Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Who Put the Mock in Democracy?

Apologies to the "Capitol Steps" for borrowing this photo from their web site. But I'm promoting you, you guys! So I hadta do it!

Hear the Capitol Steps on NPR Halloween Weekend!

While I was in Washington D.C. recently I was lucky enough to see a performance of the satirical group the "Capitol Steps," at the new Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (13th and Pennsylvania Avenue)--at least it was a new building to me and just the building is a wow!

The "Capitol Steps" are a group of former Capitol Hill staffers who do an on-going satirical show that makes fun of everyone and everything in Washington, which makes them the only truly bi-partisan group in the nation's capitol.

When a crisis of some sort breaks out in the halls of Congress they ask themselves: is it funny? What tune can we sign it to?

While I was there, they were taping their annual Halloween show, so I was lucky enough to get a preview.

You can catch it this coming weekend, on your local National Public Radio station (if you aren't still boycotting due to the firing of Juan Williams). Each station plays the show at a different time, so check the link at the end of this piece for the time in your area.

The group has done a number of tapes and CDs and is also available for events. They are very funny: and I love people who managed to do something like this and live their dream. This is just one of their CDs. And don't think it is only liberals they skewer: you should see what they do to Sarah Palin!

I've seen them many times and their satire is so topical that the show is always new. This time, I especially enjoyed "You Fill Out Your Cen-sus" to the tune of John Denver's "You Fill up My Senses," and Barack Obama singing "What Kind of Cool Am I?" to the old Anthony Newly tune of similar name.

They also sing "Return to Spender" (take off on the old Elvis song) and have a group of three Arabs decide not to build the Ground Zero Mosque (to the tune of "New York, New York")--because they heard about the NYC bed bug infestation.

The leader of the gang, Elaina Newport, who has been with them from the beginning, comes out as Hillary Clinton, in a navy pantsuit with gargantuan padding at the hips (you won't be able to see this on the radio so I might as well tell you what the laughter is all about).

And they did a topical version of their ever popular "Lirty Dies," a backward speak thing that this time included a lot of jokes about Wiger Toods and mashion fodel wife.

Newport was the only original cast member I recognized. When she started the group, she worked for Illinois Senator Charles Percy and then for New York Senator Alfonse D'Amato, both Republicans. But she's married to a former Clinton staffer so now she considers herself totally multi-cultural.

The cast is ever-changing and so are the skits and songs. They say all politics is local. In this case you can definitely say that in the hands of the Capitol Steps, all politics is an absolute hoot.

Capitol Steps Halloween Show on Radio

The Capitol Steps Web Site

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