MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One of Broadway’s biggest hits made its debut at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis this week.
Dubbed by theater critics as "one of the most remarkable shows in music theater history,” “Dear Evan Hansen” is a coming-of-age story that’s sure to resonate with everyone.
"It's kind of a train wreck, but it's very fun to watch,” said Stephen Christopher Anthony who plays Evan Hansen in the musical.
Evan is a shy, lonely high school senior dealing with social anxiety and depression.
“His therapist asks him as an assignment to write these letters to himself - these pep talks to make it a great day,” Anthony said. “So he’s really determined to find something different this year to find a way to connect. This letter gets sent to the wrong hands, and gets totally misinterpreted. It sort of snow balls into this lie that he doesn’t have the tools or know how to get himself out of.”
A major story line in the musical is Evan’s close relationship with his mother, Heidi, played by Jessica E. Sherman.
"Heidi is a single mom, she’s working days she’s studying at night to try and improve their situation. She’s very flawed and human and she really tries hard,” Sherman said.
The story touches on serious topics from mental health to family dynamics, communication in the digital age and the impact of social media in finding your voice.
“From the class president, to the class clown, to the loner, to the president, to the parent - we’re all just doing our best,” Anthony said.
No matter who you are or your struggle, the cast hopes the audience walks away knowing they’re not alone.
"You are OK, you are stronger than you think you are and there are so many resources.”
“Dear Evan Hansen” runs at the Orpheum Theatre through Sunday, Oct. 13. Buy tickets here.