Seven years ago, Kevin abruptly left a successful law career to produce a stage show -- a move that changed his life and his family’s life forever. His book Life Beyond Reason: A Memoir of Mania tells the story of his personal transformation. Readers wanted to know more about the show. This book tells the story of the show and its message of finding courage and hope to live in a fearful world.
“Special Features” include videos, music, photos, newspaper reviews, graphics, and essays from the father-daughter creative team about what the show meant to them, then and now. A guest essay from another daughter reveals how this family continues to engage with the show’s inspiring and challenging message.
Kevin and Gillian weren’t out to create just any old show. As Kevin writes in Life Beyond Reason, the show was “Broadway and Cirque du Soleil combined: a big, bold, world-embracing show with a life-changing message.”
And besides the show, there was the Revolution. As Gillian writes in one of her Special Features essays:
In the beginning, it was all about the Revolution. I think, more than anything, that’s what I remember. How convinced we were that the show wasn’t just a show, but a Revolution, the beginning of a huge sweeping movement that would fundamentally and profoundly shift the course of the world.
Whatever happened to the show and its Revolution? Gillian answers, “The show was never fully realized. Neither was the Revolution. In fact, I’ve learned by now that Not This Day! was never really about the Revolution. Nor was it about Saving The World.”
Then what was the show about? This collection of Not this Day! Special Features invites us to find the answer for ourselves, to examine the show in light of how we’re dealing with our own responses to the uncomfortable realities of our world. “How you gonna live in a world like that?” asks one of the show’s songs, and Kevin and Gillian believe it’s important for each of us to know our own answers.
As for their own answers, as Gillian writes, the show’s lasting impact on her has been to foster a “revolution of small things,” which is about “the daily, the moments, the getting up and making a choice” and carrying on “at small times and in small ways.”
As Gillian’s sister Hilary writes in an essay at the end of the book:
"It’s not that you’re a weak and unworthy person if you don’t have the naïve belief that everything will be good and fine and the sun will come up tomorrow. I certainly don’t have that. My feeling about the future is at best, cautious pessimism. I’ve undergone my fair share of shattering. The price you pay for daring to consider that The Way Things Are is not the only one is calamitous. I’ve seen it in myself, in my family, in the world around us, in the reactions of friends. 'I’m so jealous,' they often say, particularly about my dad. 'I wish I was brave enough to give up everything and follow my dreams. I could never do what you did. That’s amazing.'
"Operative words here: give up everything. The burden is not easy. The yoke is not light. The cost is incredible and you never entirely stop paying it. You find moments of gladness or joy among the debris, but those don’t stay. The path will always continue unfolding before you.
"It’s not about a huge Revolution. It’s, as my sister Gillian says, the revolution of small things. But it’s something. It is the right to say, I was, I am, I will be. I am here, I have consequences. And the right to walk out your door in the morning, and to not be afraid."
By turns entertaining, bold, challenging, honest, hopeful, reflective, revealing, rueful, and self-effacing, this collection of Special Features reveals that Not This Day! continues to be as entertaining, inspiring, and engaging it was at its beginning.
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