Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Review of Brown Paper Box Co.'s Now. Here. This.

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Now. Here. This. The book was by Hunter Bell and Susan Blackwell. The music and lyrics were by Jeff Bowen. It was directed by M. William Panek and the music direction was by T.J. Anderson. It was about a group of friends who went to the museum for a day and throughout the day they realized a lot about themselves. The night I saw it the cast was Neala Barron, Matt Frye, Nick Shoda, and Kristi Szczepanek, but Kristi's role was usually played by Anna Schutz. I really liked a lot of the performances but I felt like the script didn't really hold together as well as it could have. I might have liked it more if there had been more scenes that connected the characters instead of so many that had single characters talk to the audience about their lives. I also would have liked more connection between the scenes and the songs, but I still liked it.

The main idea for this show is that you should always be in the moment and not be distracted by anything. The first song, "What Are The Odds," was all about how amazing it is that we were all put together in the same place at the same time. I feel like this was a great way to start the show because it really got everyone hyped up for the show and it was really fun. And the ending song, "This Time," was all about being at this show together at this time. That one was more sweet than fun, and I liked it because it showed all of the friends' stories put together as one, which is what I wanted the entire show. They wanted everyone to be in the moment, so they didn't give you programs before. I love looking at the program and seeing what is about to happen. It is fun to anticipate and get excited for the show. I'm not sure what I think about always being in the moment. I like multitasking; I feel like I get more done when I work like that. Reviewing is kind of the opposite of being in the moment. It is all about reflection and I like it a lot. I do think that it is good to be in the moment a lot because then you don't miss what is right in front of you. But if you are always just in the moment, you could also miss something--like anticipation and reflection.

Grandmas were a important symbol of loss and family in this show. Everyone talked about their grandmas. You find out how everyone lost their grandma, which I think for everyone is usually a really big deal in their lives. It is very bittersweet because everyone loved their grandma but was sad that they died. I thought that the stories about the grandmas might even be the actors' stories about their grandmas because they were so emotional and passionate about telling these stories that it didn't seem like they were just saying lines. But I'm pretty sure they weren't because the stories all worked together really well. I thought the projections in this section were very cool. The grandmas looked like they could have been the actors' grandmas, which made them all the more fun and more tied into the story. My favorite story was Neala's character's because she talked all about these little mints her grandma would give her. It seemed really perfect and sweet.

I really liked the song "Dazzle Camouflage," which was about fabulously blending in. Nick's character was going to a middle school pancake supper to perform the character Ed Grimley from SNL. He is trying to impress everyone at the school with his hilarity. I thought this was a really hilarious song and I loved all his impressions. The choreography (by Jenna Schoppe) was really dazzle-ly and I loved it. There is still a touch of sadness in the song because he knows that he shouldn't tell anyone now that he is gay. That is sad, but you know that eventually he does tell everyone, so it is not all sad.

People who would like this show are people who like grandmas, living in the moment, and dazzle camouflage. I think people should see this show. I liked it and when I reflected on it after the show I realized a lot of awesome things I hadn't realized in the moment.

Photos: Zach Dries

No comments: