No politician safe with Capitol Steps routine
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.
On the eve of Election Day, no politician will be safe.
The Capitol Steps
What: Comedy troupe based in Washington, D.C., performs on the eve of Election Day
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday
Where: Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 315 Hull Road
Tickets: $20-$50, $10 for UF students
Info: 392-2787, Ticket
Political satirists the Capitol Steps will bring their blend of music and political comedy to the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on Monday. Founding member Elaina Newport says politicians of both parties will be impersonated. “Our goal is to get both sides equally. We’re equal-opportunity offenders,” she says.
Newport says audiences should prepare for much discussion on the upcoming presidential election, including the state of Florida’s history of difficulty with past elections.
“We’ll be there to beg the people of Florida to at least let the election be decided one way or another,” she says.
The show will include 30 skits and songs from five performers. Musical performances will include Joe Biden doing a rock performance, Barack Obama singing showtunes, and Mitt Romney rapping, “I like big bucks and I cannot lie.” Newport also assures audiences they didn’t forget Romney’s instantly classic “binders full of women” comment. Other topics will include immigration reform, airport security and Greece’s economic woes.
The group’s performance also will feature their signature “Lirty Dies” backwards talk, a word-initialization re-juxtaposition routine that Newport says is a perfect way to discuss sex scandals.
“Instead of saying the American way of life, we’d say the American lay of wife,” she says. “Plus you get to say, ‘Did you think you’d wet a gay with this?’”
The Capitol Steps were born in 1981 when Newport, then a legislative assistant to Senator Charles Percy, had to create entertainment for an office Christmas party. After the politicians she satirized began inviting her to perform, Newport quit her day job and took the show on the road.
For the first 15 years, the Steps required all members to have Capitol Hill experience, but now about half of the group has worked in Washington. Collectively, the members have worked in 18 congressional offices and have 62 years of House and Senate staff experience.
The Steps have recorded more than 30 albums, the latest of which is titled “Take the Money and Run — For President.” They perform every weekend year-round at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington D.C., and NPR airs their radio special “Politics Takes a Holiday” each year on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July.
Newport says audiences will experience a night of laughs and a much-needed break from this month’s barrage of election coverage.
“I hope they walk away feeling that we poked fun at both sides,” she says, “and that when they get home, they don’t need to throw their shoes at the TV.”
Newport also offers a friendly reminder for Election Day.
“No president will solve all the problems, so just vote for the funniest one. You guys generally do that, right?”
The Capitol Steps’ performance at the Phillips Center begins at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $20-$50, $10 for UF students.
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