Some time after 2am on a lonely Christmas Eve, struggling, aging songwriting team Sam (Malik Yoba) and Brenda (Daphne Rubin-Vega) decide to act on their long-squelched attraction in Seth Zvi Rosenfeld’s new play, Everythings Turning Into Beautiful [sic]. What should then be an ecstatic, romantic union is instead an insufferably tedious cyclical argument peppered with original songs, shouting, cringe-worthy post-coital interrogations and, as the climax, raw weeping meant to signify the achievement of total honesty.
It’s not all frustrated voyeurism here, though; Yoba and Rubin-Vega have soulful, sexy voices, infuse their roles with bright spots of humor and play their own guitars to boot. Carl Forsman’s direction is taut and Beowulf Boritt has created what just might be the world’s most perfect loft on stage. Depending on one’s sense of humor, the play’s worst lines could also be its best; at one point, Sam and Brenda pause the drama long enough to look into each other’s eyes and describe what they see. Sam sees fear; Brenda sees “an eagle.” In the end, I see a relationship saga focusing on a possibly doomed pairing from the start — Sam can’t handle commitment; Brenda can’t handle intimacy — and while Yoba and Rubin-Vega are as energetic and charismatic as the dialogue allows, most signs still point to “Get out while you still can!” This despite the uplifting rap-infused duet Sam and Brenda sing when they finally agree to give their relationship a shot. It could very well be a funeral march.