The Capitol Steps are a musical comedy act that began, according to legend, with several people who worked on the staffs of U.S. senators in Washington, D.C. going into a bar and changing the words of popular songs in ways that made fun of their bosses and politics in the nation’s capital. Eventually they took their show on the road – and what a show it is. The Curmudgeon has seen them three times, and whenever they return to town he hopes to see them again for their parody and satire.
They take songs like “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” from the Sound of Music, for example, and turn it into the political question “How do you solve a problem like Korea?” or turn the Music Man song “76 Trombones” into a parody of all those people who were running for the Republican presidential nomination called “76 Unknowns” or turn the Abba song “Mama Mia” into the political commentary “Obama Mia.”
The highlight of any Capitol Steps performance, at least for The Curmudgeon, is a feature called “Lirty Dies.” Lirty Dies is just what it looks like: someone with pretty spectacular skills flips the first letters of words in ways that have spectators practically rolling in the aisles. There’s a term for this practice – “spoonerisms,” which sounds like a style for cuddling with your one and only – and they’re fast and furious and you have to really, really pay attention because it goes pretty fast, but the rewards make the effort worthwhile.
See a terrific example of Lirty Dies here.