Mock the Vote - Capitol Steps, 2015, lyrics by Elaina Newport, Mark Eaton and the cast.
"The Capitol Steps make it easier to leave public life" -
President George Bush, Sr.
At Cranwell Resort for its annual stint, Capitol Steps is handing out mental flyers for the coming election in 2016. In addition to reprising some old favorite material (it's a horrible fact that little really changes in politics) they are adding some hilarious insights into the workings of Congress, the Obamas, the Supreme Court and, naturally, early contenders for the White House.
For an hour and a half in a basement room with a stage and a piano at one end, the company of five players (and they will be changing throughout their season) deliver the stings and arrows of fate and fame with clarity and a delicious off-the-wall sensibility that thoroughly entertains. "How to Succeed in Congress Without Really Lying," "Help Me Fake it to the Right," "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Crimea," and "Livin' La Vida Marco" are just a few of the sketches they offer.
The five players enter from the left (stage right) and exit in the opposite direction, sometimes re-entering quickly in a new costume, a new wig with a varied expression. These people are quick and funny and they make satire into something that (sorry George S. Kaufman) does not close on Saturday night, but continues to grow and embelish and delight for months.
The five players I saw this time around were Bari Biern, Corey Harris, Jack Rowles, Mike Thornton and Delores Williams with Marc Irwin at the piano. Biern has 22 years experience doing this sort of material, Williams has 12, Rowles has 14 years on the stage and Thornton has been with the company for too many years to count. Harris, the newest member, is the constantly reappearing Barack Obama. Together they are the funniest acting troupe in The Berkshires this summer.
New material may be added to the show each night as political stories develop around the world. You never know what you may see, but you can be certain that everything contains the laughter you seek. If you can spend ninety minutes with the concept that politics is worth laughing at then this is the show for you. It is for me every summer. It helps me through the long night until November.
Mock the Vote - Capitol Steps 2015 plays at Cranwell Resort in Lenox, Massachusetts through August 31. For tickets and information (you can have dinner there too) call the box office at 413-881-1636 or go on line at cranwell.com.