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Tuesday, 5 July, 2011 9:28 AM
REVIEW: The Capitol Steps deliver lots of laughs at the Power Center
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Capitol Steps are a political satire group that was founded in 1981. It was originally made up of Congressional staffers who performed around Washington D.C. However, it now employs professional actors and singers. They put on two fantastic performances at the Power Center on July 4. It was a great way to celebrate our nation's independence. I went to the earlier performance at 5 p.m. and it sort of reminded me of watching the White House Correspondents Dinner. Basically, actors dress up as politicians and poke fun at their mistakes while in office.
As for someone who went to last year's performance, I noticed a few changes. New characters were added to the show and others were removed. Also, new topics were introduced that simply did not exist a year ago. I think it was just as funny or even funnier than last year. Seeing the Capitol Steps is a great way to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday with friends and family.
The show started at about 5:05 p.m. after introductions by Ann Arbor Summer Festival Executive Director Robb Woulfe, WEMU-FM General Manager Molly Motherwell and Howard Cooper Import Center Owner Howard Cooper. It appeared to be a sold-out crowd for the performance I attended. My seats were in the fifth row, just right of the stage, couldn't get any better.
This was the 30th anniversary of The Capitol Steps as a comedy group. In addition, it was their 21st year performing in Ann Arbor. One audience member was wearing a shirt with the American flag on it.
The performance began with the piano player taking his spot. Then, an announcement was made "Remain seated and wait for a federal bailout." The Capitol Steps are known as "the group that put the 'mock' in democracy." A man dressed as former President George W. Bush and two other female politicians took the stage.
Then, a President Obama look-a-like approached the microphone and discussed the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden. He joked, "Donald Trump is asking to see the death certificate." The audience laughed. "I didn't wish to compete with coverage of the royal wedding. Bin Laden is now a sushi platter for sharks."
A woman dressed as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was next to take the stage. "I think you played the Trump card," she said. Seconds later, a Bill Clinton look-a-like appeared next to her.
Other topics discussed included former Rep. Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal, airport security concerns with the TSA and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor having to wait in line to use the ladies room that was reserved for judges only.
My favorite skit was about Southwest Airlines' recent incident where a plane had a huge hole in it's roof. A woman dressed as a Southwest flight attendance took the stage. She was explaining the emergency procedures and joked, "the emergency exits may be in front of you, behind you or above you. There should be no more complaints of having not enough headroom."
Another woman took the stage dressed as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. "Hello to the great state of Ann Arbor," she said. The audience laughed. "How many of you read my book?" No one raised their hand. She explained her revised story of Paul Revere.
If you have the chance to see The Capitol Steps, it will be worth your money. It is perfect for both democrats, republicans and those who consider themselves to be independent. The number of jokes are delivered equally for both sides of the aisle.
Upcoming main stage performances at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival include the Tom Tom Crew on July 7 and 8 at the Power Center and Pink Martini wraps up the main stage shows on July 9 at the Hill Auditorium. For tickets, go to the Michigan League in person or buy them online at www.annarborsummerfestival.org.
Look for the Capitol Steps to perform at the Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield, Wis. on July 8, the Ronald Reagan Building on Fridays and Saturdays, Mason District Park in Annandale, Va. on July 24 and the Great Waters Music Festival in Wolfeboro, NH on Aug. 12. For more tour dates, visit their official website at www.capsteps.com.
PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com
Actors dressed as President George W. Bush, Former Speaker of the House Nanci Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a performance of The Capitol Steps at the Power Center last year.
Stay tuned for continuing coverage of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival on AmericaJR.com!
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