Is it ever ok to lie? What if your lie brings comfort to those around you? And, if so, is it ok to benefit from the lie?
"Dear Evan Hansen" addresses these questions with a clever script and beautiful music.
This moral dilemma faces high school senior Evan Hansen, who writes a letter to himself, which is found in the pocket of Connor Murphy after Connor commits suicide. Connor's family assumes that Evan and Connor were best friends. Evan does not deny it - partly because he sees how much this means to the family, partly because he sees an opportunity for a family he never knew.
Friday evening's performance of DEH at Chicago's brought all the emotion of Evan's predicament. Anthony Norman brings a sensitivity to the title character. The audience believes his painfully shy awkwardness and the pain it causes him. And they believe his transformation as he gains self-confidence with reinforcement from others. And they feel the pain when he suffers the consequences of his actions.
And then, there is the music - a collection of beautiful, often melancholy songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who also collaborated on the "La La Land" soundtrack. Norman and the rest of the cast show impressive vocal range and style range in their deliveries.
"Dear Evan Hansen" is a tragic tale of the consequences of well-intentioned lying.