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1940's Broadway Casting & DEAR EVAN HANSEN film
Last Edit: BroadwayTonyJ 03:39 pm EDT 09/25/21
Posted by: BroadwayTonyJ 03:38 pm EDT 09/25/21
In reply to: In other words, they more freely advocated age diversity in casting back then. - PlayWiz 01:25 pm EDT 09/25/21

"In other words, they more freely advocated age diversity in casting back then."

I wouldn't try to read too much into the casting of older actors in roles as much younger characters in 1940's Broadway shows. Back then major productions were often conceived as vehicles for big stars. Audiences wanted to see Merman as Annie Oakley. They didn't care that she was 38. It made economic sense for Rodgers & Hammerstein to design a show around her.

Regarding Platt and Dear Evan Hansen, I think my life experience as a high school teacher and community baseball coach has a lot to do with why I have been profoundly moved by the show ever since I saw it at Second Stage in 2016. I was seated in the front row and sobbed uncontrollably from beginning to end. I realized the story was contrived, manipulative, and strained credibility, but I couldn't help being overwhelmed emotionally by Platt's performance. Especially since he was standing just a few feet in front of me. I saw it again on Broadway with Platt, and then again with my partner a year later with Michael Lee Brown.

Yesterday I saw the film at a local cinema. It's really quite different than the stage version. Connor is portrayed as more likeable and vulnerable. He's just a troubled kid reaching out for help. His suicide is such a tragedy. I love the way the songs are introduced in the film. It just seems so natural that Evan would walk through the school halls singing "Waving through a Window" unnoticed by all the other students.

I pretty much had the same reaction to the film that I had at Second Stage. I cried on and off throughout the film. However, I laughed a lot during the sequence where Jared and the imaginary Connor concoct the bogus e-mails about their made-up friendship. It doesn't bother me what others think about the movie. I was tremendously moved by it. I may go back and see it again in a few days.
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Next: Ethel Merman, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, 1967 TV Version -- Another Opinion - BroadwayTonyJ 10:15 am EDT 09/25/21
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