by DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM
On Valentine’s Day, the political comedy revue, The Capitol Steps, opened at the Wilson Center for an eight-performance run, until Sunday February 19th. This is the 30th year for The Capitol Steps and the 2012 election year promises to be a banner year for their hilarious satire.
While hundreds of couples were out dining, celebrating Valentine’s Day in many restaurants, an almost full house of couples and singles were laughing their hearts out and their socks off.
Since 1981, when the original group of six young Congressional staffers performed at a Senator’s Christmas Party, this zany group has not looked back. The troupe has expanded and uses multiple casts for weekend performances in DC and road tours. They have recorded thirty-one albums, four of which are available on CD at the show for a reasonable $15.00.
What is this show about? The five talented singers and comedians work at breakneck speed for 90 minutes, poking fun at any and all news and scandals relating to politics and politicians. The targets are bipartisan. As an opening line in the show goes, The Capitol Steps puts the ‘mock’ in democracy!!
The stage has 3 standing microphones, a piano, and a suspended white sheet with a Capitol Steps logo. The performers come from behind on the left, do their thing for 30 seconds to 2 or 3 minutes, then disappear around right and then into another wig or costume for their next entrance.
The first skit by Matt Pearson portrayed our current President discussing the jobless situation which he said could be solved if people went out and started a small business. When asked how to accomplish this, a long pause ensued followed by the answer, “Start a big business and then . . . wait.”
All the current presidential wannabees had fun poked at them, with humor and surprisingly good impersonations by this talented group. And some past political figures were included, among them George Bush, Sara Palin, and John McCain.
Lots of other celebrities were honored, well sort of, and included Donald Trump, Bob Dylan and Sara Boyle. The costuming was delightful and of course very funny and too hard to explain here and you have to see them to fully appreciate it. The Capitol Steps must own one of every bad wig ever manufactured.
The subjects covered were wide ranging and included Immigration, The Supreme Court, Planned Parenthood, The Military, Hell, TSA Screening and on and on.
Now did we tell you this is a musical? Many popular songs of the past 40 years were parodied for example “Strangers in the Night” became “Stranger on your Flight!” Two of favorites were a comic opera entitled “The Merry Wives of Gingrich” and Herman Cain’s “Love Potion #9.”
Who got left out and who was a surprise addition? Well, Tim Tebow and Tebowing were included, while not a word was mentioned about one of the top politicians in Washington, Hilary Clinton.
We have talked to people who think that politics is just a big joke. Well, it is to The Capitol Steps gang, Jamie Zemarel, Brad Van Grack, Matt Pearson, Delores Williams, Tracey Stephens, and piano player Marc Irwin. Politics aside, it was just fun to see this extremely talented group in action.
We can’t remember when we have laughed this long and this loud for an hour and a half. Don’t miss it. Call 904-632-3373 or order on line at www.artistseriesjax.org
THE CAPITOL STEPS
by DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM