The action begins with the opening number (What Are the Odds?
), which reflects on our natural history (both prehistoric, and recent), and explores the evolution of the human race that has permitted the performers and audience to arrive at the starting point of the show.
The scene shifts to a planetarium exhibit in the museum, and the foursome ponder what they could acquire to make them happy, each expressing their desire for "More Life". They divide to conquer the museum. Exhibits begin to trigger memories. For Woman 2, the Hall of Birds evokes childhood recollections (Give Me Your Attention). At the deep-sea exhibit, Man 1 shares his experiences competing in a middle school talent show, where he discovers his intuitive need to cloak his true self from unwanted scrutiny (Dazzle Camouflage).
At an exhibit studying natural selection, the group learns that those who fail to adapt, fail to survive. They reflect on how 'survival of the fittest' applied to their own middle school experiences (Members Only). Soon, Woman 1's discovery of the bee exhibit triggers her self-recognition as a 'busy-bee' who fills her life to avoid the pain of growing up in a hoarding house. As their memories and stories grow into a chaotic "Cacophony", they all begin to understand the obstacles that stand between them and their enjoyment of life in the present moment also known as the Now. Here. This.
Man 2 wanders, lost and bored in the museum, finding himself at a turtle display, where he continues fantasizing about what would make his life more interesting and fabulous (Archer). At a display featuring early hominids, Woman 1 and Woman 2 debate whether money and privilege can buy happiness (That'll Never Be Me). Man 1 then recalls the regret of masking his true self and passions in college (Kick Me).
The gang continues to share 'a-ha' moments that they've experiences, including the teaching of Trappist monk Thomas Merton, and his advice to keep in mind three words: Now, Here, and This. Merton believed that if you can get to the intersection of Now, Here, and This, then you will be present to truly appreciate your life.
After Man 2's botched attempt at making a real connection with security guard Archer, the gang exchanges stories about moments when they found themselves directly in the moment, but not necessarily moments they enjoyed (That Makes Me Hot).
In "Penny Words," Woman 2 and Man 2 share their experiences of extremely precious moments in life, and how small acts of self-expression are sometimes the most powerful.
As their museum exploration continues, the quartet discovers an exhibit on various kinds of tribes and families, and sings in celebration of having found each other -- their own tribe -- out of all the people in the world (Then Comes You).
In "Golden Palace," Woman 1 shares the false myth of a place where only the highly educated, deeply intelligent, privileged people are granted the opportunity to crate works of greatness. In "Get Into It," Man 2 shares his history of living in a fantasy world. And in "This Time," Woman 2 struggles with her father's expectations but eventually celebrates in accepting him for exactly who he is, freeing her to enjoy her life.
After a full day at the museum (and a fuller life), the cast invites the audience to step out of the museum and directly into the present moment, to experience the adventure of their own lives.
"A blend of good humor and good feeling with an audience-embracing brio that never flags." The New York Times
"A funny, empathetic, entertaining show. Sweet, peppy and tuneful! If it takes a tuneful musical to remind people to seize the moment and enjoy life more, Now. Here. This. is perfect for the job." Associated Press
"A touching, plucky and heartwarming ode to art and friends! Now. Here. This. is bubbly, larky and sweetly cosmic!" Time Out New York
"Cheers for Now. Here. This.! A distinctively original and delightfully quirky musical." New Jersey Newsroom
"A delightful combination of childlike giddiness and adult self-deprecation!" Backstage
"Another gem! Thoughtful entertainment that doles out equal doses heartfelt humor, humanity, and hindsight." Stagezine