I'd been a fan of Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell, Jeff Bowen, and Heidi Blickenstaff ever since hearing the recording of [Title of Show] and watching the [title of show] Show episodes religiously on Youtube ("Get outta here, Cheyenne Jackson!"). Unfortunately, I never got to see [tos] in person, but it only cemented my determination to attend a performance of Now. Here. This.
The truth of the matter is that I always am a little wary of talking about people who have already made it to Broadway on this blog, since the focus is on more up-and-coming writers. But experiencing the intimacy of all four performers in the space of The Vineyard, I found myself in awe of the talented, professional people taking such risks and reaching out to audiences in a way that is so genuine and magnetically charged with human connection.
So what is Now. Here. This. about? On one hand, it's simply about a day at the museum the [tos] crew experiences together, researching the development of the universe to give them inspiration for their new piece about what it means to live in the moment. Of course, that is not all the story is about, as exhibitions bring out stories from each cast members' past, explaining who they are and how they came to be int his moment, on the stage before you. Eventually, the stories converge, making you, the audience, realize the magic of what you are witnessing. And in this way, the piece is really a testament to the magic of theatre.
In [tos] fashion, there is an abundance of smart humor, much of which stems from the lovable performers whose love for one another is palpable. There are set pieces with just enough to conjure a museum-type atmosphere, but the true moments of unbridled joy and ecstatic grief come from musical moments where the background rolls away and the talented actors are more than enough to fill the stage.
Perhaps the end wraps things up a little neatly-- but it's hard not to appreciate the journey and to feel grateful. Grateful to be alive. Grateful for great people and great art. Grateful to be a part of something.
Bonus video: If you want to see a great example of the performers at their most poignant and hilarious, catch this video from an Easter Bonnet competition: