Here's what we like.. Ya Dig?
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
I almost didn't go to the Capitol Steps show last week. Even though I leaped like a crazy woman for the pair of free tickets that Patrick offered at a staff meeting last week; even though, as a former denizen of Washington, D.C., I knew that tix to the Steps were like passes to see Widespread Panic are to a UGA student; even though I'd longed, through my years in Richmond, to return to D.C. to see the Capitol Steps at the Chelsea Club and here they were, performing about 300 yards from my house. I almost didn't go.
But I accepted a chicken salad sandwich and a Diet Coke from my friend Patsy following the District Five commissioners debate, got a second wind, and snuck into the rear door of the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center about a half an hour late. If your political satire shaken, stirred, and with a twist, you can't do better than a Capitol Steps show. I was just in time to see Hillary as a Shakespearean maid and Bill as Elvis (“Shamlet”), and I nearly fell off my folding chair laughing. I joined Al Gore in singing “There's a Hole in the Ozone,” and enjoyed the melodic musings of the girl group that sang, “A Leader Like Barack.” I also particularly liked “God Bless My S.U.V.” but it's no joke, when George Bush and Dick Cheney broke into “I Like Big Cuts and I Cannot Lie” I thought I might have to be carried out on a stretcher. I didn't know it was possible to laugh that hard. I'm absolutely certain that I ruptured something integral.(Five days later, it still makes me giggle just to write about it.)
Luckily for me, the the rest of the Cultural Center audience was also laughing so hysterically that I called no attention to myself whatsoever.
According to their website, the 25 or so members of the Capitol Steps (about half a dozen of them were in Madison last week) boast an cumulative 60-plus years in experience in working either on Capitol Hill or for various Washington, D.C. players or political wonks. They've released nearly 30 cds, they put on any number of concert shows—not to mention four annual live radio shows, at New Years, April Fools Day, Fourth of July, and Halloween (check local public radio stations for listings)--and for 27 years have made a career out of skewering the right, the left, and the just plain silly in our Washington and the national news. In this, a presidential election year, their fearless jokes and razor-sharp wit—and the obvious fun that they have performing—are better than a martini at the Eye Bar, and you can drive home afterwards. If you're not laid out from laughing, that is.