Lamar State College Port Arthur musical spotlights “being present in the moment.” Check out showtimes.

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023

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Evolution is taking place at Lamar State College Port Arthur — in the historical and literal sense.

The musical “Now. Here. This.” debuts Friday (April 21), bringing viewers on a scientific and existential journey.

“This show is about a group of people that are looking through a history museum and thinking about their own paths and what they’ve overcome to be in this moment,” said Zach Dailey, who directs the show with Eddie Vandewalker. “I think it’s a beautiful musical about mindfulness, being present and learning to enjoy life.”

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The off-Broadway show debuted in 2012, but those in Southeast Texas will be able to see it at the school’s Sam and Linda Monroe Performing Arts Center Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. for free.

“We are a state school, so right now our budget is from the state and we’re thankful for that,” Dailey said.

The musical, which runs just under two hours, focuses on four main singers who remark on their past, present and future selves.

The plot deals with childhood fears, adult struggles, the loss of a loved one — all while mixing in scientific facts.

“I think it’s just such a great show to experience that makes you understand that — when you go to shows, when you go to your job, wherever you go —  you need to appreciate the moment you’re currently in,” said Francisca Flax, who is one of two stage managers but also acts in the show.

The second actor, Jenna Allen, is a first-year theater student.

The four singers — Carlos Aragon, Jairy Barragan, Thariza Vessichelli and Jeremie Breaux — are first-year choir students.

And all six take the stage in front of a live band while surrounded by artifacts, artwork and the illumination of brightly colored lights.

“A lot of the painting students here painted them,” Flax said of the artwork visible on set.

Cast members began working on music two months ago, stage work last month and put both together last week.

They did their first full run-through at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

“We have a beautiful set, we have incredible singers and I’m really hoping people get some joy out of it and some ideas about being present in the moment,” Dailey said. “Anyone is welcome to come.”

The Performing Arts Center is located on Procter Street.