theatre box


“Dear Evan Hansen”

Book by Steven Levenson; Music and Lyrics By Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

Music Box Theatre, 2016

Starring Ben Platt, Laura Dreyfuss, Rachel Bay Jones, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Mike Faist, Michael Park, Will Roland, Kristolyn Lloyd, Michael Lee Brown, Garrett Long, Olivia Puckett, Colton Ryan, & Asa Somers

What she says: “I’m fine”

What she means:Good For You is such a deep song when you think about it. Think of all the pain. All Evan wanted was to have people in his life, people who cared about him in some way; in any way. He lacked the socialization that humans need, they need companionship in order to survive. Evan basically lived alone and lacked the security to go out and talk to anyone. Yes his Mom was trying her best and was in pain, but Evan needed a mother. she wasn’t there, so obviously he clung to another family. He didn’t mean to hurt his mother, he didn’t mean to hurt the Murphys. He thought he was doing the right thing. And his realization of his mistakes and how it’s effecting people at the end of the song needs to be taken more seriously because this whole time, Evan didn’t see how he was hurting people, he thought he was helping.”

Self-proclaimed nice guy: I’m a gentleman :) I pull chairs out for women

Me, thinking about the good old days when gentlemen were god-honest cads and took you on a date to the local opium den and ate you out in the theatre box: cool beans

Things I noticed.... (30 August)

Alright. So I saw the show last night (Wed 30 Aug) and i have so many  things that I need to talk about:

  • I made eye contact with Mike Faist three times. THREE TIMES. During Waving through a window, when everyone forms a circle around Evan and stares outwards, he basically stared me down and. just. magical. Also, twice during Disappear. Which honestly i’m still sorta dying over. During the lyrics “we get lost in the in between,” and “no one deserves to be forgotten” he flicked his eyes over to where I was sitting and held eye contact for a second. (I was sitting on left mezz Row A, so I was in the eye line of a lot of the actors when they were facing the audience)
  • So Colton filled in for Ben, and Garrett filled in for Rachel. They were both so amazing. You could tell that Garrett was struggling a bit with her voice, it was their second show of the day, but she still fucking killed it. Colton makes really funny faces when he sings, it was endearing. 
  • CONNOR AFTER WORDS FAIL. Holy shit. Heart breaking. For anyone who hasn’t seen the show *SPOILERS* after the Murphy’s walk away, the spotlight settles on Connor in the background, and he sorta shakes his head like he’s disappointed in Evan and walks off stage. That just fucking broke my heart
  • Will Roland is a god. that’s all
  • Laura’s voice is so fucking powerful and amazing
  • So is Michael Park’s! Like he deserve so much more recognition than he gets. 
  • Everyone’s voice is on point. 
  • Fun Fact: I sat next to Adrienne Walker (Nala in Broadway’s Lion King) and apparently she knows Olivia Puckett cause she came by during intermission and was talking to her!! She seems super nice
  • Just all of the sniffling and outright crying during the silence after Words Fail, and again after So Big/So Small. 
  • I’ve seen Evan’s speech so many times, but jesus there is nothing like seeing it live. The horrible, endless 2 minutes of silence as he just lays on the ground and cries. Colton was fucking amazing
  • When Evan, Jared, and Alanna pitch The Connor Project to the Murphy’s, there’s all these pictures of baby Mike on the screens and they’re so adorable
  • Mike is an actual beanpole jesus
  • During Sincerely, Me when Connor “punches” Evan, holy shit Mike full on was hitting Colton. HARD. You could straight up hear how hard he was hitting him it was amazing
  • HIS SNAPS ARE SO LOUD DURING “if i stop smoking pot”. like legit louder than his singing
  • Also, Mike is not nearly as tall as I assumed 
  • can you tell who my favorite actor in the show is?
  • confirmed: when connor says “the only man that I love is my dad” he makes quotations marks when he says love. 
  • Connor’s face when evan says he’s proud of him
  • all you gotta DO
  • Jared didn’t say kinky :( 
  • also can you tell what my favorite song is?
  • Alanna deserves a bigger role cause Kristolynn has a fucking beautiful voice and Alanna is so underrated all she wanted to do was help
  • unpopular opinion: i love larry. he’s human. sure he was a dick and didn’t take Connor’s mental illness seriously but idk. I still kinda love him. but he’s a jackass and i wanna punch him too. 
  • the voice that Mike uses when he says “so many people end up sucking dick for meth.” he closes his eyes and forces out “dick.” i love that that little part of Evan that kinda came through. 
  • you can tell that when he goes to sign Evan’s cast, he was trying to reach out. he was super awkward and it just reminds you that under everything, he’s just this teenage kid with a broken spirit who convinced himself that the world is against him…because noone’s ever told him otherwise. he just. deserves so much better. 
  • unpopular opinion: i kinda hate Zoe. she’s a victim of circumstance, but honestly i think she was as bad as Larry. 
  • OVERALL: it was one of the most memorable nights of my life and seriously, if you are able to see it on Broadway…do. There is absolutely no comparison to live theatre. It’s beautiful. 

Austin’s festival scene

Beyond the dive bars, black box theatres and music halls of Austin is a roster of now-iconic music festivals. Austin City Limits Festival, held in leafy Zilker Park across the first two weekends in October, is always a magnet for international heavyweight talent.

Find six more reasons to visit Austin

Photos by Chad Kirchoff and Mohammad Faruque on Unsplash

Can I just say

Yesterday I was at the Dear Evan Hansen stage door. And overall it was such a great environment. But these two people behind me got mad that Ben Platt wasn’t going to be there and left all hot and bothered.

