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Interview: Micaela Lamas & Pablo David Laucerica of DEAR EVAN HANSEN at Peace Center

North American Tour of hit Broadway musical returns to Greenville on October 11-16

Interview: Micaela Lamas & Pablo David Laucerica of DEAR EVAN HANSEN at Peace Center

The Peace Center's 2022-23 Broadway Series kicks off this month with the return of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Last seen here in July 2019, DEAR EVAN HANSEN tells a profound and deeply personal story of social anxiety, community loss, and the overwhelming influence of social media.

"This show does inherently strike a chord with younger folks," Pablo David Laucerica told BWW in a recent phone interview. Laucerica plays Evan Hansen's friend, Jared. "It really goes into how isolating social media can be."

Fellow performer Micaela Lamas, who joined us on the call, agrees. "I think it shows how much the Internet can manipulate," she said, "that you can't always take things at face value."

Lamas plays Alana, another of Evan's acquaintances. Together they run a blog that first launches Evan's fame before ultimately leading to his downfall.

Pablo Laucerica
Pablo Laucerica

"The opening shot of this show is Evan in a dark room, with his face being lit up by the screen," says Laucerica, "and that's very indicative of younger folks in this generation and how the Internet can serve as a connecting tool."

But when things begin to go awry for Evan and his friends, we see the flip side of Internet connection.

"The Internet can manipulate," says Lamas. "You can't always take things at face value. And I feel like this show does a good job showing both the pros and cons of social media and its effects on society and especially people's mental health."

But not to worry - this show is not just a drama about social media and mental health.

"I think it is very often underestimated, because of how visceral and real this show is, that it is also simultaneously a very funny show," says Laucerica. "There's so much comedy in it and there are so many light moments. There are obviously uplifting moments, but also just genuinely funny moments and, selfishly, I get to have the most fun with the funny parts of the show."

Laucerica's character, Jared, is described as being crass, sarcastic, and often inappropriate. "It's kind of a running bit that, alright, the audience is gonna feel some strong emotions in this scene so let's throw Jared into the next scene to loosen them up a little bit, make them laugh, and then we can continue along with the show," says Laucerica. "Jared fundamentally is the comic relief, but still very, very real, which is a testament to the writing of this show. Jared is still a three dimensional character that grows over the course of this show." Jared also gets a great song early in the show, a song that is as fun for Laucerica to perform as it is for the audience to watch. "'Sincerely Me' is just the most fun number," he says. "It's just a hoot."

<a target=Micaela Lamas" height="550" src="https://cloudimages.broadwayworld.com/upload13/2201315/LAMAS%2C%20Micaela.jpg" width="400" />
Micaela Lamas

Micaela Lamas' favorite number is one from late in act one called "Disappear." "You start to see these three friends - Jared, Alana, and Evan - really connect about uniting people," Lamas says, "and my favorite part of doing this show is to every day start over and see how all of our characters grow. They are going through their senior year of high school and that, for me personally, was such a pivotal part of maturing into a young adult, transitioning to college. And having to go through that and put that into Alana as she changes in Act 2 is a challenge every day."

To people who are considering seeing the show for the first time, Lamas describes it as being about mental health and the way that people - both young and old - navigate relationships. "Even though, the young adults in this musical have a lot of baggage, the conflicts that they deal with are also the ones the adults have as well. You're seeing these parents struggle with things that we are struggling with, but in such a different way, and I think that's what makes it so relatable. A single mom in the audience will see herself in Heidi, and parents in general will themselves in the Murphys. Everyone will see themselves in each character, whether it's your inner child or you as an adult. It's just such a relatable show."

Laucerica puts it like this. "It is just a show about people trying their best. You know, every person is trying to be better, trying to help others, trying whether they succeed or not. Every character is so genuine and real. It's all about modern relationships, whether they be familial, friendship, or romantic. This kind of freezes that modern essence of those relationships and puts it on stage in a very compelling, relatable way."

Plus, I add, some great songs

Laucerica laughs in agreement. "Some bangers!"

"An amazing score," adds Lamas. "I will always love 'Waving Through A Window.' That's pretty much my favorite song since I was 17. That one really gets me. I remember the first time I heard it - I didn't even know what the show was about, but I just started crying when I heard those songs. It's so good."


DEAR EVAN HANSEN

October 11 - 16 at The Peace Center in downtwon Greenville, SC.

RUN TIME & AGE RECOMMENDATION

· Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one intermission

· The show recommends ages 12 and up. Children under the age of four are not permitted.

· This production contains adult themes, including discussions of suicide.

AWARDS

· Winner of six 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Musical; 9 Tony nominations total

· Winner of the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album

· Winner of three Olivier Awards, including Best New musical

TICKETS

Call the box office at 864.467.3000 or visit peacecenter.org.

FOLLOW THE SHOW ON SOCIAL

· Website: https://dearevanhansen.com/

· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DearEvanHansen/

· Twitter: https://twitter.com/DearEvanHansen

· Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dearevanhansen/


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From This Author - Neil Shurley

Neil Shurley has been covering the Greenville SC arts scene since 2001. A member of the American Theatre Critics Association, his theatre-related work has appeared in such publications as The ... (read more about this author)


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