The Capitol Steps are a troupe of Congressional staffers-turned-comedians who travel the States satirizing the very people and places that once employed them. The Steps perform over 500 shows a year all over the country.
Since they began, the Capitol Steps have recorded 33 albums, including their latest, “Fiscal Shades of Gray.” They’ve been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS and can be heard 4 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 3 staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a 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.
Ronald Regan was President when the Steps began, so co-founders Elaina Newport, Bill Strauss and Jim Aidala figured that if entertainers could become politicians, then politicians could become entertainers! Since then, the Steps have had over 4,500 performances in 48 states. The group now has 22 cast members, 5 of whom are on stage for any one show.
Most cast members have worked on Capitol Hill: some for Democrats, some for Republicans, and others for politicians who firmly straddle the fence. No matter who holds office, there’s never a shortage of material. Says Elaina Newport: “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.”
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 Schoolers, or State Legislators. In fact, the Capitol Steps have performed for the last 5 Presidents (6, if you include Hillary). The only complaints the Steps seem to get are from politicians and personalities who are not included in the program!