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Local News / Entertainment

Thursday, 5 July, 2012 7:27 PM

The Capitol Steps Make Sure the Political World is Musically Ripped (On)

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Actors dressed as President George W. Bush, Former Speaker of the House Nanci Pelosi and Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a performance of The Capitol Steps at the Power Center on July 4, 2010.

 

by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

 

|

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It's appropriate that the Fourth of July be dedicated to celebrating the finest of America's pastimes. This past Wednesday night, one of those celebrated pastimes was highlighted on stage at Ann Arbor's Power Center: satirizing the hell out of and back into American politics. At 8:00 p.m.; political humor group the Capitol Steps lit off an hour and half's worth of fireworks that the major government leaders and issues of the present day.

The series of vignettes and monologues were performed by five Steps members and one piano accompanist in the spirit of spoofing all the primary figures, as well as giving regards to more generic aspects of American government in recent scandals and issues. Almost all of these sketches, however, took a "Weird Al" path in covering current events in song.

Early on, a caricature of President Barack Obama would appear to signify the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death with a post-mortem yet biting version of "Under the Sea:" "He'll swim with sturgeons instead of virgins under the sea!" Next up, a pair of ex-Secret Service agents lamented the whole Columbian prostitution debacle to the tune of Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man," mentioning that "To pay with Groupon was our plan."

The proceedings would go global quickly, with a visit from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and fellow European Union leaders who mixed a reinterpretation of a musical classic to coincide with the latest continental crisis, which they called "Greece!" By the time they voiced they frustrations over these "Summer Days," they would go so far as to suggest that China should pull off a rescue: "They could give Greece a good start... they could build... a Great Wall... Mart!"

The songs and skits would continue, with additional pieces from "I'm Just a Bill" to the Eagles' "Lying Eyes" thrown in to keep the theme going alongside more spoofs like Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Joe Biden. Even Obama would return to go total Topol on us all with the following proposal: "If I taxed each rich man..."

But the gauntlet for mockery couldn't be thrown down harder than when George W. Bush himself popped in. "I went to a zoo. A monkey threw me a cupcake," he reflected. "Tasted like crap." From there, a loving duet with Texas Governor Rick Perry lead to the following inquiry: "If you finish that book, will you color one for me?"

Eventually, there would a sappy rendition of "Hotel California" over Arizona's immigration laws that ended with a nice twist, but the standalone performance of the evening came from a play-it-cool private eye named Hugh Jim Becile (you can still pronounce it if you want). When assigned to check on the Occupy Wall Street protests, Mr. Becile recalled, "I caught the first flight from JFK to Laguardia," with stops at Chicago, St. Louis, and other locations. "The stench was so bad you had to go down down into the subway for... fresh air," he added about his arrival at the scene. Such predicaments, however, wouldn't stop him from taking followup assignments, he promised. "Someone was drilling holes into the dressing room at Victoria's Secret. I decided to take a look."

The last number was a spoof on Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire," but the real finale for its dynamism was a prior marathon of spoonerisms. Merely trying to remember the overflow of fantastic letter swaps couldn't find room here, but if the entire tour de force sketch could be summed up by one line, it's this: "Poopid Stoliticians. Butt could be wetter?" Coming away from that performance, there was brilliance and awkwardness present, but it helps show that these political comics know how to make the most crucial of subjects highlighted with jest. As one quip about an Alaskan governor put it: "Para Salin? Sounds like something you'd do at the beach. Wait..."

Related Story: REVIEW: The Capitol Steps deliver lots of laughs at the Power Center

 

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

An actor dressed as President Obama on July 4, 2010.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

An actor dressed as a Muslim man during a skit by The Capitol Steps.

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

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