Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern
The Capitol Steps
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts presents the poltical satire troupe, The Capitol Steps, in their return engagement to South Florida, with performances at the new Miramar Cultural Center/ArtsPark.
The Capitol Steps originated in Washington, D.C. in 1981. The secret to their success is surely that there is never a shortage of fresh, entertaining material. Over the years The Capitol Steps have recorded twenty-eight albums, produced numerous specials for public radio, and appeared on many TV news shows. With politicians involved in marital scandals, criminal prosecutions, post-election recounts and campaign follies, 2009 may prove to be the best year yet in the group's more than 25-year history.
With comedic skits and parody songs, The Capitol Steps skew current events and politicians in a show that continually changes to fit the day's news. Lyrics to familiar songs are rewritten by Producer Elaina Newport, Mark Eaton and the cast. Current songs in the group's repertoire include the Secret Service lament "Chap That Threw His Two Shoes" to the tune of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo," "Little Plumber Boy" to the tune of "Little Drummer Boy" and "Blagojevich" sung to "If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof.
Democrats and Republicans alike have been roasted by The Capitol Steps, and members of both parties are loyal fans. Al Gore observed, "Some people in Washington are confused ... The Capitol Steps are not," while the first President George Bush wisecracked, " The Capitol Steps make it easier to leave public office."
In this production, pianist Howard Breitbart deserves a round of applause for playing with so much energy, and holding this show tightly together. One can only imagine that vocal entrances and pauses, in a show filled with comic bits which command holding for laughs, is no easy task. Much to the credit of writers of the show, the writing, however humorous it may be, never goes over the line to become outright offensive. Highly enjoyable send-offs of Sarah Palin and ex-President George W. Bush are understandably audience favorites. Some of the moments and performers are more polished than others, but the only glitch in the show is an overindulgent and tiresomely long comedic bit which seemed designed solely to showcase the ability of one of the men to imitate the voices of famous TV and film actors. Even with that, laughs abound, and the 90-minute show breezes by without an intermission. If you are in need of a good laugh to remedy your political woes, this is a show you are bound to enjoy.
Capitol Steps appeared January 29th - February 1st, 2009 at the Miramar Cultural Center/ArtsPark. For more information on the show please go to www.capsteps.com. Performances at the Miramar Cultural Center/ArtsPark are part of the Off Broadway In Broward series presented by the Broward Center which manages the new venue. The Miramar Cultural Center/ArtsPark is located at 2400 Civic Center Place, Miramar, FL. Scheduling and ticketing information is available at www.MiramarCulturalCenter.org. For tickets and/or information on the many diverse offering of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts you may contact them at 954-462-0222 or online at www.browardcenter.org.