“Dear Evan Hansen” is Relevant and Realistic


Samantha Winn, Co-Writing Editor

Friends. College. Anxiety. Firsts. Lasts.


All of the above explain the weird and unusual time known as senior year of high school.


The hit new Broadway show, Dear Evan Hansen, explores the struggles of high school while also dealing with the loss of a classmate.


Starting with “Does Anyone Have a Map?,” the parents of the main characters Evan Hansen and Connor Murphy are trying to instill motivation into their sons to start senior year off on the best foot possible, but they meet roadblocks. Both are characterized as outcasts in high school and friends are in short supply.


Even from the start, I knew this musical soundtrack was going to be something I would love.


In “For Forever,” we learn that Connor commits suicide, showing how distressing death can be, even when it seems like no one cares. Evan and Jared, a close friend of Connor’s, work to keep his spirit alive by faking that they actually knew each other, in “Sincerely, Me” and “Disappear.”


The actions of these high schoolers — just the same age as you and me — show how selfless people can be. They are caring, they are kind, they will stick together no matter the case. It’s inspiring. And it is one of the reasons why the musical is so good.


We’ve all seen something like this — and it’s truly magical. I felt magic while listening to this.


Evan Hansen and his classmates create a student organized group called the Connor Project in “You Will Be Found” where their efforts in fundraising in Connor’s name go viral due to Evan’s online speech.


After Act One, I enjoyed listening to music that I could relate to in one way or another. It’s a bit unconventional for the average Billboard top 100 listener, but the Broadway storytelling in the songs propels the message of the musical.


Act Two is all about building relationships out of the ashes of Connor’s death. In “Only Us,” Evan and his classmate Zoe start to develop a more intimate relationship with one another and want to be a couple rather than just be acquaintances through Connor.


However, Evan’s plan eventually falls apart in “Words Fail,” ending in distress among Evan and Connor’s family.


It’s disheartening to listen to this song because you can tell how much Evan wanted to make things right for Connor. He just wouldn’t know what it would lead to. The guilt is something that nobody should have to experience, but everyone does at some point.


In the finale, Evan tells himself it’s going to be a good day, showing that he has grappled and coped with the death of Connor as well as his anxiety disorder. It shows self love, growth, and improvement — all crucial to high schoolers.


Dear Evan Hansen isn’t what most think of when they think of Broadway. Usually the big dance numbers, the timeless tales and the top-billed cast and crew are the memorable parts of a huge production. However, Dear Evan Hansen explores the reality that many of us see and experience everyday. And it’s fantastic.

The musical score was one of the best I’ve heard, the lyrics being both witty and smart, while conveying the emotion of a teenager in a beautiful way. It is truly something special that everyone should take a listen to, reminding us of how precious life is.