I don’t remember where my obsession started with this show. I remember downloading the songs with my Apple Music. I do not even know when it won Best Whatever for the Tonys. But when I am in the mood, in the car, I sing the entire soundtrack. EmmeClaire and I, driving to Pittsburgh and back to Columbus, from Pittsburgh, sang the entire soundtrack in the car. It’s funny to hear an 8 year old, who pelts out all the words, sing some of the words that are inappropriate for 8 year old children to hear or say!
Months ago, I saw an acting troop on YouTube do a couple of music videos with the music and I thought they were very moving videos. But the problem was that I still didn’t know the story. I love the music and the lyrics of the music. But I had no idea how all the scenes came together for a musical.
EmmeClaire would watch the videos on Youtube to know the songs a bit more, she had questions about why Connor died. I couldn’t answer her about any of her questions, until yesterday. Here’s how I was able to see this glorious, wonderful, powerful, yet sad and movie musical.
Last summer, I noticed that Dear Evan Hansen was playing in Pittsburgh, my hometown. I wanted to go and I knew my sister had tickets. I asked her to get me at least one ticket so that I could go with them. Interestingly, last season, Hamilton, was in Pittsburgh so there were no tickets at all available. I was ok for that. Then I found out that Dear Evan Hansen was playing in Cincinnati and Cleveland later in the summer, I ignored both showings and it bothered me a bit. But I was still ok with just singing the songs.
Then came this week. Dear Evan Hansen, was playing here, 12 miles away, in downtown Columbus. I putzed on getting tickets because I was hoping that I could convince my wife to go as it got closer. Thursday came, and several former and current parents and students told me or posted that the play was amazing. Then I read a review from a new friend of mine, who invited me on to her podcast earlier this year.
Here’s what she said:
When I read the above passage on Facebook, I had to see it. So Friday at school, I was pretty bummed that I never bought the tickets when I knew I should, months ago! So as the day ended, the secretary at school, Mrs. Zorn, had told me that she and her son was going and it made me more bummed, but I was happy for them. Then later that night, she texted me and told me I had to see this show! Man, that hit me.
I sent out a plea on Facebook, to any of my local followers hoping that someone had tickets that they couldn’t use. Now, the whole point of the post is to see if anyone had tickets, not for a bunch of people to tell me how great the show is or was, and how happy they were to see it wherever they lived. I was diving into a bigger hole. Heck, even Friday night, I signed up for the theater lottery for tickets and even found two tickets for $255 a piece. But I knew I’d never spend nearly $500 to see the show. I also didn’t want to go alone, so I wasn’t going to pick one of the many single seats that were available.
Then as I was working Saturday morning on more Washington DC lists for my trip with 8th grade in a couple weeks, there was a message from a friend, that she had sent me a DM on Messenger! Excitement was through the roof. So when I opened the message, I told myself that I didn’t care when the tickets were for, I was going to see this show. I was really hoping for Sunday afternoon tickets. Only because I really wanted Beth to go and she would struggle if the tickets were for Saturday. She ran 20 miles on Saturday morning.
Right as I replied to the DM, Beth came home from that 20 miles. I ran down the steps, running over my excited EmmeClaire, who was excited to see her mommy for the first time on a Saturday. I told Beth who was offering and when the show was and reluctantly she said, “Get them.” I said, “Good, because I was going to anyways.” This is one of many reasons, I believe, that social media shows the good in people.
I am going to skip the next 2 paragraphs that would the explain how I struggled to get the tickets transferred, but I got them and now we need to go!
So we get in the car about 10 minutes late, and as we drive down Polaris Parkway, there is a traffic line of cars on the ramp to Interstate 71. The traditional Friday night traffic on a Saturday afternoon with a bunch cars slowing down before the 270 ramp because of a small fender bender. What a small mess. Then, as we get to the Morse Rd. exit, there’s another stoppage on the road because of another small accident mixed with some OSU traffic. We were running out of time and if we ended up being late for this show I have been waiting to see for such a long, I would be a bit upset!
As we turned off of Broad Street onto 3rd Street, the traffic was backed up again. In fact, I was shocked that so many people were running as late as we were and we had 7 minutes until the show starts! We found a spot of the road of all places and had several minutes to walk in and slowly make it to our seats.
As the show started, I was thrilled how the songs all connected together and how I now know the entire story of “Dear Evan Hansen.”
What I will say, is this, anyone with a son or daughter, in middle school or high school should see this play. In this time of our lives, in the world or social media, media, other’s perception of ourselves and so much more, this is a story, a musical that all should see. I cried, I laughed, I connected and I remembered, meaning this, I cried thinking of my parents and how I parent. I laughed at the language and how kids these days use the language and comedy in the play. I connected to a time in my childhood when I messed up or lied with friends and I remembered that as I grow as a parent, there will be times I could do better and that I need to let my kids, meaning my OWN kids and my students, that I will always be there from them when they are found, when words fail and no matter if things are so big or so small, it’ll be ok.