Review: A Mother Son/Duo Reviews Dear Evan Hansen

Photo via The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

I feel as if this play told the perfect personal view of what it’s like to suffer from social anxiety and feel as if you don’t matter or no one is watching.

Our review of Dear Evan Hansen currently at The Benedum is a little different. We sent our reviewer Sarah and her 16-year-old son, Josiah, and they both have shared their feedback. We thought Josiah would bring an important point of view to this powerful story. Both of their reflections made me weep a little bit.

As his aunt, I want Josiah and all of the niblings to feel that they matter, that we are paying attention, and the we value what they have to say. I’m proud he accepted this invitation and tried something new. Josiah is a visual artist and an articulate voice about current events. The arts are not just for adults who can spend $100 a ticket. We all benefit from the perspective of our young people.

First up is Sarah (she/her), age mom

On Tuesday night Josiah and I went to go see Dear Evan Hansen.  I knew a little bit about this show before we went.  I knew that there were going to be hard topics.  I also knew that Josiah, who my is 16 year old son, would be the perfect companion to go with because it is important that he sees things like suicide and the sadness that goes along with it out in the open.   

The first thing I noticed when we got there was the people that attended this show were a bit different than the ones that we usually see at the plays.  Many were mothers (or motherly figures) and their sons.  I feel like each of the mothers that I saw secretly knew that their sons could be Evan who is an anxious teen that feels isolated and alone at home and at school or Colton who is a trouble teen that also is struggling with life and feels that he had no other option than to take his life. As parents we never want to see our children suffer and this is a modern look at high school students and their everyday struggles.   

As the audience we feel with the characters all the emotions that are flowing throughout this show.  So much sadness, but also so much hope.  We all laughed and cried along with the characters. 

On the way out the doors the orchestra is usually playing the closing song and the audience is bopping along with the music, but this show ended on a more somber note and although I missed the dancing, I was thankful to leave the show in the reflection that I think the writers intended. 

And now Josiah (he/him), age 16.

my mom took me to see the Dear Evan Hansen play at Pittsburgh’s Benedum theater. I have previously heard they made a movie of this script but never watched it. Through watching I learned Dear Evan Hansen is a story of a socially awkward and anxious high schooler who struggles with the day to day life of being a member of society/community. I have personally struggled with severe anxiety and there are many different types of anxiety and they show themselves in many different ways. I feel as if this play told the perfect personal view of what it’s like to suffer from social anxiety and feel as if you don’t matter or no one is watching.

Both Mom Sarah and Teen Son Josiah think you should see this show. I want to thank them for taking on this challenge and sharing a unique perspective with our readers.

Dear Evan Hansen is running through Sunday, May 7, 2023 at The Benedum Center. Tickets start at $42. This is the final show of the 22/23 season. Be sure to check out the amazing shows lined up for next year.

  • MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL – September 27 – October 8, 2023
  • THE WIZ – October 31 – November 5, 2023
  • MRS. DOUBTFIRE – November 28 – December 3, 2023
  • GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY – January 9 – 14, 2024
  • MY FAIR LADY – January 30 – February 4, 2024
  • THE BOOK OF MORMON – February 27 – March 3, 2024
  • COMPANY – April 16 – 21, 2024
  • THE KITE RUNNER – May 7 – 12, 2024
  • MAMMA MIA! – March 26 – 31, 2024


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