On stage, “Dear Evan Hansen” creates an unforgettable view of people detached by the artificial conversations on social media. The musical captures a longing to exchange that the convenience of texts and posts can often dilute. Creatively staged with projection screens, the theatricality of the experience amplifies what’s essential for people to emotionally connect. And the show inspires us to listen to what people around us may be trying to say.
When any stage show moves to the screen, changes have to be made. With a musical as defined by its staging as “Evan Hansen,” the adaptation would naturally explore different approaches to tell the story. The movie version challenges director Stephen Chbosky (who addressed similar themes in his book and film “Perks of Being a Wallflower”) to personalize real and imagined conversations in the impersonal social media world while making the performances small enough to be believed on any size of screen.