The Capitol Steps “The Lyin’ Kings” are a dynasty in Washington

By Lucy Komisar

Mike Thornton as Trump, photo Jonathan Slaff.

They couldn‘t have picked a better title to describe most Democrats and Republicans, one side defending a leader who sets a record for lying and the other doing so more subtly with fakery supported by a Deep State outraged that it can‘t make policy.

The players announce that they put the “mock” in democracy. But there‘s no argument that both Republicans and Democrats in the best government money can buy mock the rest of us.

The wigged Trump lookalike declares he is “happy to see a billion people in Symphony Space!” And, “I did nothing in Ukraine,” to the tune of “There is nothing like a dame.” Well, Trump’s connections are still to be proved, but Biden’s are pretty solid, through allowing his son to monetize his vice-presidency.

Tracey Stephens, Jon Bell, Bari Biern, Jack Rowles as the 76 Unknowns, photo Jonathan Slaff.

Have a problem? Trump asks. “I‘ll change the headlines, start bombing Iran.” No problem. He‘d get Republicans, Democrats and the corporate press on his side.

As usual, this political-musical-satire troupe has a lot to choose from, beginning with the “76 Unknowns” who don‘t have a prayer, just out-sized egos.

Jack Rowles as Bernie Sanders, photo Jonathan Slaff.

Bernie arrives under a shock of white hair. Didn‘t much like “Listen to the Sound of Sanders.” Forced. But dissing Bernie is standard among most Washington players.

Obama is spoofed for his $400G hits in cashing in on the presidency with Michelle. Monetizing the presidency.

Jack Rowles and Tracey Stephens as Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, photo Jonathan Slaff.

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer appear, clownish, true to form. Nancy has a big smile: “It‘s all about the base.” They really mean, It’s all about the donors.

But enter Joe Biden, putting his hands all over her. “I‘m just being me. Gender roles are shifting. I‘m reaching out to everyone. Touching!” (“Fifty Shades of Joe.”)

Mike Thornton as Joe Biden, photo by Jonathan Slaff.

At least if hands are on Nancy, they are not stretched out for Ukrainian cash, courtesy of his equally ethics-challenged son.

AOC is the best in “I am the very model of a modern major liberal,” threatening big corporations.

Tracey Stephens as AOC, photo Jonathan Slaff.

Of course, there is Putin with a fur hat. And a Russophobic joke about “occupation? No, just sitting.”

Tracey Stephens as Elizabeth Warren, photo Jonathan Slaff.

A pretty good Elizabeth Warren in her trademark black pants and long red sweater. We learn she is 1/2000 Native American. Her grandma rented “Dances With Wolves.” Tracey Stephens’ voice is perfect.

The re-purposed music is fine. The singing is excellent. Some of the jokes are rather obvious and not quite clever enough. The problem is that this lyin‘ cast of characters has been around too long. Probably works better inside the Beltway where the locals grab fanatically at any dig at the other side.

The Capitol Steps The Lyin’ Kings. Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway (at 95th Street), New York City. 212 864 5400. November 17, 2019. Also on NY Theatre Wire.

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