SOW: Waving Through a Window

Jasmine Fernandez, Editor-In-Chief

Just in time for the beginning of Broadway’s spring season, Benji Pasek and Justin Paul (songwriters for projects such as La La Land and NBC’s Smash) released the first single from the original cast recording of their new musical, Dear Evan Hansen, which is to release on February 3. “Waving Through a Window” keys into title character Evan’s social anxiety and the isolation he feels from the rest of his class. Ben Platt, who has played Evan since the musical’s off-off-Broadway opening in 2015, shines in his masterful performance of Evan’s conflicted character, belting: “I try to speak, but nobody can hear / So I wait around for an answer to appear / While I’m watch, watch, watching people pass / Waving through a window” against a symphony of percussion and string. Between Platt’s vocals and the Pasek and Paul duo’s lyricism, I think the song measures up with those from shows of Broadway’s past such as Rent and Spring Awakening. The song’s message about social anxiety reaches beyond the circumstances of Evan Hansen and enthralls audiences who can relate with their own experiences, depicting social anxiety in a way that refrains from diminishing those with it. Compared to other works dedicated to expressing the struggles of anxiety, I believe this song did a much better job of simplifying the issue rather than glorifying it. Although the cast recording is yet to be released, “Waving Through a Window” is available on iTunes now, and additional songs from the musical are available at Dear Evan Hansen is currently on Broadway at the Music Box Theater in New York.