On April 24, the Capitol Theatre in Yakima will present the only people in Washington, D.C., who are actually funnier than the politicians. "The Capitol Steps" will perform one night only at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Pantages-style theatre that is considered the jewel of Central Washington. By targeting the funny, silly, crazy and bizarre antics of politicians, "The Capitol Steps" never runs short of material. The ever-evolving repertoire of this comedy troupe jabs at the headlines and pokes at the politicians through lively lyrics set to familiar tunes. These satirists and former congressional staffers travel the country lampooning the very people and places that once employed them. Most cast members have worked on Capitol Hill - some for Democrats, some for Republicans, and others for politicians who firmly straddle the fence. No matter who holds office, there's never a shortage of material. "Typically the Republicans goof up and the Democrats party, then the Democrats goof up and the Republicans party. That's what we call the two-party system," says Elaina Newport, a founding member of the cast. "The Capitol Steps" was born in 1981 when three staffers for Senator Charles Percy were asked to provide entertainment for a Senate Christmas party. Ronald Reagan was president, so Newport and co-founders Bill Strauss and Jim Aidala figured that if entertainers could become politicians, then politicians could become entertainers! Their first idea was to stage a nativity play, but they said they couldn't find three wise men in Congress. So they drew their material from headlines and hot topics of the day, creating new lyrics for familiar tunes. What emerged was a special brand of satirical humor that played as well in Peoria as it did on Pennsylvania Avenue. Over the past two decades of lampooning the Bush family, Bill Clinton, Martha Stewart, Saddam Hussein and Enron executives - not to mention the entire Congress - "The Capitol Steps" has enjoyed ever-larger audiences. Although the troupe is based in the nation's capital, 90 percent of the performances are for out-of-town audiences. People across the country love to laugh at the foibles of public figures. With the musical number "A Leader Like Barack" (to the tune of "The Leader of the Pack"), you'll laugh at the Democrats' current infatuation with Barack Obama. The conservative opinions of Ann Coulter are lampooned in "Loonies of the Right." And on the international side, President Bush and the Prime Minister of Japan reconcile their differences in the touching number, "Stand By Japan." No matter who's in the headlines, "The Capitol Steps" cast members are equal-opportunity offenders, and no issue is left untouched. It seems that even the politicians have a sense of humor about it, as about the only complaints the cast receives are from politicians and personalities who are not included in the program! Thanks to the fact that the cast has ignored the conventional wisdom ("Don't quit your day job!") for the past 25 years, they've been able to record 27 albums, including their latest, "Springtime For Liberals." They've been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS, and can be heard four times a year on National Public Radio's "Politics Takes a Holiday" specials. As humorist P.J. O'Rouke said, "The Capitol Steps is what Washington would be if everyone were funnier and could sing." For tickets to the April 24 performance, call (509) 853-ARTS or, toll-free, (877).330-ARTS. You can also order tickets online at www.capitoltheatre.org. Article Source Attribution Posted by Colleen Lane on
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