It was kind of annoying to me that people still have such little care for the rest of the cast. Sure Ben is amazing. But Colton is pretty friggin amazing too. The rest of the cast works just as hard as him and there’s always people pushing them to the side as if they don’t matter as much.

But they matter SOOO much. The show wouldn’t be what it is without everyone who’s involved. That’s also including the band, the tech crew, the stage managers, etc.


Dear Evan Hansen & text posts part 2

Part 1 

(Yes I’m aware that some are blurry and the Jared Kleinman ones are actually Will Roland, but we can all agree that there’s no real difference between the two anyways)


• sooooo i didn’t have tickets to the show
• but i was in NYC and really really wanted to go see the theatre
• it was so beautiful omg and so much smaller in person!!
• on the outside of the doors, there are pictures of the cast and i cried lmao
• no actors were outside but one of the stage door people were!!
• his name was also mike
• i was a little discouraged because i wasn’t allowed in the theatre to buy a playbill or shirt
• but the stage door guy explained that the box office is closed until january of 2018 because all tickets are sold out
• we then discussed a lot of things about the show
• me and the stage door guy literally spent 5 minutes just talking about MLB
• he kept telling me about how lovely he is, and that he is so grateful for every little thing
• when i had to leave the stage door guy was like “hey, you don’t have a ticket, but you will be found!! haha! like the song??”
• y'all
• i was crying

Seven reasons to visit Austin

Austin might be shifting shape from a laid-back, hippy town to a booming tech hub, but it still retains all of its character. Austin local Caitlin M. Ryan shares the best reasons to visit.

Hot sounds

When you’re officially known as the Live Music Capital of the World®, the bar is set high. You can catch scores of talented bands any day of the week here – even at the airport. Two-step to local, lauded honky tonk bands such as Mike and the Moonpies at The White Horse, or for a litany of indie rock try hip haunts Mohawk and Emo’s

Also, always pop your name into the digital draw to try and win tickets to live tapings of the Austin City Limits TV show; it’s featured the likes of the late, great Johnny Cash and Etta James, plus current big-hitters Radiohead.

A frenzy of festivals

Photo by SteveHopson at English Wikipedia

Beyond the dive bars, black box theatres and music halls is a roster of now-iconic music festivals. Austin City Limits Festival, held in leafy Zilker Park across the first two weekends in October, is always a magnet for international heavyweight talent. In March, the world’s creative elite congregate for SXSW, a heady fusion of talks and performance spanning film, music and digital innovation. If camping’s your thing, make for Old Settler’s or Euphoria where impromptu jam sessions reign supreme.

Great sports

Photo by Seefrank at Wiki Commons

Music might be what it’s famed for, but there’s a thriving sport culture in the heart of Texas too. Petrolheads must visit the state-of-the-art Circuit of The Americas™ track for adrenaline-fuelled competitions such as MotoGP and the United States Grand Prix. For a true Austin experience, join the crowds at a sporting event hosted at the University of Texas. The most buzzy atmosphere is found during the autumn’s football season. As the weather cools down, tailgate parties pop up, and Longhorn fans and students  dressed in the team’s burnt orange kit descend upon the stadium just north of the state capitol building.

Foodie heaven

Tex-Mex is, of course a must, and Matt’s El Rancho is one of the best joints to try it. But Austin’s culinary scene is about so much more than just tamales and tacos. Uchi serves top-notch sushi; ask the chef for their special recommendations. For the best meat this side of the Mississippi, join the snaking lines outside Franklin’s Barbecue. Tasting carts at Emmer & Rye are stacked high with gourmet bites, crafted from the best seasonal and local produce. Cap off the lot with a sweet something at mod bistro Launderette overseen by acclaimed pastry chef Laura Sawicki.

The great outdoors

Photo by Larry D. Moore at Wiki Commons

To cut to the chase, Austinites are fit. There’s nothing they love more than hiking, biking, and rowing their way across the city. Zilker Park is the best patch for throwing down a picnic blanket and tossing a Frisbee with friends. Take a dip in Barton Springs, a refreshing spring-fed pool in the centre of the city, or catch some gnarly waves (albeit artificial ones), out of town at NLand Surf Park. You can choose from bay or reef swells, dependent on your skills.

Or, work off all that Tex-Mex with a jog around peaceful Lady Bird Lake, on summer nights at sunset you’ll find crowds at the Congress Avenue bridge – all gathered to watch the largest urban bat colony in North America take flight. Seeing some 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats spiral into the sky is quite something.

Bed down in style

Music lovers won’t find a cooler spot to snooze than the W Hotel in downtown’s 2ND Street District. It not only adjoins Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, but also draws a cool crowd to its vinyl-packed records room. If boutique hotels are more your cup of tea, check in to South Congress Hotel, which has a clutch of neighbourhood restaurants next door; sip on rainbow-coloured cold-press juices at Mañana then feast on Japanese grub at Otoko. A hotel to watch out for is the Fairmont Austin, which opens this autumn. At 1.4 million square feet, it will be the largest Fairmont hotel in the world.

Find your style

Photo by skeeze on Pixabay

The crowd here dresses snappily no matter what the season; locals are known for their bold sartorial statements and love of vintage threads. Find old-school stonewash Levi’s, leather vests, quirky boots and prairie dresses at Feather’s Boutique and Prototype Vintage Design. Over on the east side at Charm School Vintage stocks colourful, eclectic garb from the 1890s to 1990s.

Plan your trip to Austin with British Airways

Words by Caitlin M. Ryan

Header Photo by KBaucherel on Pixabay