Now.Here.This. (2012 Off-Broadway Cast)
Composer: Jeff Bowen
1. What Are the Odds?
2. More Life
3. Dazzle Camouflage
4. Give Me Your Attention
6. I Rarely Schedule Nothing / Cacophony
7. Members Only
8. That'll Never Be Me
9. Kick Me
10. Then Comes You
11. The Amazing Adventures of the "Doc" Wilbert S. Pound
12. That Makes Me Hot
13. Golden Palace
14. Get Into It
15. This Time
16. Finale: Now. Here. This.
17. That'll Never Be Me (Composer Demo)
Thomas Merton, a poet and Catholic philosopher, developed a strong appreciation for Zen near the end of his short life. He told a friend about his key to happiness: the phrase "Now, Here, This." Not a command to "listen to this," but three distinct words as reminders:
* Now: this exact moment in time, NOT the past not future plans, but this tangible experience.
* Here: (NOT hear) This place in space, not where we might go or where we've been or where we want to be, but the place you actually are.
* This: the thing we're doing, the senses we're using, not imagination but reality.
Now Here This - a way to live that will let us experience and truly appreciate life (while we have it.)
That philosophy is the title to a musical that played Off-Broadway in 2012, and now has a cast album released by Ghostlight Records. It comes across as a musical group-therapy session, moving from angst-ridden memories and quirky stories about personal insecurities towards a new-ageish acceptance of the choices made, experiencing and embracing the present. It's certainly cheaper than group therapy, and probably funnier.
The writers - Hunter Bell, Jeff Bowen, and Susan Blackwell - and their collaborator Heidi Blickinstaff not only star in the show, they essentially play themselves searching out this meaning-of-life thing. This isn't their first time doing a super-meta musical; the even quirkier [title of show]Title of Show was about them creating a show for the New York Musical Theatre Festival and its subsequent off-Broadway run.