The Capitol Steps – Exclusive Lab Institute
Performance, October 11, 2012!
"They're the best. There's no one like them, no one in their league."
— Larry King, CNN
"The Capitol Steps make it easier to leave public life."
— Former President George H. W. Bush
Thirty years ago, the Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them. In the years that followed, many of the Steps ignored the conventional wisdom ("Don't quit your day job!"), and although not all of the current members of the Steps are former Capitol Hill staffers, taken together the performers have worked in a total of eighteen Congressional offices and represent 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience.
The Capitol Steps were born in December, 1981 when some staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a Christmas party. Ronald Reagan was President when the Steps began, so co-founders Elaina Newport, 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 in the whole Congress they couldn't find three wise men or a virgin! So, they decided to dig into the headlines of the day, and created song parodies and skits which conveyed a special brand of satirical humor that was as popular in Peoria as it was on Pennsylvania Avenue.
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. Says Elaina Newport, "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."
The material is updated constantly. Current examples include the Tea Party's colorful invasion into the political spectrum ("Fun Fun Fun 'til Obama Takes Our Tea Bags Away") and the Democrats' plan to defeat the deficit ("Return to Spenders"). In addition, we offer our own take on such trending topics as the T.S.A. pat downs, Facebook and illegal immigration according to Arizonians! No matter who or what is in the headlines, you can bet the Capitol Steps will tackle both sides of the political spectrum and all things equally foolish. What more would you expect from the group that puts the "MOCK" in Democracy!
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