Saturday, March 17, 2018

Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen is a recent Broadway musical, focused on themes of connectivity (digital, interpersonal) and isolation (same). See previously.

It continues to be a triumph of theater, an incredible and carefully-constructed mirror of reality which is so achingly accurate that it shakes its audience with their own feelings of isolation and desperate loneliness.

Plus I like music, and words.

D. and I saw it from excellent seats --- front center of the balcony --- and the perspective, the separation of audience from stage, completely vanished in the immediacy of the drama. It feels real, it feels like watching reality, and actual interactions between characters with the depth and conflicts of real people.

It still made me cry; there were pauses in the action where, in the silence between lines, the sound of the entire audience softly weeping could be heard. So I was not alone. (Major theme and repeated leitmotif: "you are not alone".) I liked having D. there to bounce theories and analyses around; he went a bit further than I did, finding a Greek-style framing device in the first and last scene, but who can blame him? I think a little analysis helps scab over the raw, shredded feelings that the musical elicits.

This post's theme word is bavardage (n), "chattering; gossip." The cacophony of bavardage that is surround-sound twitter/instagram/youtube/blogs is effectively overwhelming, whether staged or naturally experienced.