The series will focus on the mysterious Shadow, a man who is released
from prison a few days early after serving a three-year sentence for
bank robbery when his beloved wife Laura is killed in a car accident.
Flying home for the funeral, Shadow is seated next to a man who
introduces himself only as Mr. Wednesday, and this man knows more about
Shadow’s life, both past and present, than is possible. Shadow comes to
learn that Wednesday is, in fact, the god Odin
of Norse mythology and that all of the gods that mankind has ever
believed in are alive in human form and live among regular people.
Shadow is soon thrust into a gathering conflict between the Old gods and
the so-called “New gods”, the gods of money and technology who believe
there is no longer room on Earth for the old gods.
I love how throughout Dear Evan Hansen, Evan becomes less of “Act 1 Evan” and more like Connor. The way he holds himself, the way he dresses. He still wears the blue button up or collared shirt, but during most of Act 2, he covers it up by wearing a gray jacket - just like Connor wore. Actually, right after “Good For You” when Connor and Evan are standing side by side, they are wearing identical outfits. I love when shows subtly use costume design to add so much more to the story. Evan was trying so hard to no longer be “Evan.” He now had that family he’d always wished for - Connor’s family. But in reality, he still is Evan. He’s still that awkward kid that plays with the hem of his shirt. That little blue collar peeking through the gray still shows that he’s still right there - just masked. The gray jacket just goes to show how much he was becoming (or already like) Connor. The good relationships that turned sour. The feeling of giving up on everything he worked hard on. The feeling of having it all, yet nothing at the same time. Evan and Connor are the representations of the same kind of person. They were the same person. They just chose different paths to follow. Well, maybe not. They both chose the same path at some point in their lives, but Evan’s path took a detour.
It’s notable to point out that Evan looses the jacket right after “So Big/So Small” - which if you haven’t heard yet, gives Heidi Hansen to chance to tell Evan how much he honestly and truly means to her - something that (as far as the audience knows) Cynthia Murphy never did with Connor. This sign of “losing the mask” or becoming someone new is such a poetic change. Something that only Costume Design could pull off successfully. You can actually tell during the Finale that during the year that we don’t see, he’s become more confident, more like the true Evan Hansen. I think it’s at that moment when we really see who he truly is.
Emily Rebholz may or may not get nominated for Costume Design for the 2017 Tony’s. (I personally think she should!) Regardless, that simple act of putting Evan in a basic gray hoodie speaks for so much of his character.
“That’s the challenge of contemporary clothing: We need to be able to translate a large amount of truth through how these characters appear.” - Emily Rebholz