September 15, 2011 | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Cabaret explores D.C. intern life

Mikey Cafarelli (left) and Paul Scanlan in ‘Two Guys Become Interns,’ a gay-penned cabaret act at Black Fox. (Photo by Mark Braswell)

The cabaret show “Two Guys,” which premiered at Black Fox Lounge in June, is back but in a substantially different incarnation. Conceived as a musical revue, it now has a storyline and new players.

Gay composer/playwright Mark Braswell, a local attorney by day, came up with the premise while observing interns at his own federal office.

“I just realized it’s kind of a Washington institution,” he says. “It’s filled with potential humor and I don’t think that anyone has ever written about it.”

Going by their own first names in the show, local actors Mikey Cafarelli and Paul Scanlan, both straight, play interns who swap war stories at a bar. One is interning at the White House, the other on the Hill. The show is fleshed out with Braswell’s original compositions, which he began in 1995. Braswell saw Scanlan at a Signature Theatre open house this summer and offered him the part. The two actors are friends so once cast, Scanlan brought Cafarelli onboard.

“His songs, especially his ballads, are really heartfelt and come from a real place,” Cafarelli says. “And the more up-tempo ones are fun and light and provide good contrast to the more dramatic material. I think it’s pretty good musical theater.”

Pianist Jason Solounias will accompany. Braswell is self-financing the production and also directing. He’s also written several musicals that have been produced both here and in other cities such as “Love Notes,” “Private Love Notes,” “That Funny Kind of Feeling” and “Paying the Price.”

Braswell, 53, says his day job has given him the means to pursue his creative side in his spare time.

“People say all the time, ‘How do you have time for this,’” he says. “I just say, ‘While you’re out on the golf course or playing bridge, I’m writing musicals.’”

He enjoys theater and cabaret for its chance to gauge immediate reactions.

“It’s live and immediate and I guess if I were to write a short story or something like that instead, then I’m not around to see the impact of how it unfolds. Plus live theater is a little different every night. … There’s a closeness and a warmth that everybody seems to enjoy so much.”

Songs include some, such as “Before Tomorrow,” that the composer has used in other productions. Others are new and were written to propel the “Interns” storyline.

For more information or to reserve tickets, go to truenote.com.

BOX INFO:

‘Two Guys Become Interns’

Black Fox Lounge

1723 Conn. Ave., N.W.

Monday at 8 p.m. and the following three Mondays as well (Sept. 26, Oct. 3 and Oct. 10)

$15 in advance; $20 at door; $10 for interns

truenote.com

 

 

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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