The Capitol Steps

Political Musical Group

The Capitol Steps
  • Recorded over 30 albums and performed for the last five Presidents
  • Featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS
  • 62-years of collective House and Senate staff experience
  • Bring smart, witty humor that will leave audiences rolling with laughter

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Over twenty-five years ago, the Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them. In the years that followed, many of the Steps ignored the conventional wisdom (“Don’t quit your day job!”), and although not all of the current members of the Steps are former Capitol Hill staffers, together the performers have worked in a total of eighteen Congressional offices and represent 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience.

Since they began, the Capitol Steps have recorded over 30 albums, including their latest, Fiscal Shades of Gray and their special holiday release, Barackin’ Around the Christmas Tree. They’ve been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS, and can be heard four times a year on national public radio stations nationwide during their Politics Takes a Holiday radio specials.

The Capitol Steps were born in December, 1981 when some staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for Senate Foreign Relations Committee Christmas party. Their first idea was to stage a nativity play, but in the whole Congress they couldn’t find three wise men or a virgin! So, they decided to dig into the headlines of the day, and created song parodies and skits which conveyed a special brand of satirical humor that was as popular in Peoria as it was on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Capitol Steps were created during the Reagan Administration by Elaina Newport, Bill Strauss, and Jim Aidala. They decided that if entertainers could become politicians, then politicians could become entertainers. Most cast members have worked on Capitol Hill; some for Democrats, some for Republicans, and others for politicians who firmly straddle the fence. Co-founder and performer, Elaina Newport says, “Typically the Republicans goof up and the Democrats party, then the Democrats goof up and the Republicans party. That’s what we call the two-party system.” No matter who holds office, there’s never a shortage of material.

Although the Capitol Steps are based in Washington, DC, most of their shows are out-of-town or for out-of-town audiences whether it’s the National Welding Supply Association, a University audience, High Schools, or State Legislators. In fact, the Capitol Steps have performed for the last five Presidents (six, if you include Hillary). The only complaints the Steps seem to get are from politicians and personalities who are not included in the program.

The material is updated constantly. Current examples include the Tea Party’s colorful invasion into the political spectrum (“Fun Fun Fun ‘til Obama Takes Our Tea Bags Away”) and the Democrats’ plan to defeat the deficit (“Return to Spenders”). In addition, they have performed their own take on such trending topics as the T.S.A. pat downs, Facebook, and illegal immigration according to Arizonians. No matter who or what is in the headlines, the Capitol Steps will tackle both sides of the political spectrum and all things equally foolish. What more would you expect from the group that puts the "MOCK" in Democracy.

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