At the Constellation Theatre, D.C.-based actors Jimmy Mavrikes and Farrell Parker are wowing audiences with their riveting portrayals of flawed lovers, Queenie and Burrs, a vaudevillian clown. Both feel the need to recapture the fire that brought them together, so they decide to throw a party which Mavrikes describes as a "rollercoaster."

They sat down with D.C. correspondent Isabella Basco to discuss the show and why audiences should watch the show playing now until October 29, 2017.

IB: What is the show about?

JM: Queenie is the most radiant person you've seen in your entire life. Burrs is her lover of three years. He is a vaudevillian clown and they live together and Burrs is abusive to her. One day, he goes a little bit too far and the whole show follows her revenge to Burrs as she creates this "wild party" that she decides we are going to host. She picks this one guy, Mr. Black to make me jealous but it becomes something more and I begin to realize that.

FP: The exciting incident of my live-in lover is a problem. Her big idea is to just to have a party with all of their friends. She needs other eyes on the situation to get what she needs out of Burrs, and maybe she does, maybe she doesn't.

IB: Why should people come and see this show? What makes it compelling?

JM: It's been a few years since DC has seen this show but our production is going to be special because the group of performers we have has become a close-knit ensemble. What we have created is really special and cool and the world needs to really see this show. Abuse is something talked about in shows, but I can't remember the last time theater focuses on this kind of abuse in theater, at least in D.C. So, the story we are going to tell is going to be important.

FP: Also, the music is amazing and it really is a non-stop wild party. The content is pretty serious, but there's moments of levity. It's the surface level of what's actually going on with these characters.

JM: And that's a certain level of bringing the performance aspect of these two characters.

IB: What's your favorite part about being in the show?

JM: I get to be a little scary which is different to me. But really, attacking this character and equating that in the past few years is really cool. I'm usually playing the ingénue and ensemble number. To think about the evilness in him that he doesn't realize is evil is really cool and so, that's why I like tackling this role.

FP: I'm excited to play with Jimmy. We've played two shows together, but we've never gotten to act opposite and sing a duet.

JM: We were understudy lovers.

FP: We were on Fiddler on the Roof.

FP: There's so much music and it's challenging music and that's a great challenge for me. I just spent a year in classical acting school, I was craving musical theater again. Queenie goes through so many different emotions through the show. She falls in and out of love and she thinks she learns there are different kinds of love through the story and I think from all the characters, you learn there's no secure definition of love. These people are loving the way they know how and the best way they know how, which is interesting and compelling.

IB: Why should people see the show?

JM: Well, it's like a rollercoaster. So if you like rollercoasters, you'll like the show. We start the show with this huge vaudevillian performance. You think it will be an awesome, fun piece and then you realize there are deeper things going on but we bring it back up to another wild performance and you can see some real stuff again. You get introduced to Kate and Black, two compelling characters. You get backed up to a haunted ride portion of the roller coaster and there's a little bit of sexiness to it. Who doesn't want to spend a Friday night enjoying some sexiness on stage?

FP: It's definitely sexy. It's 1920's, and the costumes and the set reflect that. It's going to be gorgeous. It's going to ask the audience to join in that way. People love that era and I would love it if people came in their sequins to the "wild party." Our set is just beautiful to look at.

IB: What are your goals?

JM: My goals are to keep this as a career as long as I can. I have a ton of side jobs, I walk dogs, serve, bartend. This is becoming my full-time job.

FP: My goal for me has always been, "more, better." I would love more shows and roles that I can sink my teeth into. I just finished my acting MFA which is an investment but I just auditioned two weeks before we started rehearsals. The songs in the show have been shower songs forever, so it's definitely dream role material.

Photo credit: Daniel Schwartz

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