WANT TO GO?
The Capitol Steps
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Clay Center
TICKETS: $15, $25, $35
INFO: 304-561-3570 or www.theclaycenter.orgCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The writers of the Capitol Steps, one of the best known political satire troupes in the country, sometimes torture themselves with worries that they might run out of material.
"We always think, what will happen if all the scandals dry up and all the politicians become quietly competent?" co-founder and lead writer Elaina Newport said.
She laughed. That's never going to happen.
Newport, whose group appears Sunday night at the Clay Center said politics and public life normally attract controversy, and that's without a Democratic congressman named Weiner tweeting pictures of himself in his underwear or a Republican lawmaker getting arrested for soliciting sex in an airport men's room from an undercover police officer.
You can't make this stuff up -- but you can make quite a bit of comedic hay out of it. For the last 30 years, the comedy song and skit troupe has taken the missteps of politicians and celebrities, as well as the headlines from the day's biggest stories and turned them into comedy gold.
Started in 1981 by three Republican Congressional staffers who wrote and sang parody songs to amuse themselves, the group has grown. Now there are approximately 25 or so rotating performers who sing, dance, joke and keep with a tour schedule that would make many rock bands envious.
"The first 15 years, all the performers had to come from Capitol Hill," Newport said. "We had a rule. But then in 1996, when we got so busy with Clinton, we expanded and hired some Washington-area performers."
Clinton's presidency, with its scandal-of-the-week culture and constant conflict with talk radio, gave the Steps lots of material and plenty of work.