life.
So many times we get wrapped up on the negative things that we may actually think that good things won’t happen to us. However, when we begin to shift that way of thinking, we can start to see that there are things in our life that can turn our bad day into a good day. For example, you may have a day that’s jam packed full of meetings that you’d rather not go to and then after you get off of work you may have to drive in 2 hours worth of traffic to get home. But if there’s just one thing in that day that you can look forward to then it can be a good day for you. If you’re excited about being able to eat your favorite food when you get home or watch your favorite program on TV then that can make your day a good one. It’s all about how you choose to look at the situation!
Choose to focus on the good things in your life positive thinker. Claim that today is going to be a good day, and, chances are; it will be!