remember when buffalo made a big deal about the oilers “cheating” during the draft lottery
remember when buffalo made a big deal about how they deserved mcdavid even though they were getting eichel
remember when the nhl media dismissed jack eichel in his own interviews
remember when the nhl always deferred to connor mcdavid during almost every question when they had interviews together
remember all the times jack eichel just stood there listening to people fawn over connor when he was right next to him, no one even acknowledging him.
remember when jack eichel was told in a board room meeting by a bunch of grown men (the sabres) that they didn’t want him but he was what they got and he stared them down and said “I think you did win the lottery.”
remember all the times jack eichel was pushed aside, forgotten about, disrespected to his face, treated like trash as a teenager, bullied by cities of people as a teenager. remember all those times because he just scored his 100th point in the NHL in 127 games and the media is completely brushing it off. all he did to deserve any of this was dare to be the same age as connor mcdavid. but apparently that’s enough.
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