Dear Evan Hansen – You’re Not Alone

Dear Dear Evan Hansen Potential Theatre Patron,

You may cry some tears as the show deals with tough topics like suicide, depression, anxiety, and divorce. Multiple characters explore the feeling of not belonging regardless of their situation and the everyday persona they present to the world. A great show for parents to watch with their teenagers, if you can get them to be seen in public with you. That was a joke.

Dear Evan Hansen PhotoThe story centers around Evan Hansen (Ben Levi Ross), he has social anxiety and can’t help but act awkward around his peers. He’s from a single mom home and one of the feelings explored is his desire to spend more time with her. As young people, we often forget that our parents are human beings. They taught us all that we know so we expect them to be perfect sometimes, they’re not.

When Evan gets an assignment where he has to write a letter to himself, it’s full of feelings of isolation. It also introduces us to his crush, Zoe (Maggie McKenna), the thought of her is what keeps him going. He pins his hopes on her in this letter. Her brother Connor (Marrick Smith), who also has issues of his own that no one knows about, finds it and gets upset. Connor’s parents find Evan’s note after he commits suicide. This leads them to believe that Evan and Connor were friends. Evan sees how happy this makes them given that Connor was a loner, and the lie spirals out of control from there on out.

Dear Evan Hansen PhotoBesides dealing with feelings of isolation, it also delves into social media and the validation that people can become addicted to. It can never be enough since you’re still physically isolated. When things spread mouth to mouth, they often tone down after a week. With the internet, things can be explored further and spread to people outside of your zone. In this case, a lie spreads that brings good, but still, it’s a lie. Although, it can help prolong a cause, story, or provide someone with a few more minutes of recognition, it will also eventually be forgotten.  

It touches a lot of elements that will strike a chord with many. It also has a catchy soundtrack reminiscent of Rent. The stage set and how they present social media is intriguing. They have multiple screens representing different online networks with voice overs for posts that you will see scrolling through.

So, does Evan get found out for lying? You have until December 30th to find out. If you leave the show with anything, may it be knowing that no matter what you’re going through, you’re not alone.  You Will Be Found.

Sincerely,

Me

Details:

Where: Curran Theatre, 445 Geary St., San Francisco
When: 7 p.m. most Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 and 7 p.m. most Wednesdays and Sundays; 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; closes Dec. 30
Tickets: (415) 358-1220 or sfcurran.com

*There is a digital lottery offering fans the chance to purchase a limited number of $25 tickets. For details and to enter, go to: www.luckyseat.com/dearevanhansen. Good Luck!

‘Head Over Heels’ Has Got the Beat!

Taylor Iman Jones and company (Joan Marcus)Bay Area the Go-Go’s fans won’t want to miss the new musical ‘Head Over Heels’ playing until May 6 at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre. The show comes to the Bay stage with an impressive team including Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry InchSpring Awakening) as director. After its short run in San Francisco it will head to New York for its Broadway debut at the Hudson Theatre.

The musical is based on a long-form poem/play by Sir Philip Sidney called ‘The Arcadia’. The story revolves around a royal family in which an oracle has predicted a prophecy of doom. The patriarch of the family tries to prevent these by re-locating the family. The audience is then taken on a campy journey full of sexual innuendos and gender non-conformity. The drama unfolds with mistaken identities, jealous lovers, sexual awakenings, scandal and self-discovery. Interwoven throughout are the iconic hit songs “We Got the Beat,” “Get Up and Go,” “Cool Jerk,” “Vacation,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Lust to Love,” “Head Over Heels” and Belinda Carlisle’s solo hits “Mad About You” and “Heaven is a Place on Earth.”

Peppermint as Pythio - (Joan Marcus)Not only does the musical feature tunes from one of the most successful all-female rock bands but it also includes the debut of Peppermint (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”), set to become the first transgender woman to perform in a principle role on Broadway. Peppermint plays the character of Pythio who’s preferred pronoun is “they”. It was great to see a non-binary role played by someone from the LGBT community.

There are plenty of toe tapping moments as well as those that lead to mini-burst of laughter. It’s a great show for a light –hearted night out on the town but can’t promise that it will be everyone’s cup of tea. The references to pop-culture and the innuendos are what make the show enjoyable and may go over the heads of some.

headoverheelsWhen: Catch Head Over Heels until May 6.
Where: Curran Theater, 445 Geary St., San Francisco
Running time: 2 hours 40 minutes, one intermission
Tickets: $29–$175

Season subscriptions are also available. Packages range from $116–$744, SFCURRAN.com or calling 415-358-1220.
headoverheelsthemusical.com