From Broadway to the Big Screen!

This year, many of Broadway’s most favorite musicals are making their way to our streaming services and movie theaters. One of them is a fairly well-known one: Dear Evan Hansen. This musical is based around a high school boy with high school issues…but not your usual high school issues. Evan is trying to navigate his dilemmas, while also battling with his emotions, intrusive thoughts, and mentally inhibiting feelings. In this musical, there are subjects of suicide and other very sensitive topics, so it wasn’t the easiest to sit through. With that, I decided to interview two teachers at this school, Mrs. Shafer, and Mr. Morphew, about their opinions of this musical-to-movie production, and their overall point of view of the storyline. Alongside their critiques, I also went to see the movie myself, with many of my feelings relating to theirs as well.

Our main character, Evan Hansen is played by renowned Broadway actor, Ben Platt. Many people are excited to see him do the works of this character. Due to the severity of this story’s situation, Mrs. Shafer hopes a better message comes out of it. Much pain, heartbreak, and sorrow surround this musical, making it a little difficult for some viewers, like myself, to enjoy. However, when asked what she did enjoy about this musical and the character with the most impact on her, she really felt for Evan’s mom. His mother, played by Julianne Moore, attempts to do anything she can to survive while “also providing him with every single thing she can because she is a single mother.” Defeat and destruction tend to be a common theme within this musical, however, it is hard to deny the sympathy I felt as I watched this. The music plays into the movie well also, as I received the opportunity to see so much more emotion through their songs, especially Requiem.

Mr. Morphew agrees as well, as many of us see how much talent IS shown through these songs. He’s excited to see the musical become accessible to everyone, making it easier for people to truly have an eye into the Broadway world. Mr. Morphew also hopes that the message through the play reaches “younger audiences” and helps inspire them in ways some they may have not thought about. 

After I saw the film version of the musical, I felt very down, but with this storyline, it’s a bit difficult to walk away being pleased. I appreciate the focus on mental awareness and suicide prevention that this movie promotes, however, it’s not for the faint of heart. As a teenager in present-day America, it breaks me to see events as sad as these ones…even if they are make-believe. Dear Evan Hansen is an amazing movie that does help spread the much-needed awareness, but it might trigger people battling these issues every day.