The Washington, D.C. Comedy troupe Capitol Steps return to New York City May 8 Aug. 31 with their fourth installment When Bush Comes To Shove. The show, set to open May 16, will play at Off-Broadway's John Houseman — where two of their past shows have played.
In their usual comedic way, Capitol Steps targets Bush, Bloomberg, Arafat, Enron, Bin Laden and Greenspan in When Bush Comes To Shove. Co-founder Elaina Newport told Playbill On-Line "Last time we were up [in New York] was the year 2000 and there was a presidential campaign going on. Now, of course, we're settling into the Bush administration and it's got all the current scandals."
Among the 25 topical political satire musical numbers is Laura Bush crooning "Don't Go Faking You're Smart" to George Bush, "which is one of my personal favorites" said Newport. "'Pack the Knife,' which is our airport security song to 'Mack the Knife.' We've got 'Enron-Ron-Ron' to 'Doo-Run-Run,' 'Speaker of the House' to 'Master of the House,' based on the premise that no one really knows who this guy is. The show's constantly evolving and we're adding a few things when we come up there. We'll probably sneak in some New York stuff."
The creator mused "One of my favorite subjects is the fact that I know Times Square is supposed to be all cleaned up and Disney-fied and all that. But, you know, if you look around you got Kathleen Turner stripping [in The Graduate], you've got Urinetown, you've got Vagina Monologues, it's not all that clean." Newport giggled in agreement upon the mention of the show formerly in the Houseman space they will play — currently performing downstairs at the venue — Puppetry of the Penis.
The Capitol Steps were formed 21 years ago by co-founders Bill Strauss and Newport — aides for Republican Senator Charles Percy — when they were asked to entertain at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Christmas party. The group has grown to include a troupe of current and former Congressional staffers. Producer Eric Krebs brought Capitol Steps to OB first in 1997 with their self-titled debut Capitol Steps. Since then, the troupe has returned with Unzippin My Doodah and Other National Priorities in 1998 and It Ain't Over Till the First Lady Sings in 2000.
The company has also toured nationally playing over 8,000 performances over the years and is has released —in conjunction with this performance — their 21st album with "When Bush Comes To Shove." Other CDs include "One Bush, Two Bush, Old Bush, New Bush," "Sixteen Scandals," "A Whole Newt World" and "76 Bad Loans."
The rotating cast of five for When Bush Comes To Shove include co-founders Strauss and Newport as well as Mike Carruthers, Kevin Corbett, Ann Johnson, Linda Rose Payne, Jack Rowles, Tracey Stephens, Mike Thornton, Mike Tilford and James A. Zemarel.
For tickets to Capitol Steps: When Bush Comes To Shove at the John Houseman, 450 West 42 St., call (212) 239-6200 or visit Tele-charge.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez