Review: DEAR EVAN HANSEN at the Eccles Theater is Filled with Palpable Emotion

DEAR EVAN HANSEN plays the Eccles Theater for a limited engagement through Sunday, March 5, 2023.

By: Mar. 01, 2023
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Review: DEAR EVAN HANSEN at the Eccles Theater is Filled with Palpable Emotion

The last time the national tour of DEAR EVAN HANSEN played at the Eccles Theater, in March 2020, its run was cut short as the world shut down due to coronavirus. Now it's back for those who missed it and the lucky ones who get a second viewing. Filled with emotion that's almost palpable, the musical provides an experience that is deeply moving.

DEAR EVAN HANSEN (book by Stephen Levenson, music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul) comes from the Tony, Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe winning songwriting team of THE GREATEST SHOWMAN and A CHRISTMAS STORY. The 2017 Best Musical Tony winner was adapted to an enjoyable, unfairly maligned film in 2021. Socially awkward high school senior Evan Hansen finds himself caught in a web of deceit after a misunderstanding that he struggles to correct. As the lie becomes more difficult to control, it begins to bring him everything he has wanted in life. Is it really wrong if it's helping people?

Anthony Norman's portrayal of Evan is grounded and driven, likeable and even loveable. He carries the show on his shoulders with poise and magnetism. His mother, Heidi, is played by Broadway and Pioneer Theatre Company alum Coleen Sexton with vigor, motherly instincts, and hard-hitting vocals.

Pablo David Laucerica as Jared and Micaela Lamas as Alana are true shining stars with big personalities and even bigger singing voices.

Every member of the Murphy family fills their role beautifully, creating uncountable poignant, affecting moments, including Alaina Anderson as Zoe, August Emerson as Connor, John Hemphill as Larry, and Lili Thomas as Cynthia.

The production design cannily augments the storytelling by reflecting the digital world enveloping the characters, including social media. The projection design by Peter Nigrini and scenic design by David Korins work together seamlessly to accomplish this, effectively creating emotional response through the abstract. The stunning lighting design by Japhy Weideman perfectly complements their work and is chill-inducing when paired with the music and performances.

DEAR EVAN HANSEN plays the Eccles Theater for a limited engagement through Sunday, March 5, 2023. For tickets, call ArtTix at 801-355-ARTS (2787) or visit www.artsaltlake.org.

CONTENT ADVISORY: The musical contains a number of instances of strong language.

Photo Credit: Evan Zimmerman




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