Jevetta Steele's musical about hypocrisy, betrayal, and semi-redemption, centers on a singer (Steele) whose husband (Jahi Kearse) is unfaithful with another man (Xavier Rice). On the one hand, it's a finely paced night with a number of goose-bump-inducing vocal moments from Steele (she co-wrote the book and lyrics with Thomas W. Jones II; J.D. Steele and William Hubbard composed the music).
On the other, it's also a damned stylish and emotionally sophisticated portrayal of a marriage built on lies, and the emotional wasteland Steele's character faces once she parts company with the father of her children. The play is a remount from 2002, and it proves to be worth revisiting. Among several standout numbers, the closing "Raising Up Slowly" finishes things on a sublime note of hard-won hope borne from strength and stubborn perseverance—just the kind of truth that's impossible to fake.
Two Queens One CastleMixed Blood Theatre
at the Music Box Theatre
through October 7