Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 17, 2010

Capitol Steps 2010

Cranwell Resort, Lenox, MA
through September 5, 2010
by Shera Cohen

The 2009 flyer for Capitol Steps quotes accolades from numerous sources, one being, "Some people in Washington are confused…the Capitol Steps are not." That was stated by former Vice President Al Gore. Little did Al know that he would be the brunt of the somewhat risqué humor by CS exactly one year later. But he isn't alone, as numerous senators and Tiger Woods get theirs - jibes, laughs, and teases to the tunes of recognizable popular songs. For instance, "Eye of the Tiger" becomes "Fly of the Tiger."

CS is irreverent, humorous, fast, satirical, and up-to-date. No one is safe from being made fun of. Needless to say, whoever lives at the White House becomes a pawn. Past residents as well: Bill and Hillary, George W. The major factor that makes CS a success is the continuously changing scripts. CS in 2009 is not the same as 2010. The show in April was probably be very different from July's production.

Three men, two women, and one pianist are CS. Their costumes are cheesy, the wigs are worse, choreography is pathetic, and the basement theatre location is uninviting. None of that matters. Actually, all of it matters, because the worse the accoutrements, the better the show and the bigger the laughs. Surprisingly, the players' voices are top notch. None will take the Metropolitan Opera stage, but they sing a mean "Evita" parody.

In addition to the usual subjects personalities mentioned earlier are VP Joe Biden, Senator Scott Brown, Nancy Pelosi, Sarah Palin, leaders of numerous countries (Korea was especially memorable), and an unintelligible Bob Dylan. CS also takes pot shots at news of the day: border crossing, airport regulations, the oil disaster, and the U.S. census.

Every show ends with a hilarious long monologue by one of the quintet. He essentially speaks backwards, juxtaposing letters, in fast motion. It takes a good ear to catch every joke, but getting only half puts any audience member in proverbial stitches.