Pretty nearly everyone over 55 has heard of The Capitol Steps, a political parody troupe that performed two shows this past Saturday in Stewart Theatre in N.C. State University’s Talley Student Union in Raleigh, NC, as part of the N.C. State LIVE series. The satirizing singing group arose in the early 1980s as a pastime for some Congressional staffers. Within three years, they had turned professional, and have turned out 40 or more albums in that time. Producer Elaina Newport, an original member of the group, is also one of the lyricists for their material, along with Mark Eaton and the rest of the cast.
Performers Nancy Dolliver, Corey Harris, Tracey Stephens, Brad Van Grack, and Jamie Zemarel, supported by pianist Howard Breitbart, continue the tradition of zingy lyrics over the music of appropriate or inappropriate known popular songs. The political celebs who caught their fire during the show we saw included President Barack Obama, former Presidents Bush (George H.W. and George W.), Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and the three major presidential wannabes, Hillary Clinton, Donald J. Trump and Bernie Sanders, plus foreign leaders such as Putin, Merkel, Hollande, Pavlopoulos, and Pope Francis.
No contemporary political scandal was left unscathed, and no one party was neglected. We all laughed from the time we were told of their beginnings, when they planned a Christmas party for U.S. Sen. Charles Percy (R-IL) but had to give up, being unable to find a single wise man or even one virgin in the houses of Congress.
Gags included considering a mandate to lead to gay marriage, eating the rich to find out how tender they really are, and Trump checking with his advisor every morning in the mirror. We had Hillary insisting she did not have textual relations with those e-mails, a neat twist when an Arizona cop tries to roust an Arab who reveals himself to be an American Indian and rousts the cop, a great duet with George W. Bush and Barack Obama singing about being “Stuck in The Middle East, Too.”
We were also regaled with their “Lipped Flanguage.” giving us such useful phrases as “My part is hounding,” “Lick a Peader,” and “Fugging their bone.” We were additionally visited by Al Gore, Ann Coulter, Bob Dylan and Neil deGrasse Tyson singing “We Warned The World.”
Although their politics was pretty evenhanded, we must acknowledge that The Capitol Steps’ closing number was a very heart-felt new version of “Oh, Canada!”
THE CAPITOL STEPS (N.C. State LIVE, Sept. 10 in Stewart Theatre in NCSU’s Talley Student Union in Raleigh).
VIDEO PREVIEWS: https://www.youtube.com/user/CapitolSteps.
PRESENTER: http://www.ncsu.edu/centerstage/index.html, https://www.facebook.com/NCStateLIVE, and https://twitter.com/NCStateLIVE.
The Capitol Steps (political satire troupe): http://www.capsteps.com/ (official website), https://www.facebook.com/The-Capitol-Steps-82221338742/ (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/Capsteps (Twitter page), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_Steps (Wikipedia), and https://www.youtube.com/user/CapitolSteps (YouTube).
[RUN HAS CONCLUDED.]
Martha Keravuori is a life-long theater artist — an actress, director, and stage manager — in North Carolina, around the country, and overseas. She has a theater degree from UNC-Greensboro, and has been active in the arts in Raleigh for the past 40 years. Martha is the retired executive director of the North Carolina Theatre Conference. Chuck Galle returned to Raleigh last year after a 17-year absence. He was active in community theater for many years, and directed the troupe of maximum-security inmates at Raleigh’s Central Prison known as the Central Prison Players. In New England, he performed on stage, on TV, and in films. He is the author of Stories I Never Told My Daughter — An Odyssey, which can be ordered on his website: http://www.chuckgalle.com/. Chuck Galle and Martha Keravuori review theater for Boom! Magazine of Cary. Click here to read more of their reviews for Boom! Magazine and here to read more of their reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.