APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The well-known “Dear Evan Hansen” arrives Tuesday, April 19, and Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is giving the musical special treatment because of subject matter.
It’s because of something like this: One time, I sat down at a play and heard a voice behind me ask a friend, “What are we seeing?”
I thought, “Hello? You better know before you go.”
At times, people do walk out when they discover a show they blindly purchased tickets to is hard for them to accept.
For instance, when “Hadestown” played at the Fox Cities PAC in December, I saw the three people next to me who fidgeted throughout the first half walk out of the building at intermission.
A few people often leave when a drama is dark or brings up uncomfortable topics.
For “Dear Evan Hansen,” Fox Cities PAC is taking extra steps to give its audience a heads up with a disclaimer and more.
The website disclaimer is this: “(The center) offers a diverse selection of arts entertainment. Not all productions may appeal to or be appropriate for every person or for all ages. Patrons are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the shows we offer in order to make informed decisions prior to purchasing tickets.”
Another signal on the website is the show is recommended for ages 12 and older.
Not usual for a touring Broadway show is a study guide available to all.
The one for “Dear Evan Hansen” on the PAC’s website is 34 pages of photos and information.
Some sections focus on entertainment elements, like stages of the show-in-the-making on its way to Broadway.
And there are glimpses of the authors and people who created what appears on stage.
Two pages with the title “Help a Friend in Need” are about red flags concerning risk of suicide.
One page examines the role of choices, including about telling a lie.
Another page prompts school activities for writing about or discussing the pros and cons of the role of social media.
“Dear Evan Hansen” runs for eight performances Tuesday to Sunday, April 19-24, at the Fox Cities PAC.
Few tickets remain, so approximately 16,000 people will see the award-winning show that comes with a few thorns to be aware of.