According to everyone I know, Ben Platt’s devastating performance as the title character in the hit Broadway musical, Dear Evan Hansen, is about to be honored with a Tony Award for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical.”
The musical is about an awkward teen who feels isolated in life. His therapist advises him to write himself a hopeful letter each day, which he does.
But one of those daily letters, wherein Evan appears to have given up on his senior year and wonders if anyone would notice if he were gone, accidentally falls into the hands of another student shortly before that student commits suicide.
The boy’s family, and eventually everyone, assume the letter to have been addressed to Evan, now perceived as the boy’s best friend. This event cracks open Evan’s lonely life.
This week Platt performed the song “For Forever” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for the first time outside the context of the show, to devastating effect.
Here’s how Platt introduced the performance.
“The song is called “For Forever. This is the first time I’ve ever sung the song outside the context of the show.
“Essentially, this lie that we talked about earlier that he fabricated is that he was friends with this kid in his class that committed suicide. And so Evan has been invited over to dinner by this kids grieving family. They’ve been led to believe that he was a friend of their son.
“Evan’s plan when he goes into dinner he tried to either diffuse that or make sure the situation ends right there.
“However, the mother of this kid is so in desperate need of something good to hang on to, some sort of memory, that Evan starts to fabricate this story about a day that they had, a friendship that never existed.
“And in doing so, visibly helps this mother to heal. And also sort of finds he gets to heal a bit himself. A sort of answer to his loneliness he didn’t expect to find.”
Watch the performance below.