Pittsburgh once again is lucky to have an amazing cultural identity but still enjoy not being a large city. Broadway Across America brought Dear Evan Hansen to Heinz Hall last night and it’s hard to imagine that the production wasn’t every bit as impactful as seeing the show on Broadway. The cast gelled wonderfully and could blow anyone away with the talent. No surprise that Ben Levi Ross, who plays the title character, has Pittsburgh connections as he studied at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.
Dear Evan Hansen isn’t a story that takes you to a happy magical land or asks you to suspend belief for two and a half hours; it deals with right now and issues that everyone has either felt or been a part of adult or teenager. I would go as far to say that the show should be a near requirement for parents to view with their teenagers.
Mental health, better communication between parents and child, and how lies can so easily spin out of control becoming bigger than what can be handled. Dear Evan Hansen addresses this all well, the drama has enough humor mixed in to keep from feeling bludgeoned with the message.
Mental health is slowly becoming less of a taboo subject to discuss or even admit to and I imagine that Dear Evan Hansen has helped lift the veil; especially with the standout ‘You Will Be Found’ not just being the shows tagline but a hope of anyone dealing with depression or anxiety. I don’t think there was a dry eye of anyone that has ever felt alone during the Act 1 finale.
Dear Evan Hansen will be showing until the end of the week in Pittsburgh and I highly recommend trying to get tickets. If you aren’t from Pittsburgh, be on the lookout for the closet stop on the tour.