ONLY ONCE in my twenty years of moonlighting as a music critic have I felt compelled to come out as not entirely impartial when it comes to a musician under review. At the start, I should go “open kimono” about my obsessive enthusiasm for singer Ben Platt. Though Platt first appeared on screen as the geeky magician in the first two “Pitch Perfect” films, I really only took notice of him after I saw the national tour of Dear Evan Hansen last year in Denver. Platt was not in the cast, but he originated the role of the neurotic teenager Evan Hansen and, joining the show’s cultish fan-base, I followed the production to L.A. The show never fails to captivate audience members, some of whom see Dear Evan Hansen as a way to let their freak-flags fly. For example, a transman in one of my college classes proudly displayed his novelization of the musical on his desk all semester long.
Colin Carman, Ph.D., is the author of The Radical Ecology of the Shelleys: Eros and Environment(Routledge).